Upholding North-East’s cultural affinity with heartland?
33rd Heraka Conference?
The 33 Conference of Zeliangrong Heraka Association North-East was held on January 3 to 5 at Kepeujung village near Peren town, 80 km from Dimapur. A total of 800 delegates including 200 from Assam and 100 from Manipur attended the conference wherein 400 women delegates joined the function. The function started with hoisting of Zeliangrong Heraka Flag by the Chief Guest – Shri Som Kamei, Director, North East Zone Culture Council (NEZCC), Dimapur in presence of Shri Ramkuiji, President of Heraka Association (AMN) and Pautanjanji, General Secretary. This followed the Rehoi – the shouting in traditional manner. Dr Krishna Gopalji, RSS incharge of North-East zone, Shri Atul Jog incharge Kalyan Ashram N-E zone, Shri Pakaj Sinha incharge Vidya Bharati N-E zone and Jagadamba Mall were also present in the function. While delivering welcome address President of Nagaland unit of Heraka Association, Dr Wilubo said that Zeliangrong Heraka Association has been tirelessly working for preservation of indigenous faith and culture of Zeliangrong Nagas living in all the three adjoining states. “We try to live upto the ideals propounded by Rani Maa and Haipou Jadonang” said Dr. Wilubo and informed that a film on Rani Maa has been made to popularise her contribution in achieving the freedom of this country from British yoke and in preservation, protection and promotion of eternal religion and eternal culture of Zeliangrong Nagas. Dr Wilubo also recalled that the present Chief Minister of Nagaland Shri Neiphiu also applauded Zeliangrong Heraka Association for its unparallel contribution in preserving and promoting the cultural identity of Nagas which was fast eroding due to westernisation. Shri Ramkuiji said “Rani Ma gave the slogan – Loss of religion is loss of culture and loss of culture is loss of identity,” and added, we are trying to live upto this ideal. While living upto ideals preached by Rani Ma and Haipou Jadonang, Zeliangrong Heraka Community is today blessed with doctors, engineers and high ranking officials which was lacking few years before, he emphasised. He further said that Zeliangrong Heraka religion is the eternal religion of Zeliangrong Nagas which has become full grown in every respect and is most refined and scientific religion which everybody should follow. He pointed out that there is a holiday on the occasion of Chaga festival in Assam and in Manipur on the occasion of Ngan-Gaai but it is not there in Nagaland. He opined that there should be holiday on Chaga-Gaadi day to facilitate Zeliangrong people to celebrate this festival of devotion to Lord Tingwang.
Shri Som Kamei who was the Chief Guest of the conference appreciated Heraka Association for its yeoman service to the Naga society in the field of promotion of genuine cultural identity of Nagas. He exhorted that ladies should not remain confined to kitchen and they should also shoulder the responsibility of building stronger Naga society. Every member of society should help each other and nobody should be left alone. RSS incharge of North-East Dr Krishna Gopalji who hails from UP said, “Culture has two aspects – (i) The external manifestations in the from of folk songs, folk dances, rites and rituals, festivals, etc (ii) The other invisible part is ethos and ethics, the behavioural aspect, the philosophy of life and spirituality. Both are an integral part. Without the one, the other is incomplete. Both should be taken care of equally to preserve complete culture.”
Shri Ihirie Ndang, SP Peren was Guest of Honour and he said that discipline in the life of any society is very important. We are still lagging behind in the education and so special emphasis should be given for quality education which will take our society forward, he emphasised Smt Nambange, Shri Atum, Shri Pantanjan, Shri Jagadamba Mall and Shri Atul Jog also spoke on the occasion. The function was marked by dance and flute competitions. A colorful procession was taken in Peren town in the evening of January 5, led by Heraka leaders. The organisers expressed their gratitude to those organisations and individuals who had extended their help both in cash and kind for the success of the conference.