BANGALORE: To enhance the growing bond between Manipur, hailed as the jewel of India, and Karnataka, Manipur Government will be organising a two-day festival, ‘Manipur Kumhei’ in the state - first of its kind in any part of the country.
V Ramakantha, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest of Manipur Government, who is also a represnetative in Karnataka for Manipur, informed ‘Express’ that the two-day festival which would begin on February 4 this year, in Bangalore, would present the rich cultural heritage of Manipur.
He said ‘Manipur Kumhei’ was being arranged to bring two states closer and rewrite the age-old bond existing between two states. For Manipuris, who wish to pursue their higher education and career, Karnataka is the preferred destination.
Over 10,000 students from Manipur are studying in various institutions in Bangalore alone. Information and technology, Management, Health Services and Financial services are their preferred areas, he said. Outlining the event he said that a group of 40 renowned members hand-picked from eight hilly districts of Manipur would present the rich cultural heritage of the north-eastern state including Ras Lila, the epitome of Manipuri classical dance which was interwoven through the celestial and eternal love between Radha and Krishna as had been described in Hindu scripture and the Gopikas’ devotion to the Lord.
He said that another attraction would be the presentation of the Khamba Thobi Dance, a duet of male and female partners, a dance of dedication to the sylvan deity.
Pung Cholom, is the soul of Manipuri Sankirtana music and classical Manipuri dance. The event also features ancient martial arts of Manipur known as Thang ta, he said. Replying to questions, Ramakantha said that the idea behind taking the event to Karnataka was to secure a cultural identity to the people of Manipur beyond their boundaries.
“The people of Manipur have evolved a culturally advanced society” he said.
“The festival will help to present an insight into vibrancy and a distinct cultural identity of Manipur to the people of other parts of the country” he added.
To provide local fragrance to the festival, Karnataka artists would perform Dollu Kunitha and Yakshagaana. Two Manipuri movies - ‘Phijigee Mani’ and ‘Maami Sami’ will also be screened. The inaugural event would be held at Jnanajyothi Auditorium of Bangalore University. The concluding session will be held at Glass House in Raj Bhavan. There are plans to take the festival to Mysore, Dharwad and Mangalore in the coming years.