Digboi: Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu would grace the 40th edition of Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi, a socio-ethno-cultural extravaganza of the Singpho Community of India at Namgo model village in Namsai district.
The much awaited and everyone’s delight, Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi also known as dance festival of the Singphos is slated to commence from February 12 to February 15.
“I, being the chief patron of the festival celebration, inspected the festival ground along with the members of Festival Celebration Committee at Namgo Village on Monday to oversee the preparations,” Deputy CM of the State Chown Mein said taking to his social media handle after inspecting the status of preparation for the community festival.
Mein who has also been the chief patron of the grand event further added, “I am delighted to inform that Chief Minister Pema Khandu has kindly consented to be the chief guest and will grace the occasion along with a host of ministers and other dignitaries.”
According to Mein who has been a strong force of unity among the Tai-Khamti and Singphos of India, the 40th edition of the festival would be celebrated in a grand manner and its preparations are ensured on a war footings.
The Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi festival is a 40-year-old national festival of the Kachins, a term for Singphos residing in Myanmar.
In India it was first celebrated at Miao in Arunachal’s Changlang district in 1985 under the leadership of advocate late Pisi Jawlai and Duwa Bisa Latnong.
It is popularly believed that Shapawang Yawang is the forefather of the Singphos while the word poi denotes ‘festivals’ and Manau means ‘dance’. Thus, the Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi stands for Dance festival in honour of Shapawng Yawng which has now been a calander event celebrated annually.
Importantly, the community people irrespective of gender, clan, class, age and status all participate in the dance with great enthusiasm and devotions.
The delegates from various parts of the world are also accorded with warm and traditional hospitality who adorn and enrich various sessions involving the community interests. The government of Arunachal Pradesh in recognition to the essence and importance of the traditional festival has included the day in local holiday calendar.
Meanwhile, the festival which is said to have a great socio-cultural significance for the people of the Singphos community is also considered as ‘a potent force of unity ‘among the community people.
The festival generally kicks off with the unfurling of Singpho Flag marked by ceremonial 21 gunshots which is followed by Gikhin Gunmding Manau, a dance of unity around the traditional Manau Shadung, a permanent dance pillars. Therafter, various dances including the Padeng Manau the war winning dance, Shut Manau the celebration dance, Kumran Manau, the farewell dance etc are performed in sequences.