‘Traditional heads duty bound to protect people’s rights’

SHILLONG: The Chief of Hima Khyrim Paiem Balajied Sing Syiem said it was the duty of traditional heads to maintain tradition and to ensure that people enjoy equal rights and to see that peace and harmony reigns at every level.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday at the Shad Nongkrem Festival of the Hima Khyrim, he said it was his duty as the Syiem of Hima Khyrim to preserve the legacy of the cultural traditions of the past through the Thanksgiving Festival,

He said that all the old Kingdoms were founded on the basis of religious obligation along with the administration.

He expressed concern that though the old Himas had been there but it was only Hima Khyrim which still had links to the past and its activities and functions were still undiluted.

“I am proud that people of this kingdom still cling to the old way of life knowing that we are still relevant of the identity and culture of the past”, he said.

Asked on the funds received by the Hima, Syiem said the Ministry of Tourism extended financial support for 3-4 years which has enabled the Hima to improve facilities and provide better seating arrangement and better facilities for dancers and accommodation for them and even for the headmen who have come from far to spend the nights here.

“We seek the government’s assistance also to improve the road conditions leading to the venue and this they have done so. Taking cue from the facilities extended from New Delhi to us we are trying to improve all the things we have in our midst”, Syiem said.

At the Nongkrem Dance, on the left side of the entrance, tourists were made to register their names. Asked, the people at the counter said that 76 tourists both domestic and foreign registered their names till 4 pm.

The Governor Tathagata Roy who arrived in the evening to witness the dance said that though he was born and brought up in Shillong, it was his first time to watch the Nongkrem Dance.

Roy later took a photo of the dancers who were dressed in traditional regalia danced to the tunes of the duhalia. The females from the royal family took part in the dance along with the commoners.

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