The Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL) is compelled to issue this statement against the portrayal of Tangkhul saba as vulgarity during Lai Haraoba, it is a great disrespect to the culture of the Tangkhul community.
TNWL said, “We respect the belief systems of every community and any civilized society is expected to be tolerant. However, the recently concluded Lai Haraoba, portraying the ritual Tangkhul Nurabi/Loutaba is distasteful. It presents the Tangkhul community in a very poor light. Such vulgarity in entertainment and art form is condemnable.”
Tangkhul community has a rich and beautiful culture with highly developed customary norms, laws, and practices as indigenous peoples. Tangkhul saba is an important part of Meitei Lai Haraoba. However, some people have portrayed the beautiful community in an ugly and vulgar manner which hurt the sentiments of the Tangkhul community.
Moreover, our textile is not just a piece of cloth. It carries stories and has meanings, significance, contexts, and usages. Wearing our traditional attire and performing the most disrespectful and vulgar act removed from such meanings and significance is unacceptable and is an insult to our identity and history.
The statement added, “It is important to be mindful of the nuances of culture, knowledge system, and value system of other communities, when presented in any form, or rituals, lest we are compelled to take legal recourse.”
The saga of Nongpok Ningthou and Panthoibi is very sacred to both Meitei and Tangkhul people since ages. We must preserve the cultural ethos of our relationships for the future generations. We know that Meitei Lai Haraoba is incomplete without the rituals Tangkhul saba.
Let us make pride in our culture and traditions, rather than becoming a mockery in front of other communities.