ANI Photo | Assam: 50th Karbi Youth Festival begins with a splash of cultural colours

The much-awaited golden jubilee celebration of the Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) organised by Karbi Cultural Society (KCS) began at the Karbi People’s Hall, Taralangso in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Saturday.
The 672-acre cultural complex at Taralangso is about 7 km from Diphu, the headquarters of Karbi Anglong district.
assam 50th karbi youth festival begins with a splash of cultural colours 1 – The News Mill
The Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) is the oldest and biggest ethnic festival of Northeast India, celebrated primarily by the dominant Karbis and other ethnic communities inhabiting the areas administered by the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC).
assam 50th karbi youth festival begins with a splash of cultural colours 2 – The News Mill
To mark 50 years of KYF, the organisers extended the annual festival from the usual five days to eight. The vibrant culture and heritage of the Karbi community is being showcased from January 12 to 19, the arrival and registration of participants from various parts of the country taking up the first day.
The first KYF was celebrated in 1974 at Karbi Club in Diphu’s Rongnihang through the initiative of Roy Enghi, Janasing Terang, Lunse Timung, Lawrence Teron, and others. It has been celebrated annually since, various challenges notwithstanding.
One of the main attractions of the festival will be the visit of the President of India, Droupadi Murmu on January 17.
The inaugural programme on January 13 started with ‘Rongketong’, a cultural procession from Karbi Club, where the first KYF was held. More than 3,000 troupes from 35 KCS zones within and beyond Karbi Anglong participated in the procession.
Members of Karbi Club and villagers of Rongnihang led the procession followed by Karbi Cultural Society (KCS) president, Chandrasing Kro and secretary, Bidyasing Rongpi, its former members, the Chief Executive Member of KAAC, Tuliram Ronghang, Karbi king, Longsing Ronghang, and Autonomous District MP, Horensing Bey.
The lead cultural troupes held the Jambili Athon – Karbi totem pole – with the beating of Karbi traditional drums and playing of flute. The youths danced to the rhythm of the drums as the cultural procession reach Taralangso for the formal inaugural of the festival.
At Taralangso, Kro unfurled the KCS flag. The KCS anthem song was sung by the KCS central choir.
“We need to acknowledge the contribution of Roy Enghi and Lunse Timung, who later became the founding general secretary and president of KCS, Janasing Terang the founding president of Karbi Club, and its member Lawrence Teron for reviving the Karbi culture, language, dress and traditions by organising the KYF to bring together the Karbi youths,” Kro said.
“Because of them, the KYF has now reached its 50th year,” he added, asserting that the KCS will continue to work for the development and promotion of Karbi culture, language, and tradition.
He urged the Karbi tribe to come together burying political differences for the interest of the community.
“I thank both Roy Enghi and Lunse Timung for their leading role in organising the first KYF and initiating the revival of Karbi culture and traditions. Taralangso has changed a lot. It has now become acultural centre for the Karbis. If we strive together we can achieve what we are demanding for – Autonomous State under Article 244(A) of the Indian constitution.,” Ronghang said, declaring the golden jubilee celebration of KYF open.
Cultures of Resistance Award in collaboration with the USA-based NGO, Cultures of Resistance was presented by KCS to Lunse Timung and Roy Enghi and renowned Karbi female singer Pokhila Lekthepi. Enghi and Timung were awarded with a memento and cheque of Rs. 20,000 each while Lekthepi received a memento and a cheque of Rs. 25,000.
The inaugural programme also witnessed with the attendance of Deputy Ambassador of Myanmar, Tin Tin Htwe Win and husband Soe Moe Naing; Deputy Ambassador of Lao PDR, Keo Sengdavong and wife Khampheng Luanglath; First Secretary, High Commission of Malawi, Joseph Austen Kawinga; First Secretary, High Commission of Ghana, Konrad Nana Kojo Asiedu, and Executive Secretary to the High Commissioner of Ghana, Jaee Bhatnagar

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