Kukis join Nagas at Lui-Ngai-Ni celebration

HUNPHUN February 15 : The festival of Naga Lui-Ngai- Ni once again reverberated the oneness of the Naga peoples as with cultural exchanges showcasing unity.  Amid the United Naga Council (UNC)-led alterative arrangement campaign for the Nagas in strife –torn Manipur, the Nagas on Tuesday celebrated, Lui-Ngai-Ni with gusto.
The grand festival was celebrated at Hunphun district headquarters here, about 84 kilometers from Imphal the capital of Manipur. The day included staging of a battery of multi-ethnic and tribal dances, traditional shows, ceremonial blessing of seeds, cultural regale and “Lui-Ngai-Ni” Nite. Calling for unifying the Nagas as one, several Naga leaders including Naga Hoho, UNC and other Naga peoples organizations also marked the seed sowing festival held under the theme “Sowing Seeds of Change”.
Unlike past festivals, leaders of the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) including its president Thangkhosei Hoakip also joined the festival. Significantly Haokip attended as the guest of honor at the occasion. Naga Hoho president Keviletuo Kiewhuo was the chief guest emphasized the need to join hands together for a better future. “May this (festival) be the foundation for our people to come together as one. It is for us to struggle together for a better future,” he said. He also emphasized the need to strengthen the UNC, the apex body of several Naga civil bodies in Manipur and the politicians to achieve the Nagas’ aspirations. Commenting on the UNC’s alternative arrangement campaign, Keviletuo said the Naga Hoho will stand by it. He, nevertheless, said the agendas of such move should be made clear to all as there is nothing to hide.
The Naga Hoho president also pointed out the need of the collective Nagas’ call of ‘One Nation, One Culture’.  UNC president Samson Remei said there is a felt need to help others who are facing similar plight like the Nagas in Manipur and elsewhere.  “Now is the time for us to ponder upon the gradual decadence of our culture and restore it to its pristine glory,” he added.
“As we celebrate Lui-Ngai-Ni, we must once again re-dedicate ourselves to Naga reconciliation process, the pursuance of Alternative Arrangement and the Indo-Naga Peace Process to usher in an honorable and acceptable settlement in Nagalim,” he added. KIM president Hoakip, recalled the key role taken by the UNC and KIM in ushering peace and harmony between the Nagas and the Kukis in the aftermath of the infamous communal flare up between the two communities in the early nineties. The cultural regale saw staging of folk dances and songs, traditional games and sports, traditional musical instruments by troupes from different communities including Chakhesang and Kuki tribes. Exhibition cum sale of handlooms, arts and crafts, foods, seeds and seedlings, audio visual productions and publication, indigenous musical instruments in day time and the traditional fashion display in the evening were also held in the festival hosted by the Tangkhul Naga Long and organized by the UNC.
Amongst other the festival was attended by, Anal tribe, Chothe, Inpui, Lamkang, Maring, Memei (Mao), Monsang (Shirti), Moyon, Poumai, Tangkhul, Chakesang Losami, SDSA , NWUM, ANSAM, NSF, NPMHR, Kuki Inpi, Kharao Hoho, NPO , Maram and CNPO.