Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful places in north-east. Its name itself suggests that nature has poured all its riches in this abode of clouds. In 1972 Meghalaya has attained the statehood. The main inhabitants are the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos. They are peace-loving innocent people who have their own faith, customs and traditions, which protect and preserve the nature and teach them to live and let live with harmony with every creation of God.
Entry of Christians
Under the British rule, the fourth army of British, the missionary worked very cunningly to destroy their ancestral faith and rich heritage. The dark period started in 1840 when the first Khasi was converted to Christianity and the series started with the church plantation in 1846 among Khasis. The first church was built by missionaries in the village Nongawlia, East Khasi Hills. And thereafter the missionaries started their evangelic activities. Presently 70 per cent of the total population of Khasis and Jaintias are converted to Christianity. In early days of Christianity the newly converted Christians are taught to blame their ancestral faith, customs and traditions. They call the rites and rituals as demons? pooja and the religion as satanic religion.
Role of Seng Khasi & Seng Raij
The threat of Christianity to ancestral faith of Khasis are recognised by some of the eminent persons of the society and they formed Seng Khasi in 1889 at Mawkhar Shillong to protect and preserve their own faith and culture and reform and develop the society. In 1960, the same type of movement was started among Jaintia people in the name of Sein Raij. These organisations started their activities independently in the form of schools and traditional dances etc. in their communities. There were no common platforms to come together these two communities that have lot of similarities in them.
History of Seng Khihlang
Shri H.O. Mawrie, a pastor who completed his studies at Serampur has worked according to his inner voice to protect and preserve the ancestral faith and culture of Khasis. He left the Christianity, which was destroying their faith and culture. He worked with some of the like-minded people Shri Lakhon Shullai, Shri H. R. Kharshiing etc. and founded Seng Khihlang in 1981. It worked as a common platform to both the Khasis and Jaintias.
Lympung, the revolutionary movement
The main activity of Seng Khihlang is to conduct the Lympung a grand get-together of all Khasis and Jaintia who practice their ancestral faith and culture with the same dedication as their ancestors. The first Lympung was held in 1986 at Smit and then the process was started. People started to work for the protection of faith. Now the turnout of the people participation the Lympung has reached upto 40,000.
Last year, the first Lympung in Ri Bhoi district was held at Marngar, in which large number of people participated to witness the event. The three days celebration starts with the worm welcome of the customary stones called ?Mawbynna? which was to be brought from the place where the previous year Lympung held. The next morning the participants put Mawbynna in the ground with religious rituals and in an enthusiastic and sacred atmosphere. The day follows with the various programmes like discussions, debate, quiz etc. with the participation of youths who came as delegate from different villages of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Third day a grand get-together started from morning with flag hosting and prayer. The people from entire Khasi and Jaintia Hills came with their own expense to take oath to preserve and protect their faith and culture. The function concludes with the traditional dances and songs presented by different branches of Seng Khasi and Sein Raij organisations. (VSK)