Chin-Kuki-Mizo Group Gears Up For November 1 Festive spirit of Kut begins to waft in the air

Published on October 22, 2012

Imphal, Oct 21: Kut fever has gripped the the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group. The day falls on Novermber 1. It is one of the most anticipated calendar days for the Kuki-Chin-Mizo group of Manipur and elsewhere. One of the few occasions, KUT (as it is called) symbolises happiness and health, hard work and toil, peace and brotherhood, abundance and hope.

During the fete on November 1, if cries of “Li Li Li Li…Li, Ho!” fills the air, rest assured that it is not a war cry. Join in the chorus and invoke God for the manifold providence and bountiful harvest of the year.

If last year’s Kut festival had a hicupp, thanks to the Sadar Hills district demand issue, this year’s celebration attempts to beat the several past festivals.

Talking to Newmai News Network this evening, WL Hangshing, Principal Secretary in-charge of PHED (Government of Manipur) who is also the treasurer of the State Level Kut Celebration Committee said the Governor of Manipur will be the chief guest on the morning session while the chief minister of the state will be the chief guest in the evening session.

Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing for the big day.

On this day, all roads in Manipur zeros in at the epicentre(s) for a day-long jamboree of cultural extravaganza. Diaspora and locals, wherever they may be, come together in bonhomie on this day to celebrate and rejoice in God’s bountiful providence. Given the increasing tendency of modern society to fragmentation and disintegration, Kut may be seen to be a local reincarnate of the hippie-days bohemian musical fete.

Young and old, kings and paupers, strong and weak are united in the spirit of ancestral unity. Traditionally, locally brewed beers were exchanged within a village marking an end to agricultural drudgery consequent to plentiful harvest. The day officially announces the beginning of leisure and game. Cut to modern days, the festival has been laced with festoons and fanfare with the showcasing of tradition within the modern context.

The festival is in this sense, a link between the gapping hole of tradition and modernity. For the people of Chin-Kuki-Mizo, it is a time to retrospect about the past and look forward to the future with optimistic zeal.

Diaspora of Kuki-Chin-Mizo takes time out to reunite with their roots despite the mad search for global identity. For those unable to make a connection to their forefathers’ blood-drench soil of Manipur, they still make an effort by organising Kut wherever they may be roaming.

The principal highlight of the spectacular event, understandably, is the ostentatious display of traditional attire and dance forms of Kuki-Chin-Mizo fraternal tribes.

It is a day-long carnival divided into two action-packed halves. If one were to take a historical and civilizational comparison of the separation of the day into two halves, it would appear to show the inevitable transition of the society from traditional to modern.

The first half of the day witnesses a display of customary and folk extravaganza interspersed with crooning sensation taking the audience to a dizzying heights of awe inspiration. Many VVIPs are a major fixture of the first half of the day.

The later half of the day attracts a huge fan following with Miss Kut pageantry and Rock bands lined up to enthral young crowds of discernible taste.

Interestingly, the festival is celebrated in different parts of Manipur, from the State level down to village levels. Towns like Moreh, which is located on the Indian side of the Indo-Myanmar international border, and villages like Saikul’s Gangpijang, steeped in its engagement with tradition and culture, have been attracting enormous admirers from every nook and crannies of the state.

Over the years, the state level event has unofficially become synonymous with multicultural and multi-community affairs. Participation from other communities of the state in convincing numbers has lent itself a global facet. As far as the state is concerned, it has long recognised the importance of the event and has declared November 1 a state holiday.

This post-harvest festival gives the participants reasons to dress up in their best from the wardrobe. An abiding feature in their clothes is, for boys either a scarf or a tie with traditional motif on it, and for a girl it normally is traditional wrap-arounds. And, Li, Li, Li….Ho!, say the Kutters.

Source: Newmai News Network

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