Seminar on ‘Rich Cultural Heritage’ held in Viswema

Participants of the ‘Rich cultural heritage - folk dance and drama’ seminar organised by the Vikehie Welfare Society, Viswema  from July 10 to 12.
Participants of the ‘Rich cultural heritage - folk dance and drama’ seminar organised by the Vikehie Welfare Society, Viswema from July 10 to 12.

Kohima, July 12 (MExN): The Vikehie Welfare Society, Viswema organised a three- day seminar and awareness programme on ‘Rich cultural heritage - folk dance and drama’ under Cultural Functions Grant Scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India from July 10 to 12.

The concluding programme was held on Sunday at K Khel Panchayat Hall, Viswema with Kruvil Kikhi as the main speaker. 

Addressing the participants, the speaker focused on the main two major festivals in the village- Sekrenyi and Te-l Khukhu. 

Sekrenyi is celebrated in the twelfth month of the year as a sign of purification and sanctification of oneself with thanksgiving and seeking blessings from the Almighty for the coming year, he said. 

The rituals are performed by the menfolk early in the morning (at dawn) by going to the nearby natural pond for collecting pure water known as ‘Dzuse’ and on returning home a rooster is killed as a sacrificial ritual. 

Village folks gather at Owhe singing folk songs, narrating folktales and war-cry while also sharing festive meals with each other, he said, adding that people showcase talents dressed up in full traditional attire on the day of ‘Talupü kini’.  The festival is also associated with rigid rituals and social taboos, he said. 

Stressing on the second festival Te-l Khukhu, he said it is a women’s festival celebrated by the head-shaven damsels in the olden days. The festival falls on 13th of Chunyi, the 6th month of the indigenous calendar.

Womenfolk celebrate in front attic part of the house known as ‘Chokhru’. The origin of Te-I Khukhu festival as orally passed down from generation to generation was that once Te-I(Toad) plucked the ear of Ochü (Millets) and brought to a woman. 

The festival food are all cooked and prepared well ahead the previous night. 

In the morning before distributing to girls, rituals are performed and served first to Te-l (toad), he said, adding that food is shared with one another as a sign of love feast while the eaves and attic part of the house are decorated with wildflowers and Pithanu (tender maize). 

Stressing on the importance of the festivals, the speaker encouraged the participants to “preserve our own identity as in the future we may end up losing our own unique culture.”

Time will come when we will be confused to answer to younger generation when asked about the culture and traditional practices, he feared. 

Chairman of Vikehie Welfare Society, Eyosa Kikhi gave the introductory speech while the programme was chaired by Vinothul. Vimetwel pronounced the invocation and folk song was performed by Mezavinu.