Updated 27 May 2022, 4:20 am
Manipur MLA Ram Muivah, chairman of the sub-committee on entertainment and reception of the ongoing Shirui Lily Festival 2022 said that making Ukhrul as the rock capital of India is his dream.
Muivah made the statement while inaugurating the cultural event on Thursday at Shirui play ground in the presence of cabinet minister Khashim Vashum, MLA SS Olish, Tangkhul CSOs, various Chandel Naga Women Union presidents, Chandel manager, among others.
The MLA also opened the State Level flower show. As part of the day’s main entertainment and cultural extravaganza, 14 contestants took part in a pork eating competition. Thang Ta, Gujarati dance, tug of war and various other traditional dances were also showcased. Earlier in the day, a half-marathon race was also held.
Stressing on the need to celebrate the festival only at Shirui heritage site venue, Muivah who is also the MLA of 44 Ukhrul said that the festival could be celebrated for 10 days while at least an eight-by day slot can be specifically arranged for cultural extravaganza and five-days exclusively for rock music.
Expressing his gratitude to chief minister Biren for initiating the Shirui Lily Festival in 2017, Muivah said that in a way, this festival is a legacy of the chief minister. N Biren had sanctioned over Rs 40 crore for constructing of Shirui Heritage site, Muivah said, lauding the painstaking efforts of the CM to make it the pride of the state. He also thanked the lone Naga woman MLA SS Olish for attending the occasion.
The significance of Shirui
Muivah said that there are many beautiful legends associated with Shirui. Legend has it that a Meitei king was the younger brother of a Hungpung village chief and the king called the Hungpung chief as ‘Thawaija.’ One of the great, great grandsons of the Meitei king fell in love with Shirui Philava (meaning the daughter of the Shirui king/ chief).
Shirui Lily was discovered by Scottish botanist Frank Kingdom Ward in 1946. It was popularised by him and was declared the most beautiful flower in the international flower competition held in 1948 in Jersey, USA.
Subsequently, the Manipur government came to realise the essence of Shirui Lily and declared it as state flower in the 1980s.
Ukhrul was the first tiny town of India captured by the Japanese during WW-II. A fierce battle was fought at Shangshak village between the Indian National Army and the invading Japanese, Muivah said.
Mentioning that Manipur’s Ukhrul is known for its hospitality, Ram urged the people of Ukhrul to give their best services to the visiting state guests.
In his speech, Khashim Vashum, Veterinary, Animal Husbandry and Transport Minister lauded Ibohal Waikhom, Tourism director and his team for taking all the trouble to make the festival a moment of reckoning.
Appreciating the district administration Ukhrul and police for their good work, Khashim urged police forces to ensure hassle free traffic for the visiting tourists amid the hardships borne by the forces in the interest of the state. He also appreciated MLA Olish for consenting to visit the Lily festival.
Padma Shree Guru Rewben Mashangva, Yarshim Wungsek and various local artistes enthralled the public.
MLA SS Olish of Chandel assembly constituency who was accompanied by various Chandel Naga women organisation leaders expressed her immense joy to be part of this joyous festival.
The programme was attended by president TNL David K Shimray; general manager, NHIDCL and OC BRTF as the guest of honour and special guests respectively.
The president of Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long, chairman Tangkhul Naga Ato Longphang, hairman Tangkhul Naga Zingtun Longphang, chairman Tangkhul Naga Aze Longphang, chairman Tangkhul Naga Zingsho Longphang and president Raphei Katamnao Long also attended as the special invitees.
First published:27 May 2022, 4:20 am
shirui lily festivalram muivahrock capital
UKHRUL district, Manipur