Imphal: People of Manipur, especially the Meitei community abstained from celebrating Ningol Chakouba, a festival that tightens the bond of love between brothers and sisters, in wake of the present unrest in the state.
The festival falls on the second day of Hiyangei month of Meitei lunar calendar (this time on November 15). On this day married women are invited to the maternal homes and together have lunch with brothers and parents. Younger ones take blessing from the elders.
“Warm Ningol Chakouba wishes to all. May this beautiful tradition continue to remind us of the importance of family and the enduring connection between brothers and sisters.
Wishing all the Ningols, happiness and prosperity in abundance,” chief minister N. Biren Singh posted on his Facebook wall.
People did not celebrate the festival sharing the grief of those Meitei people who lost their love ones and homes during Meitei-Kuki clash that erupted on May 3, the day Kuki launch attacks to Meitei community.
“So what, if we don’t celebrate the festival. Why should we, when our brothers have lost their lives for the land while many lost their homes?” a young mother told this reporter.
Imagi Meira convenor Th. Suajata said many sisters and mothers are facing hard times at relief camps. Many are shedding tears to the loss of their near and dear ones in the ongoing conflict. “We have no time to celebrate Ningol Chakouba. We all should together share the pains being faced by our brothers, sisters, mothers and our siblings who are deprived of their rights to existence meaningfully.”
On the same note, Diwali was not celebrated in the state and remained a dark evening.
“On this auspicious occasion of Diwali, I extend heartfelt wishes to all citizens. May the festival of lights illuminate your lives with joy, harmony, and prosperity,” Biren posted on his Facebook wall.