ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday said that the foremost priority of his government is protection, preservation and promotion of the state's indigenous culture by ensuring that activities in this sphere cover all tribes and regions.
Speaking at the valedictory function of the eighth triennial international conference and by International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS) at Assam's Dibrugarh district, Khandu said cultural traditions and value systems passed down by ancestors are very important because these shape lives of every generation giving the community its identity.
"The rich legacy of our traditions and cultures are passed down to us by our families, our communities and our societies. Our elders are indeed the living encyclopedias of our knowledge systems. I commend the elders of Arunachal, our forefathers for keeping our cultures and traditions alive, and inculcating those values in our youngsters," he said.
The Chief Minister expressed confidence that the conference on the theme of reviving traditions, ecological knowledge and collaborative governance would be a great success.
He said that the knowledge sharing, research and study works, and the papers submitted on the theme would give a new dimension to preserving the rich culture and traditions of diverse communities of the world and chalk out a way of reviving lost traditions.
"I am sure, the manifesto declared today will develop mutual respect and mutual understanding amongst each other and create a harmonious society," he remarked.
Informing that Arunachal Pradesh is home to one of the most diverse cultures in the world; Khandu said the state government has allocated funds for construction of tribal cultural centers in all the districts besides constructing three gurukuls for Galo and Nyishi tribes, two gurukuls for Adi and Tangsa tribes.
"The functional gurukul - Nyubu Nyvgam Yerko - in East Kameng district has captured popular imagination. We are providing financial assistance to all districts for celebration of local festivals, indigenous faith day and indigenous youth festivals. To ensure large-scale public involvement in the celebrations of local festivals, as per the needs and aspirations of all districts, we have placed these funds at the disposal of the respective deputy commissioners," he said.
He said that the state government firmly believes in involvement of local communities and people in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage and is providing corpus funds to community based organizations (CBOs) for strengthening culture and traditions.
Every year, the government sponsors the education of 20 students for undergoing studies at the Indian National Fellowship Centre at Pune, he revealed.
"We have also undertaken documentation of the tangible and intangible of indigenous people including Tangsa, Nocte, Wancho, story of Tai Bida Legend, arts and crafts of Tai Khamti and Sango Tani, as well as research and documentation of Shamanic Institution of the Idu-Mishmis," he revealed.
"We have completed documentation of the cultural heritage of Adi, Nyishi, Wancho, Nocte and Tangsa tribes, and are now covering 14 tribes," the chief minister added. He appreciated the efforts of ICCS in finding commonalities and bringing all the cultures together and invited it to organize its next conference in Arunachal Pradesh.
State Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein also attended the event.