My first Kut experience in the United States

Published on January 18, 2008

By Shanti Thokchom

January 18, 2008: I was invited by Nehginpao Kipgen to join the Kut festival here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 22nd 2007 for the first time. I always used to hear about it back home where it was held in 1st Manipur Rifles ground, Manipur, India. I never ever knew what it was all about.

I am very thankful to Papao for the effort he took to invite me and my friends. I had a good time meeting and socializing with friends whom I came in contact during the festival. It was hilarious to see and watch the kids trying to speak the Kuki language, which they have kind of not used that much. I must say it is a good platform for getting people together and get to meet and exchange thoughts and ideas.

I am very thankful to Papao for the effort he took to invite me and my friends. I had a good time meeting and socializing with friends whom I came in contact during the festival. It was hilarious to see and watch the kids trying to speak the Kuki language, which they have kind of not used that much. I must say it is a good platform for getting people together and get to meet and exchange thoughts and ideas.

My young friends Ahoi, Hesi, Gautam and Chandan all came there to meet us all. We were very glad that they had the KUT dinner with all the KUTTERS…young and alike. Another one of our brethren gave us a Sushi treat at the place where he worked.

My friend Ahoi blabbered non-stop to her hubby back home on her cell phone that she felt like a queen…what with meeting so many people and getting to talk to them and also a SUSHI treat from another Kuki friend Khaigin at the Japanese restaurant.

I could hear her animated voice while she described it in detail to her hubby….about what she ate, who the servers were…. 2 Kuki gals and the Sushi master being… Khaigin…..and all that jazz. I could see their happiness writ large on their smiling faces. They all went home happy and satisfied. It was a wonderful time of friendship and bonding.

This festival could do much better if some other forms of entertainment could be organized, not only sports but some short dos… which should both appeal to the young and alike. We don’t want to hear any more political stuffs but day-to-day stuffs which we can all relate to and engross ourselves in lively debates or just banter.

The world is too much full of fighting and all depressing news all the time. It is just a thought. It might not go well with all. My observation of this festival is that we could all come together no matter what, of course, that needs an honest, upright and hardworking leader who can unite people.

For the next KUT, I intend to invite more non-Kuki friends from Houston and elsewhere because I would like them to know that we are a community of hospitable people. And that they are welcome to join the KUT festival irrespective of their differences.

More power to upcoming leader like Nehginpao Kipgen! We feel so blessed to have been at this year’s KUT.