The Khiamniungan tribe of Nagaland celebrated the Tsokum festival on October 5th with great zeal and enthusiasm in Kohima at The Heritage, Kisama. The celebration was organized by the Khiamniungan Union Kohima and the day also marked the 34th general session of the union.
Extending Tsokum greetings to all the Khiamniungans, Governor P.B Acharya, in a message addressed the community and also reminded them to appreciate the farmers for their hard work as they are the providers. He also said that it is our responsibility to let the welfare schemes of the Central and state governments made known to the farmers so that they can avail the services for their benefit.
Also extending Tsokum greetings to all the Khiamniungan, Road and Bridges minister Dr. Neikiesalie Kire said that festivals bring people of different communities together. He also asked the community to invite other tribes to their festival so that better relations can be built and unity can be maintained among the different communities of the Naga tribes. He advised the youth not to forget their roots and also asked them to learn the ‘joy of giving’.
Traditionally in villages, Tsokum festival is celebrated in the first part of October to invoke blessing for a rich harvest. During the festival, each and every family offer prayer and make sacrifices by killing domesticated animals to God for the fertility of crops, bountiful harvest, to bless the livestock and grant good health to human beings as well. The harvested food grains from the new Jhum field is brought and tasted only after the celebration of Tsokum. Further, the activities of collecting new materials for building houses and granaries begin after the festival. Also on this day, womenfolk from each family prepare and brew rice beer.
Also delivering the significance of the Tsokum festival, Joint Director of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. C. Thanghoi, said that the Khiamniungans celebrated Tsokum to invoke blessing for a rich harvest. He said that the festival has immense impact and meaning on the socio-religious life of the Khiamniungans.
Dr. Thanghoi also said that Tsokum is actually an eight days celebration in which different rites and rituals are performed. He said that Tsokum marks the beginning of harvest before which no one was allowed to reap and take the newly harvest rice/food as it was believed that unfavorable events and famine befalls upon the village or the community.
Others who spoke at the event included David, president, Eastern Nagaland People’s Union and Advisor to CM, S. Shingnyu. Songs and cultural performances followed after this followed by a grand luncheon.
By: Vilika Awomi | Source: NortheastIndia.com