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[By Tv. Zacharia Varte, for Inpui.com]

The Sikpui Ruoi (Sikpui Festival), one of the most awaited festivals Click this picture to for more photosof the Hmar tribe was celebrated with much fanfare here in Delhi on December 5. Organized by the Delhi Hmar Welfare Association (DHWA) the event held at SR Auditorium was  attended by a large section of the Hmars, besides a hosts of dignitaries.

(Earlier report in Hmar)

The Sikpui festival has been an integral part of the Hmar (a clan of Mizo) tribe since a very long time. Scholars are still divided on the origin of the Sikpui Kut, but whatever the origin is, it is a festival when all big or small, rich or poor, young or old come together to celebrate the bountiful harvest.

For the first time in the history of the Delhi Hmar Sikpui Ruoi, a theme was given to this one: The Hundredth Years of Gospel among the Hmars. The Delhi Hmar Sikpui Ruoi 2009 may be divided into two phases: Sikpui Sports and the main festival Sikpui Ruoi/Kut.

Sikpui Sports: Sikpui Sports 2009 was organized by the Delhi Hmar Welfare Association in collaboration with Hmar Students’ Association, Jt. Hqtrs. New Delhi, at Central Secretariat Ground on the 28th of November 2009. With most of the populace of the Hmar community participating, the event was big hit with everyone. Unlike the previous years, where groups items were given more emphasis, this year there were only individual items which included high jump, long jump, musical chair, zawngmeikei, arm wrestling to name a few. In short it was entertaining for everyone: the old, the young, the sturdy and even the frail (read tambola).

Apart from the games and sports, there were various stalls put up by the DHWA and HSA. For those who preferred to be “outstanding” players these stalls had everything from singzu to bawngsa chartang to boiled eggs.

The event came to an end at around 6 pm in the evening, leaving people wanting for more and eagerly waiting for the big day: Sikpui Ruoi.

Sikpui Day: 5th December 2009, an unusual warm winter day in Delhi, perhaps nature’s way of acknowledging the Hmar’s Sikpui. It’s the big day and everyone is simply excited. The programme was segregated into four sessions. The first session for Sikpui Sports-prize distribution and songs, the second for election of new office bearers for DHWA and a musical interlude. The third session was the main formal event and the last but the best session was for musical extravaganza.

The first three sessions were hosted by Zacharia Varte and Chingbawi Buhril. As mentioned, there was prize distribution, singing, election and even more singing. The third segment saw the arrival of the Sikpui Pa (the father/ master of the occasion) Rev. Hrilrokhum Thiek along with Chief Guest Shri. Thangso Baite and Guest of Honour Mr. Herbert Lalsanglur. Rev. Hrilrokhum Thiek, a man of distinguished accomplishment is the Chief Translator of the Hmar Bible (Bible Society of India). Shri. Thangso Baite is a Member of Parliament in the present Lok Sabha from Outer Manipur constituency and Mr. Herbert Lalsanglur is serving as the Director in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The arrival of the dignitaries was followed by the coronation of Tonlairang to the Sikpui Pa by Pi Thanghlunkim after which the Sikpui Pa gave a thought provoking speech. The Sikpui Hla (song) and Lam (dance) was led by Mr. Lalchungsiem Thlawngate where everyone danced to the tune of the Sikpui Song which was then followed by the garlanding of the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour. Mr. L.Keivom, a retired Indian Foreign Service officer and one of the most respected men among the Mizos gave a welcome speech, the Chief Guest was then called for a speech.

After an inspiring speech from the Chief Guest, a play ‘The Hmar Civilization-A Musical’ was presented by the ATM Group. The play received tremendous applause from the audience; some people even called it the main attraction of the day. This was followed by the release of a video album Haire Hai III by Mr. Darsiemlien Ruolngul, Chairman, DHWA. The album features singer Lalsanglien Joute and various other renown artistes.

The Guest of Honour gave a short speech which was followed by the Fahrel Tawk Lam (Bamboo Dance) presented by the Cultural Troupe of HSA, Jt. Hqtrs Delhi. Pi Dinpui Gangte, the wife of late Mr. Kaisang Gangte, IRS, presented the Kaisang memorial Trophy, which shall henceforth be a rolling trophy to be given to the highest mark scorer in class XII board examination. Mementos were then given to the Sikpui Pa, Chief Guest and Guest of Honour.

The Delhi Hmar Welfare Association, as a part of the Sikpui Festival, gives away Awards and Appreciation Certificates to outstanding personalities. This year, keeping in view of the theme, the Men of the Century Award was given away to four individuals among other customary awards. The awardees are as follows:


Achievement Award

1.Dr. Lal Dena: In recognition of his distinguish academic achievements, research works, historical writings and publications

2.Lalmalsawm Selate In recognition of his unswerving and painstaking devotion and adherence to the public good in the field of journalism

3. David Buhril In recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of journalism and his selfless dedication to the cause of human rights and the welfare of his people.

4.Lalchungsiem Thlawngate: In recognition of his outstanding innovative contributions in launching SinlengNews, the first mobile news service in the north east India, and the first mobile phone Bible in Hmar making information accessible to all mobile users at the touch of a button

Men of Century Award

1. Pastor Thangngur: Awarded posthumously to Rev, Thangngur for his indelible contributions to the birth of Hmar hymns and his endearing impact on the evolution of music, literature and language and the spiritual growth of his people.

2.Dr. Thanglung: Awarded Posthumously to Dr.Thanglung for pioneering translation of the Holy Bible in Hmar and for laying the foundation of primary education in Hmar through textbooks authored and published by him.

3.Jamchong Nampui: Awarded posthumously for his path breaking achievement in being the first IAS from the Scheduled Tribes in all India competitive exams and for his visionary role in the official recognition of his tribe in the north-east States of India.

4.Dr. Rochunga Pudaite: In recognition of his global mission to distribute Bible to all telephone owners of the globe through Bibles for the World which he founded and his many distinguished contributions to the welfare of his people.

Appreciation Certificate

Pu H.L.Daka In appreciation of his many-sided pioneering roles in laying the foundation of his people.

Pu S. Damkung In appreciation of his distinguished contribution to the growth and preservation of Hmar traditional dance and songs.

Pu Vicky Vanchoilal Hrangkhawl In appreciation of his dedication and generous

philanthropic contributions to the promotion of games and sports and the welfare of the community.

Pu Benjamin Khawbung In appreciation of his dedication and generous philanthropic contributions to the promotion of games and sports and the welfare of the community.

After the Awards were given to these exceptional individuals, the election results were announced and the newly elected leaders took their oath conducted by Pastor Lallienmawi Buhril.

In the last segment of the third session, the outgoing Chairman of DHWA gave a speech highlighting the activities and achievements of the DHWA under his leadership as a Chairman during the last 10 years. Thereafter Pastor Lalditsak was called for the dedication of the Sikpui Feast. The Sikpui Ruoi was thus feasted.

The fourth session started immediately after the Sikpui Feast with Haulienkung and Ramtanmawi hosting the session. The Chief Guest for the musical session was Mr. Darzakhum Songate, Additional Commissioner, Income Tax and Chairman of Mumbai Hmar Welfare Association. After garlanding of the Chief Guest and a speech from him, the musical session was given an energetic start by artists Lalsanglien Joute and Roslyn Lalumpui. Other artists like Vanlalmuon Joute, Lalremkim Buongpui, John Varte, Michael Joute, Zaithankung, Thanlalmuon, Joseph Pakhuongte, Lalngailien Joute, Borkunglal Hrangkhol and his band were also a great hit with the audience. With prize distribution and a comedy musical show by William and Erwin in between everyone had a splendid time.

As they say, every good things comes to an end; it was time to close the Sikpui Festival. With great hopes for the coming year the closing prayer was finally said by Mr. Lalsiesang Joute at half past ten. People bid adieu to each other hoping that the coming year should bring yet another bountiful harvest so that the Sikpui Festival may be celebrated soon again.

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