Shad Suk Mynsiem: A festival of dance and cultivation in Meghalaya

Hundreds of Khasi people celebrated ‘Shad Suk Mynsiem’ across Meghalaya marking the harvest season. The dance was performed at the Lympung Weiking in Shillong on April 10.

Shad Suk Mynsiem is a significant festival of the Khasi tribes, celebrated in the month of April every year.  Called the festival of blissful soul, the festival witnesses women used as metaphor of seeds and men as the cultivators.

The festival started around 2 pm on Monday with the amazing sounds of drums and traditional trumpet tangmuri. People of all age groups took part in the festival – as performers and audience. The performers were beautifully dressed in their traditional Khasi attire with gorgeous ornaments.

In the big playground, the women danced within a circle surrounded by men from four sides. The irony of Shad Suk Mynsiem, also known as Weiking dance, is that the women dancers carry a white handkerchief which symbolizes that they are virgin and unmarried. There is no such restriction for men. The male performers surrounding the women dancers symbolize the males as the protector.

The festival is celebrated for three days every year. The Garo and Khasi people celebrate the festival whole heartedly which mainly shows the joy of cultivation.

The Khasi women appear very elegant with colourful silk dresses. As hundreds of onlookers attended the dance festival on April 10, this traditional dance is performed every year to preserve the indigenous culture.

Image Credits: Seng Khasi.

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