People get ready to participate in the gate pulling ceremony of the Tsütuonuomia Thinuo (T Khel), Kohima from Merhülietsa to Seithogei stretching about 4 kilometers along the National Highway 29 on December 7. (Morung Photo)
Morung express News
Kohima | December 7
An overcast sky and the winter rain failed to dampen the spirits of people on Thursday as thousands from 43 ‘friendly’ villages of Tsütuonuomia turned up to participate in the age-old tradition of Gate Pulling Ceremony of the Tsütuonuomia Thinuo (T Khel), Kohima from Merhülietsa to Seithogei stretching about 4 kilometers along the National Highway 29.
‘Village gates are erected along routes through which villagers go to their fields or travel outside their villages,’ highlighted Chairman of the Tsütuonuomia Khel Council, K. Neibou Sekhose. There are 15 such traditional gates in Kohima alone including 5 L Khel gates, 3 D Khel gates, 3 P Khel gates and 4 T Khel gates inclusive of the “Tsütuo Kharu” that was ceremoniously pulled today in all its traditional magnificence and fervour.
The Tsütuo Kharu will be erected at Seithogei along the National Highway 29 as part of the Welcome Gate to the state capital.
Besides the gate, the Chairman said, 16 stones monument have been erected to symbolise the unity of the 16 districts of the state and have been named as “Unity Stones.” This was earlier unveiled by the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio, who was also the Host of the Ceremony. Mention may also be made here that Tourism Minister, Temjen Imna Along was the co-host.
“May the people who pass through this gate experience the spirit of oneness! This gate is open to everyone, and it need not be closed again for fear of enemies, intruders or outsiders because we know that our Almighty God is our Protector,” K Neibou Sekhose pronounced while also stating that the invitation of the 43 ‘friendly’ villages to be part of the ceremony also symbolises full commitment to their friendship.
‘Peru and India share a common rich tapestry of our ancient cultures’
Addressing the Tsütuo Kharu Gate Pulling Ceremony at Seithogei, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru to India, Javier Paulinich highlighted the profound connections that exist between Peru and India as they gathered between the vibrant colours, melodious tunes and the warmth of Nagaland’s hospitality in his words.
Stating that this year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries—‘a proof of the friendship that has flourished over the decades’, he remarked that, “this reflects the shared values of diversity, unity and mutual respect that bind our nations together.”
In recent years, he said both countries have engaged in robust economic partnerships, exploring avenues of collaboration in trade, technology and innovation while articulating that, “India’s vibrant information technology sector and Peru’s growing industries present unique opportunities for mutually beneficial exchanges, laying the foundation for a dynamic economic relationship.”
But beyond the diplomatic and economic ties, he underlined that “Peru and India also have in common the rich tapestry of our ancient cultures.” Pointing out that it is fascinating to draw parallels between the ancient civilizations of the two countries; he further expressed that, “the Caral-Supe civilization in Peru, known as the oldest civilisation in the Americas and the Indus Valley Civilization in India, one of the world’s oldest urban cultures, stands as testaments of the wisdom of our ancestors.”
Substantiating to this, he elucidated that, “as we know both civilizations flourished around the same period, 5000 years ago, engaging in advanced urban planning, sophisticated agricultural practices and intricate social systems.” “Let us recognise the enduring legacy they have left for us to cherish and celebrate, fostering a deeper appreciation for the cultural ties that bind Peru and India and have withstood the test of time”, he added.
‘Our cultural bonds are unbreakable’
Paulinich further cited that “Nagaland has become an example thanks to its efforts on cultural preservation.” In this context, he also stated that, “the commitment to promote the Naga traditions exemplified by events like the Hornbill Festival, resonates deeply with us” and further said that, “it is a reminder that despite the geographical distance, our cultural bonds are unbreakable and events like these serve as bridges that connect countries.” The Tsütuo Kharu Monolith was earlier unveiled by Paulinich.
In his greetings, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio thanked the Tsütuonuomia Khel for exhibiting the gate pulling ceremony coinciding with the Hornbill Festival, also enabling the tourists to witness an important cultural heritage of the Nagas. Despite the shortcomings of the Nagas, he stated happiness that they have been able to preserve and uphold the rich culture and tradition of our forefathers through such ceremonies.
Other highlights of the event included invocation by Rev Kevimses Suohu, Mepfü (War Cry) heralding the Gate Pulling Ceremony, Prayer by Pastor Atuo Whuorie at Seithogei, words of appreciation by Er Thepfuzakie Suohu, General Secretary, Tsütuonuomia Khel Council, followed by feast and cultural events.