IMPHAL, Oct 12: Like in the past, Mera Houchongba, which symbolises fostering age-old relationship between the hill and valley dwellers, was celebrated in various parts of the State with the Kangla Religious Committee of Kangla Fort Board hosting the main event inside the sacred Kangla today.
The celebration was also attended by representatives of Bangladesh-based Manipuri organisations such as Ramnagar Manipuri Chaokhat Thourang Nupi Lup, Bangladesh Moulubi Bazar and Manipuri Integrity Association, Bangladesh and elderly citizens from both the hill and valley areas.
Staging of cultural items and exchange of gifts between the hill and valley people were the highlight of the celebration held with Agriculture Minister P Parijat Singh, Kangla Fort Board Member Sairem Nilabir and vice chairman of Ukhrul Autonomous District Council Azar Malue as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
Pointing out that celebrating Mera Houchongba with the participation of various indigenous people every year demonstrate the indelible age-old relationship of the ethnic community, Minister Parijat in his address to the gathering observed that the Bangladeshi delegation joining the festival this year highlights importance and value of the festival.
He further exhorted the people to contribute their mite in promoting peaceful co-existence and communal harmony inspite of differences in religious affiliation and belief.
Ukhrul ADC vice chairman Azar Malue, who also spoke at the occasion asserted that the auspicious Mera month of the Manipuri calendar is an occasion for the indigenous people to renew pledge for unity and social harmony.
Further stating that Mera Houchongba festival was celebrated in the past along with cultural items and sports activities, Azar said sharing feast prepared with vegetables brought from the hills is the right platform to promote peace and unity among the people.
Source: The Sangai Express