Locals in Jowai push for vaccination against COVID

Curtain comes down on Behdienkhlam festival

JOWAI, July 11: In a twist to the celebration of one of the most decorated festivals in Meghalaya, Behdienkhlam, one out of the 11 ‘rots’ (tableaux) presented during the festivities in Jowai carried a special message for the people — ‘The only weapon to fight COVID-19 is vaccination’. There were other ‘rots’ too which attempted to raise awareness on COVID-19.
Curtains came down on the Behdienkhlam festival on Sunday at the sacred pool called ‘Aitnar’, where the ‘rots’ were immersed, with minimum spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Justice of High Court Biswanath Sommader attended the culminating programme as special guest along with West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner LSN Garod Dykes, district Superintendent of Police Bikram D Marak and other officers, besides leaders of Sein Raij Jowai and the Seng Khasi.
The ‘rot’ carrying the message of vaccination was brought by Ummulong Sein Raij.
Various rituals were performed during the festival which began Friday last and concluded on Sunday with the ritual ‘Dat-la-wa-kor’, comparable to a football match but with a wooden ball played between the teams of U Sangot and U Langdoh (Priest). The latter won the match.
President of Sein Raij Jowai said that the festival this year holds significance as there is coordination with the state government as part of the 75 years of India’s Independence.

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