Updated 22 Apr 2022, 5:50 pm
In a heart-warming gesture, Governor La Ganesan requested for one more folk song after performances by tribal artistes during the release of ‘Documentation of Folk songs of Tarao and Kom tribes’ on Friday.
The governor was the chief guest of the release function held at Kalyan Ashram Manipur Office Complex, Mahabali Mamang.
As part of the function, a performance by traditional drummers of Tarao was followed by the mellow Tangkhul folk song performed by two young women.
After the folk song performance, the master of ceremony called upon the governor to give his address. However, the Governor requested for one more folk song.
The enthusiasm of the governor caught many unprepared and the chief of Heikakpokpi village, Ch Lamtachao, who is now the lone surviving member of the tribe that knows how to play, make traditional instruments and sing folk songs, offered to sing bits of three Tarao folk songs.
Speaking on the occasion, Ganesan said that folk songs are the most challenging part of folklore. He said that documentation of folk songs will throw light on new aspects of research and help the community in preserving their identity and culture.
He emphasised that steps must be taken to encourage research and explore the antiquity of folk songs and civilisation.
Further noting that modern songs that never die are mostly based out of folk music, he lauded the initiative of Kalyan Ashram in documenting and preserving the folk songs for posterity.
He pointed out that there are 34 recognised tribes in Manipur and expressed desire for bigger tribes to take responsibility in safeguarding and ensuring growth of smaller tribes.
Meanwhile, president of Tarao Tribe Union M Benjuan recounted that UNESCO in 2009 declared Tarao language as endangered.
He further expressed concern that the Tarao tribe may become entirely extinct in the near future if the youths remained indifferent to their culture and tradition.
He said that Tarao is now left with only one elder who knows the folk songs and knows how to make and play traditional instruments. He drew attention of the government to extend financial assistance to organise workshops and training programmes to pass on the knowledge to the present generation.
Retired Lt General Konsam Himalay; president of Kalyan Ashram Manipur, Ng Tej Kumar among others were also present during the occasion.
First published:22 Apr 2022, 5:50 pm
manipur governortaraofolk songsla ganesan