Mon, Feb 20, 2017 | updated 02:30 AM IST

Jorhat's annual culture fest Ethnique 2017 ends

Updated: Jan 09, 2017 15:32 IST

Jorhat, (Assam), [India], Jan. 9 (ANI): A unique concept of cultural tourism presented at a large level by school drop-outs and unemployed youth, organised by the Institution for Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), concluded on January 8.

This is Jorhat's own annual tourism festival.

The festival, christened as "Ethnique" is a simultaneous spread of dance, music, rituals, folktale narrations and street theatre dramas, presented at 13 venues. The focus was on the "Mising" tribe of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Ethnique 2017 included lively presentations of dance, songs, etc, by the Angami tribe of Nagaland. This year, more than 170 aspiring artists, mostly school drop-outs, participated in the festival.

The festival featured innovative presentations, welcoming visitors with the catchy tunes of "Oi Nitom" ("Mising" folksongs). The campus, with the aesthetically erected stage, dream lights, delicious ethnic food and the marvelously illuminated vegetation, was a perfect ushering in of the New Year.

The whole array of "Mising" cultural dance, like Salloya, Mibu Sonam, Lereli, Éjug Sonam, Gumrag, was combined with rituals and celebrations like Ali aye Ligang, Midang (Marriage), Dobur and Mibu Dagnam.

Pagbum Dance (float dance) was a special attraction in the campus. There was a traditional fashion show choreographed by Puspalata Mili, the media manager of I-CARD. Those walking along the internal road could not stop themselves from having a glimpse of the fashion show.

"It is a very nice experience. We are learning so many things about different cultures. The visitors seem to like the performances by the tribes but it's new to them as our tradition is very different," Medo Sengyo, an artist from Kohima, said.

Dance troupe from Kohima and Nagaland performed throughout the day at the end of the three-day program to support the Ethnique festival 2017.

There were more than 3000 visitors (last year 2000 approx) during this three day festival.

The festival's main motto is commemorating the living heritage of "Mising" traditions, to bring them to the public arena and to preserve them. It talks about the transformation and image building of these tribal communities in order to maintain peace in the region.

" Ethnique" gives a platform to unemployed but talented village youth so that they can live by this art, and to build their capacities, says the director of I-CARD, Fr. K. A. Thomas.

"I think the main Mantra was that now there is more understanding between the staffs, students and participants. In the beginning when we started it was altogether a new concept and nobody knew what it was all about. I was the only one who initiated the creators, the designers and everything else. Our students and staffs have put in their hard work. The local people from Bagchung area have come forward to support and help. We are also trying to integrate the general Assamese culture with the other tribal cultures," he added. (ANI)

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