Manipur University of Culture (MUC) vice chancellor Paonam Gunindro on Sunday called for all concerned to timely intervene in the apparent alterations that have been made in the outlook of ‘the Umang Lai Haraoba’ festival even if there are no visible changes in its ritual aspects.
He was speaking as the chief guest during a one-day discourse on Lai Haraoba organised by Eenat Yokkhat Lup at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul.
The vice chancellor further emphasised that the true elements of Lai Haraoba need to be preserved if Manipuri culture is to be promoted. “Preservation of Lai Haraoba is synonymous with preservation of our culture,” he asserted.
He maintained that Lai Haraoba as the backbone of Manipuri culture has been practised since time immemorial. Other aspects of Manipuri culture and lifestyle are being manifested in Lai Haraoba, he added.
The MUC vice chancellor further exhorted the public to deliberate why and how Lai Haraoba sustained despite the influence of foreign culture.
Two technical sessions were held as part of the discourse. In the first session moderated by scholar Vidhayapati Senjam, professor Kangjiya Mangang presented paper on the topic ‘Origin of Umang Lai Haraoba’s Philosophy and Present Society’ while professor N Sanatomba of Manipuri Department, Manipur University presented a paper on ‘Origin of Umang Lai Haraoba, present & future’ and assistant professor of Umang Lai department of Manipur University of Culture Manju Elangbam delivered talk on ‘Umang Lai Haraoba in the view of Performing Arts’.
Meanwhile, chairman of Southern Tangkhul Union Shomi Angkang presented paper on ‘Relation between Umang Lai Haraoba and Tangkhul Community’, President of Manipur Kabui Union K Heera Kabui presented paper on ‘Relation between Umang Lai Haraoba and Kabui Community’ and Ngariyanbam Khomba of Maru Loisang talked on ‘Benefits of Umang Lai Haraoba to the society’ during the second session moderated by Samjetsabam Kondumba.
After detailed deliberations by scholars and attendees of the discourse, it was resolved for indigenous communities of the land to work together for promotion of their culture and traditional attire.
The discourse further adopted the resolution that Tangkhul and Kabui communities will be responsible for ‘Tangkhul Saba’ and Kabui dance in Lai Haraoba in the future to avoid any form of indecency.
Besides, it was also resolved to organise such discourse to raise awareness on the culture and tradition of Manipur.