Shillong: Three hundred and fifty odd local archers turned up for the Apphira archery competition in Shillong to mark the first the Anglo-Khasi war in 1829. Also called as the ‘Khasi Rebellion’ by the British colonial regime, Apphira as an institution which took the mantle to commemorate the valour of the Khasi army under U Tirot Sing Syiem.
Armed with traditional bows and arrows, the archers descended on Polo ground not for the sheer monetary benefits but to enliven the historic tradition attached to the day.
“I have come not for merrymaking or for the lust of money, but to ingrain our generation about the chivalry, customs and traditions associated with our race,” stated 76-year-old archer Bah Jhon from Mawbeh.
Still shooting to reach around 30 metres, an old gentleman sees glimpses of hope that there are still people who will commemorate such historical event through the versatility of the bow and the arrow.
Another archer, however, bemoans that these traditional sporting activities finds no interest among the younger lot. “Today is a historic day for us, but my grandchildren know nothing about this. Probably they are shooting jets and aircraft in their computer monitor”, joked another septuagenarian from Shillong.
Today is the 30th edition of the Apphira archery competition and those who are in the know about this event simply wish that this should not disappear from the periphery of urban minds.
Also read: Meghalaya news