In Letter & Spirit

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘Designer gives nouveau look to jainsem’, which was published in the November 24 edition. Elizabeth Marbaniang is among the senior designers in the state as well as from the region and has been making a statement with her unique style of fusing tradition with modernity. Her works have already earned a name in the local designing circuit and now it has gone beyond the boundaries of the North East.
Jainsem is a Khasi traditional dress and Marbaniang has added another dimension to the apparel. Be it the fabric or the design, she has created some of the best contemporary jainsems in the past years. Now, there are many young designers who are experimenting with a modern look for the traditional dress. It is a proud moment for the state and the Khasis that designers like Marbaniang have taken the apparel on national and global platforms.

Thanking you
Amelia Swer

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘Evening schools rekindle hope’, which was published on November 24. It was a well-researched report that elaborates on the role of these “odd-hour” schools in shaping the future of the poor children who leave their families and friends in villages and come to the city for livelihood.
Many of us employ minors as domestic helps even after knowing that this is illegal. This also becomes possible because there is no checking by the authorities. Also, poor families send their children to work so that they can support their families. But many employers in the city take advantage of their tender age and violate labour laws. The article pointed out such cases where employers do not pay salary but only fund education.
We may not be able to end the vicious cycle of poverty but we can make our citizens aware of the rights of these poor children. That these evening schools are taking care of their right to education is commendable. The success stories narrated by the principals of various schools are inspirational. We, as privileged citizens of the state, should take some responsibility to empower these children and help them get education so that they can make a better life for themselves and their families.

Thanking you
Arpita Paul

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the essay, ‘Robert Burns’ of Khasi Hills, which was published on December 15. The author rightly noted the importance of Soso Tham’s works in today’s age and the need for taking the poet and his poems beyond the boundary of Khasiland.
Soso Tham was more than a poet. He was a philosopher who delved deep into the labyrinths of life and understood the real meaning of the Khasi customs, rituals, and above all, the Khasi way of life. His poems talk about the beautiful nature and indigenous flowers and the simple yet necessary pleasures which this natural abundance gives us. His philosophy is intrinsic to Khasi society and yet has a universal appeal. It is time that Soso Tham, like Rabindranath Tagore and Robert Burns, gets due recognition beyond the region and this can be possible with the help of the Khasi literati and the government. There is also a need to take Soso Tham’s translated works to the world so that more people
know about the poet’s philosophy. There can be discussions on his works where intellectuals from across the country can participate and add different dimensions to his thoughts.

Thanking you
Gavin Kharshandy

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