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With mud-soaked feet, dancers make merry at Madan Weiking

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Three-day Shad Suk Mynsiem concludes

SHILLONG, April 15: Shillong witnessed the culmination of the three-day agrarian festival, Shad Suk Mynsiem, at the Madan Weiking Ground in Jaiaw on Wednesday. The annual event, organised by the Seng Khasi Kmie, marked its 113th year, bringing together the Khasi community to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest and pray for a fruitful future.
Despite rain attempting to play spoilsport, the spirit of celebration remained undaunted as 1,636 dancers, comprising 815 boys and 821 girls, filled the ground with their joyful hearts. Adorned in traditional attire, female dancers took center stage symbolising the keepers of hearth, home, and lineage.
Encircling the female dancers, male participants, dressed in ceremonial attire, wielded swords and danced to the rhythm of traditional instruments. Their symbolic role as protectors and leaders was evident in the nuances of the Shad Suk Mynsiem rituals, with arrows in their quivers.
Despite adverse weather conditions, including heavy rain and hailstorms, the festival saw unwavering participation, with even toddlers as young as 14 months joining the dance.
While the muddy ground posed challenges, the dancers, some of who have been participating since they have been toddlers, said the joy of dancing in this annual festival makes up for it.
The festival drew large crowds, undeterred by rain, with spectators gathering under umbrellas to witness the annual spectacle.
The vice president of Seng Khasi Kmie, BS Rumnong, said that over the years, the festival has been seeing the number of participants growing over the years, and that indicates, that even though the youngsters are moving way ahead with time, they continue to stick to their roots and core values.

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