In an effort to preserve the beauty of Lai Haraoba, one of the ritual festivals of Manipur that reflect the true identity of the Meitei community, a 15-day workshop on ‘Lai Haraoba Sintak Sindambagi Thouram’ was launched in Imphal on Wednesday.
The workshop is being organised by Manipur Pandit Loisang at its premises in the Palace Compound, from August 17 to 31.
"Lai Haraoba is considered to be the one of the age-old ritual festivals of Manipur reflects the identity of the Meitei community. Therefore, there is a need for preservation and protection of the shrine of Umang Lai (Sylvan Deity)," Manipur Pandit Loisang secretary Ng Ranjit Meitei said, speaking at the occasion.
Meitei expressed concern that norms and forms of Lai Haraoba have been changing each year. The workshop is being organised to preserve this culture and tradition from such deterioration, he said.
“It is unfortunate to see that the style of Lai Haraoba festival is being changed from its previous forms. The beauty of Lai Haraoba would be completely lost if immediate interventions are not made in time. Losing the culture of Umang Lai Haraoba is more or less similar to losing the identity of Manipuris,” he stressed.
He said that the preservation of Umang Lai would also help in preserving the environment and ecology of the state. Therefore, there is a need to take up concerted efforts from various walks of life to preserve and promote the Umang Lai, he added.
The programme was also attended by director of Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, P Bilash and many Maiba and Maibi (Shaman and Shamaness of the Meitei community).