Guwahati (Agency): Performers from two communities caught in Manipur’s ethnic conflict for more than seven months now are scheduled to share the stage in New Delhi from December 22 to 24.
The Kuki and Meitei people in Manipur have been psychologically and geographically divided since May 3. While almost all Kuki people left the Meitei-dominated Imphal Valley, the Meiteis vacated the hills soon after the conflict started.
There has been hardly any occasion for members of the two communities to come together over the past few months. The 11th edition of the North East Festival in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is expected to make a difference.
“Apart from showcasing a diverse line-up of individual artists and bands specialising in genres ranging from traditional music to pop, rock, and jazz, the festival will feature 300 folk artists representing different communities in the northeast. They include the Kuki and Meitei people,” the festival’s chief organiser, Shyamkanu Mahanta, said.
“Our primary focus has been to forge marketing connections for products from the northeastern States. We will host tourism, textile, and food processing B2B meets with the support of the departments concerned,” he said, hoping that these meetings would facilitate meaningful interactions with buyers.
“We have extended invitations to well-known northeast entrepreneurs from various sectors to showcase their products. Additionally, cultural performances, games, display of our authentic food and more will enhance the festive atmosphere. With this edition, we anticipate an even greater footfall, marking another milestone in our journey,” he added.
The North East Festival has since 2013 been the annual celebration of culture, cuisine, and couture of the eight northeastern States, apart from being a platform to promote business and tourism in the region.
Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to inaugurate the event on December 22. Other dignitaries invited to the festival include G. Kishan Reddy, the Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Development of the North Eastern Region; Anurag Thakur, Minister for Information and Broadcasting; Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways; and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. (Courtesy: The Hindu)