From a Correspondent
Haflong, Dec 6: People belonging to Hmar community of Dima Hasao celebrated one of their prime festivals ‘Sikpui Roui’ with great enthusiasm in their respective villages on Tuesday. The day-long programme was started with the hoisting of ‘Sikpui Roui’ flag by the chief guest and was attended by number of dignitaries, guests of honour, and special guests. Many differ in the significance of the festival, as the harvest festival, winter festival, abundance of harvest and also festival of peace and unity. In early days, the ancestors of Hmar community used to celebrate the festival for a month but nowadays in Dima Hasao, December 5 is fixed for the celebration.
Sikpui Ruoi is not celebrated every year. In fact, it is celebrated only in the year of abundant harvest. Such a year is said to be a year of ‘fapang ralinsan’, when the grary is still left with the previous year’s yield at the arrival of the new harvest. Young men and women take out this previous year’s yield and winnow the grain two or three months ahead of Sikpui Ruoi. They then distribute the rice to every household in the village for brewing. This locally brewed drink is called rice beer or zu. On the day of the Sikpui Ruoi, every family in the village will bring its own share of zu, drink and eat with others. Thus, the me Sikpui Ruoi. The term ‘Sikpui Ruoi’ can also literally mean ‘winter feast’, sikpui meaning winter and ruoi meaning feast.
At Muolhoi, in Haflong, the festival was organized by the Sikpui Roui organizing committee, Moulhoi where people of the entire village were involved. Speakers attending the festival detailed the importance of celebrating the festival Sikpui Roui, aiming to reserve tradition and culture of the society. This was followed by solo song competition, body building and traditiol dance competition which was participated by a good number of participants of all age groups. In the evening, a spectacular cultural function was organized.