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Maw Korkatia: This dying, ancient game of the Khasis is ‘arguably’ 2000 years old

BY IBANKYNTIEW MAWRIE 

Shillong, May 10, 2018: 

“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future” ~~ Elie Wiesel

If culture was born out of a memory, as American writer Elie Wiesel has clearly observed, then it is safe to say that our identities and cultural practices are but a reflection of that memory which has been passed on to us since time immemorial.

Similarly, the traditions and cultural practices of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya is the result of a few well-preserved memories, some of which have been stacked in the pages of history as myths and legends while others have evolved to become a part and parcel of the lives of the people till date.

Meghalaya: Shillongites extend helping hand to Kerala flood victims without govt aid

 

By SHWETA RAJ KANWAR | August 21, 2018

Late July witnessed severe flooding in the state of Kerala due to unusually high rainfall. Kerala’s worst floods in nearly a century has left more than 350 people dead within a fortnight, while more than 82,400 people have been rescued, mainly from Chengannur, Pandanad, Aranmula, Aluva, Chalakkudi, Kuttanad and with all 14 districts of the state placed on high alert.

While the government from most states of Northeast India have announced funds for assistance to Kerala flood victims, Meghalaya is yet to make any announcement due to reported fund crunch.

However civil societies and organizations in Meghalaya are working in their own individual capacities to help their fellow brethren in Kerala.

MOX – Movement of Expression in Shillong are hosting a Friendship Jam this Saturday at Mellow Mood Cafe in Shillong. This will be an evening full of music and the proceedings from the event will go directly to the Chief Ministers Fund in Kerala.

Speaking to TNT- The Northeast Today, founder of MOX – Movement of Expression, Mrinal Paul informed that the people can donate any amount of money at the event and the proceedings will be directly transferred to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund while adding, “The people need not be apprehensive about the fact that their contributions may not reach the source. We will ensure that it does”.

Movement Of Expression abbreviated as MOX was founded by Mrinal Paul, an alumnus of St. Anthony’s College, Shillong, Meghalaya with an aim to connect, create and converge various talented youth and provide them a platform to showcase and highlight their talents.

Another organization called Spread the Love-Shillong is doing its part in helping Kerala in flood relief operations.

Speaking to TNT in this regard, founder of Spread the Love -Shillong Dr. Mansankara Jyrwa informed, “Since it will not be very practical to send material itemds from Shillong to Kerala, we are looking mainly at collection of funds to help them with their necessities. Right now we are collecting only accepting donations in the form of money from Shillong and we are channelising it through the Bethel Ag Church in Bangalore. And if need arises, I myself with the team of doctors will go down to Kerala and help the victims there from the medical point of view”.

Spread the Love -Shillong was started a year ago in Shillong and comprises of a group of doctors, teachers and social workers. They have conducted various dental health camps in and around Shillong as part of their initiative.

He also informed that a Press Conference will be held tomorrow to apprise people of the situation and to seek aid from them. the venue and time is yet to be known and will be updated soon.

The members of Sree Narayana Guru Cultural Centre (SNGCC), Shillong have also requested anybody from Meghalaya, who is affected by the floods in Kerala to contact the following numbers for any assistance. 9436101241, 9436103472, 8129868499 (KN Babu, Chalakkudi), 9490753656 (Mohan Kumar, Vishakapatnam). This is aimed at ensuring that people from Meghalaya get a helping hand.

Eflu Shillong also organized a fund raising campaign for Kerala floods and the amount collected has already been sent to the destination.

It may be cautioned that a fake bank account attempting to collect funds in the name of Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund has been busted recently. The fraudulent account with number 20025290179, claiming to be the bank based from Trivandrum has been shared widely on social media.

It may be recalled that Manipur has donated a sum of Rs 2 crores as relief funds to the flooded-affected state of Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh has announced Rs 3 crore as immediate assistance, Tripura Government has decided to donate Rs 1 crore financial assistance, Nagaland has announced Rs. 1 crore flood relief and Assam government donated Rs 3 crore financial assistance for the relief activities in flood-ravaged state of Kerala.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended Rs. 700 crore as financial assistance to rebuild the flood-ravaged state.

Our source at ground have also informed us that the relief operations in Kerala are in full swing and the water is gradually receding. However, there is great need of funds for buying clothes, sanitary napkins, medicines, clean water facilities

The safest and preferred method of aid right now would be to deposit any amount directly to the Kerala  Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The donations are exempted from income tax as well as Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.

Contribution can be made directly by going to donation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in. Once the transaction is successful, you will get a payment success notification on the display as well as on your email address. This includes a certificate from the principal secretary (finance) as well as a 100 per cent tax exemption certificate.

In case you plan to send to mail a cheque/DD, you can address it to

The Principal Secretary (Finance) Treasurer,
Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund,
Secretariat,
Thiruvananthapuram – 695001

If you choose to donate online, account details are as follows:

Account number: 67319948232
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: City branch, Thiruvananthapuram
IFS Code: SBIN0070028
PAN: AAAGD0584M
Name of Donee: CMDRF

Those wishing to donate can also use the digital wallet PayTM to contribute to the fund. An icon on the home screen will guide you to the payments page. Additionally, users can use the link m.p-y.tm/Kerala-CMDRF. No additional charges are applicable. A QR code is also available for those who wish to use

(NOTE– Do you know know of anybody who is willing to donate or are accumulating funds for Kerala flood relief? Get in touch with us so we can help you spread the word)


You can get in touch with us at shweta@thenortheasttoday.com and web@thenortheasttoday.com

Meghalaya: Tale of a mystery boat abandoned millions of years ago at Sohra Rim

By Ibankyntiew Mawrie

SHILLONG: Myths and legends passed on from generations form an integral part in the Khasi society, beliefs are what keep it going, however, the truth remains a mystery with no evidence to support such claims.

Astonishing as it may sound, but be rest assured, these tales and legends certainly leaves one wanting for more.

One such legend that is doing the round is the tale of an aged old boat abandoned at Law Lieng (sacred grove) in Sohra Rim. It is believed that this boat was left abandoned in this place millions of years ago when the Sohra was underwater.

Though, what is left of the boat is but only a boat-like shaped sculpted in the earth which the villagers believe to be Noah’s Ark.
As strange as it sounds, but the villagers’ beliefs repels any scientific or geographic explanation other than what had been passed on from their ancestors.

According to the Sordar of Sohra Rim Living Wahlang, he said according to legends, there were actually two boats in the beginning, one inside the sacred grove (the signs of which are still visible) while the other (now disappeared and remained but a tale of a lost boat), was drifted away, the wreckages of which, was found outside the sacred forest, which is not very far from the first boat.

“The boat inside the forest which was abandoned millions of years ago is now but a muddy pit in the shape of a huge boat, but what’s interesting about this particular pit is that, nothing grows inside this pit and even water does not accumulate inside the pit, no matter how heavy the rain is,” Wahlang said.

The pit is surrounded on its sides by age-old trees; with its roots acting like boundaries while branches with colourful leaves cover the pit like one tinted roof.

“The mystery of the lost boat outside the forest remains hidden as our ancestors believe that natural calamities coupled with geographical changes had caused the boat to be buried inside the earth,” he stated.

Furthermore, Wahlang stated that the sacred forest located at Sohra Rim got its name from this boat and till date; this forest has been called ‘Law Lieng’ or ‘Boat forest’. He said that previously, rites and rituals used to be conducted inside this forest but with time, people shifted their place of worship from this forest to a nearby valley, now fenced and cemented, an altar where faithful of the Seng Khasi from this village gathers every once a year to offer their obeisance.

The Sordar said their ancestors believed that this boat could be Noah’s Ark. However, there are other explanations which say that the boat belonged to early settlers of the then hilly areas. “It was said that most of the places like Sohra and the villages beyond it including the areas located in West Khasi Hills including Mawsynram, lies underwater (Bay of Bengal) millions of years ago, which explains the fertility of the land and the discovery of aquatic fossils,” veteran journalist and elder of Seng Khasi Sumar Sing Sawain said.
While a detail study and research to ascertain the existence of the boat is yet to be conducted, Wahlang said that it seems this place has attracted many scholars and students of universities and colleges including tourists.

A little about Sohra Rim—This village derives its name from the early settler, whose name was Sohra, an elderly woman who settled in this place for many years but later moved to Sohra. This village housed as many as 100 households, majority of whom are still linked to their ancestral faith, Ka Niam Khasi.

(The writer can be reached at mawrie.iban@gmail.com and iban@thenortheasttoday.com)

All you need to know about Meghalaya’s 1st Chief Minister, Williamson A. Sangma

TNT News | October 25, 2018

The state of Meghalaya, particularly the Garo Hills region today remembered the first CM of the state, Capt Williamson Sangma, through various programs organized in many places across the region on the occasion of his 28 death anniversary. The former CM was remembered through grand functions held in his honour across Garo Hills.

Here are facts you need to know about the first ever Chief Minister of Meghalaya

**Williamson Ampang Sangma, a Garo leader, was the founding Chief Minister of Meghalaya, twenty-first state in Indian Union on 21 January 1972. He was also the first ever Governor of Mizoram among the Garos in 1989

** He along with Salseng C. Marak are the only Meghalaya Chief Minister’s to complete full term of five years in office. He always represented Baghmara assembly constituency, even after merging his political outfit in Congress(I) party

** With prior military service, he entered political field in 1952, and subsequently was elected as the Chief executive member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council(GHADC)

** He being the first Chief executive member of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council(GHADC), called a conference of the people of the autonomous hill districts of then-Assam at Tura on 6–8 October 1954, to consider the demand of a hill state

** In 1957, Sangma was elected to Assam Legislative Assembly. When the Assamese language bill was passed in spite of opposition from tribal people later, he resigned from the cabinet to fight for the cause of separate statehood. W.A. Sangma resigned his cabinet post from the government in protest against the official Assamese language policy adopted by the Assam government

** In Meghalaya legislative assembly elections held in March 1972, after the new state was established, regional parties secured majority, while Congress secured nine seats out of total 60 seats in assembly. W.A. Sangma of APHLC sworn in as its first Chief Minister with majority

** With realisation of Meghalaya as a state, it ultimately united the areas of the Khasi, Jainta, and the Garo Hills under the leadership of Williamson Sangma. He also made sure the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE), which he considered to be of prime importance, was in Garo Hills

After his death in 1999, succeeding Government of Meghalaya honoured him by naming several of public properties, including educational institutes on his name.

Meghalaya: From ‘Lady Deadpool’ to dancing Flintstones, Shillong has it all!

 

By SHWETA RAJ KANWAR | August 18, 2018

Meghalaya witnessed the second edition of Shangri-La Cosplay Festival 2018 today in Shillong at All Saints Hall.

Know more about the event here– Meghalaya to witness 2nd edition of Shangri-La Cosplay Festival 2018

Here are pictures from the event. A detailed report will soon follow as the event is still on till the filing of this report. Detailed report soon to follow

 


 

 

 

 

 

Leading by example, IAS officer Arunkumar Kembhavi comes up with solution to beat Shillong traffic

By Ibankyntiew Mawrie

Shillong, May 31, 2018: 

First stops – West Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills; Next stop – Shillong!

While some orate their way to popularity, few others by exhibiting their talents, lesser known individuals tread the steps of recognition, and manage to find appreciation in the hearts of the people by doing what they do best – Being Humble.

Leading by example, this IAS officer from Karnataka has earned quite a name for himself in Meghalaya and is widely known in the districts where he had served as — The ‘People’s Deputy Commissioner’.

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