International Shumang Leela Festival 2022, which is being held as a part of the ongoing Sangai Festival, was inaugurated on Tuesday at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen, Palace Compound Imphal East. As many as 15 Shumang Leela will be showcased.
Attending the function as chief guest, Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba said that Manipur is known for its rich culture and tradition and conducting Sangai Festival is one of the biggest platforms to expose it to both domestic and foreign tourists.
The MP also said that the thrust areas for the state to bring development are art and culture, game and sports and tourism and added that the state government will continue to put efforts in promoting these sectors.
Sanajaoba said that Shumang Leela, a traditional art form of the state, plays a crucial role in shaping the society in the right direction and even helps to glorify Manipur at the international level.
"To preserve and promote this art form gifted by our forefathers is the responsibility of the future generation," he advised.
Life Time Secretary of Manipur State Shumang Leela Council, Sougrakpam Hemanta said that Shumang Leela, despite being a traditional art form, was not given much importance at one point of time. However, in due course of time, the state government has started showing interest in this art form, he said.
“Getting an opportunity to conduct Shumang Leela festival during one of the extravagant events of Manipur, the Sangai Festival shows how the government is giving importance to Shumang Leela,” he added.
While appealing for specific policy for preservation and promotion of Shumang Leela, Sougrakpam Hemanta urged for opening of a full-fledged course for Shumang Leela at Manipur University of Culture.
The International Shumang Leela Festival 2022 will continue till November 29.
During the function, vice-chancellor of Manipur University of Culture, Prof P Gunindro; chairman of Manipur State Cooperative Union, L Tompishak Singh and president of Manipur State Shumang Leela Council, M Purnimashi Leima attended as president and guests of honour respectively.