By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Nov 2: The cultural capital of the Khasi Hills, Smit witnessed the conclusion of the two-day dance festival, ‘Shad Nongkrem’ on Thursday, which is an appeal to the goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a bountiful harvest, in the upcoming harvest season.
The Syiem who has been in office for 45 years now mentioned that there has not been a single year when they have missed this celebration.
It may be mentioned that even during the pandemic, the festival persisted, albeit without public participation.
In response to a question regarding changes observed in the organization of the festival over the years, he mentioned that the response has been consistently positive.
He stated, “Over the years, the number of dancers has increased, as have the funds and the support from the administration, along with increased public participation. It may appear that modern values are encroaching upon our traditional culture and heritage, but that is not the case. Whenever we’ve made an appeal, the response has consistently been positive.”
The Ing Sad Smit, the traditional residence of the royal family of the Hima Khryim watched on as 118 males and 170 females dressed in the Khasi traditional attire danced to the tunes of traditional Khasi instruments.
The dance saw barefooted women gracefully taking tiny steps, while the men, dancing in an outer circle, executed more energetic moves.
A highlight of the festival was the participation of young children, who had reached the age of taking their first steps. Their adorable performances drew ‘awws’ from every corner,
as photographers rushed to capture the cuteness in their frames.
The surroundings of traditional palace bustled with people from across the state of Hima Khyrim, who congregated to be a part of this annual festival, while the periphery transformed into a bustling marketplace where locals offered delicacies, fast food, handicrafts, and the omissible Kwai.
As the vibrant and colourful dance concluded, the sky took on the colours, turning orange and pink, not an unusual scene here.