Hmars celebrate post-harvest winter festival

SILCHAR, Dec 19: Sikpui Ruoi or the post-harvest winter festival was celebrated with all enthusiasm by the Hmars of Hmarkhawlien, 30 km from here, in the Lakhipur subdivision of Cachar. According to the convention or tradition, a father for the festival was selected and honoured as the head and owner of the ceremony. T Sangkhum, the father on the occasion, hoisted the Sikpui Ruoi flag and conducted the entire proceedings.
Abraham L Keivom, chairman of the celebration committee, said it is a festival of peace and happiness which is celebrated in a year when there is surplus crop production. The ancestors used to observe the festival for 7 days, but today it is for one day only. He further said Hmarkhawlein, the biggest Hmar village in Assam, with a population of 8000 people with all jocundity and fervour join together and enjoy it to the core of their heart.
Since it is a festival of dance and song, the youths of Hmarkhawlein performed them on the Sikpui ground. However, the main purpose of the festival is not dancing alone. It becomes lively and vibrant with many interesting and entertaining features. With peaceful mind, participants and viewers become cheerful for the day. Abraham L Keivom pointed out, this is a historical festival which was introduced by their ancestors when they lived a prosperous and peaceful life in Shan, now in Myanmar, earlier Burma.
This festival continued after they came to Mizoram and one monument was erected at Zote village in Champhai district which exists even today. In this valley, the first Sikpui Ruoi was celebrated in Khawhmunlien village in 1959. Hmars are proud of their old tradition and in order to continue this in the new generations, the true meaning and values are being upheld. The day-long programme was spread into several sections. The festival was inaugurated with the unveiling of Sikpui stone by Lalthomlien Hmar, chairman, Barak Valley Hill Tribe Development Council.
It was interspersed with opening song, opening prayer and the arrival of the father. After all the deliberation by the chief-guest and the guest of honour, Abraham L Keivon gave an introduction of the festival. After which invited speakers deliberated over the various aspects of the Sikpui Ruoi. (Source:SentinelAssam)

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