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Finally, Monolith Festival begins

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By Our Reporter

Local artists perform at Mawphlang.

SHILLONG, March 7: Marred by persistent delays earlier, the highly anticipated cultural extravaganza, the Monolith Festival finally got off to a scintillating start at the picturesque Khasi Heritage village in Mawphlang on Thursday.
The festival is showcasing the rich culture and heritage of Khasi community insofar as the cuisine, customs, attires besides local administration are concerned.
Since its inception in 2013, the last edition of the Monolith Festival was held in 2016. The KHADC now seems committed to make this event an annual affair.
The festival, a vibrant extravaganza spanning three days from March 7 to 9, is set to commemorate 54 Chieftainships, promising an enchanting immersion into the rich tapestry of Khasi culture, featuring an array of art, craft, cuisine, music, and dance.
On Thursday, people from all walks of life as well as the domestic and international tourists thronged the venue at Mawphlang, also famous for its sacred groves located opposite the Khasi Heritage Village.
Speaking to media persons after inaugurating the festival, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong asked the KHADC to ensure that the festival is held annually. The minister assured all support to the Council.
“As a government, we are working together with all three Autonomous District Councils, and we feel that it is through their existence and hard work that the richness of our culture and tradition will continue to thrive. I urge the KHADC to continue holding this festival every year, as there are many who want to learn the ways of our people, to document and show as an example to the country and the world,” Tynsong said
The festival had around 80 stalls selling local products including cuisine.
KHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) Pyniaid Sing Syiem said that the Council, through the festival, wants to showcase the local customary practices of governance and administration.
“This festival is an opportunity to showcase our rich culture and tradition. We feel the need to have a platform to showcase the rich and unique Khasi culture, and this festival will display our traditional system of governance, clan system, rites, and rituals to the rest of the world. Khasi culture, as we know, has been thriving for approximately two hundred years with the arrival of the missionaries to our state,” Syiem said, while assuring to work towards strengthening the Khasi Social Customs Lineage Act, 1997.
During the inaugural function, local dances like Shad Thma and Shad Sajer besides performances from local bands were enthralled the crowd.
The festival will also showcase the soulful music of the Khasi community, featuring traditional instruments and melodies by artists such as Lamphang Syiemlieh, Desmond Sun and Band, Pynter Orchestra, Kyntiewlin Mawphniang, Ri Maram Folk Akademi, Ki Sur Ksing na Lyngam, Dalariti, Summersalt, and more.

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