Friends may change but not neighbours: Arunachal DyCM Chowna Mein

In a show of amity and communal harmony, people from bordering Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, setting aside their trivial differences over the vexed boundary matter, gleefully performed folk music and dances, enthralling the audience on November 10.

Attending the inaugural ceremony of 3rd Inter-State Cultural Exchange Festival of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in Hollongi near Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein said in his speech that friends may change but neighbours never change and emphasized maintaining cordial relations with the neighbours for peaceful co-existence.

He also narrated the age-old bonding between the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh during pre-independence and post-Independence era, and said that this legacy should be passed on to the younger generations.

“As we stride forward”, the deputy CM said, “let’s embrace the richness of diversity and build a future filled with unity and understanding.”

“The festival stands as a testament to the power of cultural exchange in creating a tapestry of unity amidst the beautiful diversity of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,” he added.

Mein said that many prominent personalities, like Bhupen Hazarika, have helped to unite the sister states of Northeast and particularly the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh through his songs and music. His songs are very much loved even today in Arunachal Pradesh.

He added that likewise, prominent literary figures of Arunachal Pradesh like late Lummer Dai and Padma Shri awardee YD Thongchi have contributed a lot in enriching the Assamese literature, and their works earned recognition and accolades from the Assam Sahitya Sabha.

Appreciating the event organizers, including the chief patron of the organizing committee and local MLA Tana Hali Tara, the deputy CM emphasized on the transformative power of cultural exchange in fostering deep understanding, appreciation, and unity between different communities.

He said that the cultural festival not only highlights the talents of artists and performers but also creates invaluable opportunities for cultural dialogue, instilling pride and unity across diverse communities.

Mein stated that such cultural events serve as a bridge to connect people from different communities and regions, strengthening relationships and transcending boundaries to embrace shared roots.

He endorsed the idea of conducting the inter-state cultural exchange festival in a bigger way in the days to come, while acknowledging its pivotal role in fostering social harmony, peace, and progress.

On the occasion, people from both states belonging to different communities, such as the Nyishi, Apatani, Mikir, Bodo, Assamese, Adivasi, Nepali, Chakma, Galo, Mising, and others, presented their traditional folk dances.

The event was also attended by Doimukh MLA Tana Hali Tara, chairman of the OBC Development Board for Gohpur sub-division, Nomal Boruah, organizing patron Yowa Bullet, organizing chairman Yowa Nunu, government officials, PRI leaders and Gaon Burahs, among others.

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