Mukul wants people to uphold cultural heritage

Rugala ceremony marks second day of festival on Friday

Shillong, Nov 11: Leader of Opposition and Trinamool Congress MLA Mukul Sangma (in picture) has urged the people of Garo Hills to uphold their cultural heritage while taking part in Wangala festival on the second day of celebration in Chibragre, North Tura, West Garo Hills.


Wangala, the annual thanksgiving festival is to appease the sun god Misi Saljong for the good harvest of the season.

On the concluding day of the three-day festival on Saturday, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma will be the chief guest.

Mukul, who was the chief guest for the Friday’s function, said, “We can showcase our heritage to the whole world by preserving our traditional culture. Our culture is our pride, it is our way of life. Therefore, let the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garos work together to preserve our festivals and traditional rituals, and showcase our livelihood and culture to the world.”

Rugala ceremony marked the second day of the 46th Hundred Drums Wangala Festival held at permanent site of A’chik Heritage Village at Wangala A’dam, Chibragre.

A day ahead of the Wangala, the ritual called Rugala is performed by the Nokma and in this ritual, the offering of the first hand special rice-beer along with cooked rice and the vegetables are given to Misi Saljong, the Great Giver.

Other than the rugala ceremony, the day  witnessed the Ajia Doroa and Folk Song Competition organised with an aim to promote the traditional music and musical instruments of Garo tribe.

Expressing his gratitude to the Hundred Drums Wangala Festival Committee for being able to witness the festival at the present permanent site, Mukul acknowledged the committee members for choosing the wonderful site for the greater interest of the people of the region in order to cater to the ever increasing Wangala festival. He mentioned that the event has significant role in preserving the rich culture and traditions of our forefathers as well as to showcase the identity to others.

He said the festival was held for many years at Asanang, but due to various constraints, the venue was changed to a better place.

He also thanked the concerned Nokma and the clan members for generously donating the land for the noble cause.

Recalling and acknowledging the immense contributions of the founding members of the committee, he said that inspite of various challenges faced, they have taken the festival to this present state and added that in his capacity as Chief Minister in the previous government, he had also increased the amount sanctioned for the festival.

“Moreover, while we preserve, protect and promote our culture and traditions, the rights and privileges enshrined in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution and powers and functions of the traditional court of the Nokmas are being neglected and therefore, this customary practices also should be practiced and safeguarded or else we will be deprived of our rights and privileges in future”, he said.

Chairperson, Meghalaya State Commission for Climate Change and Sustainable Development Ferlin C A Sangma gracing the occasion as guest of honour, Chairman, Hundred Drums Wangala Festival Committee, Ronald Rikman Sangma were among others who spoke during the festival.

MLA, Rangsakona Assembly Constituency, Zenith M Sangma, MLA Salmanpara Assembly Constituency, Winnerson Sangma, MDC, Sadiarani Sangma, President Nokma Council, Skylance G Momin, other dignitaries, district officials, members of the Wangala Committee and tourists from the country and abroad  were among others who attended the festival.

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