The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the event titled Songs & Dances of Northeast organised by North-Eastern Council (NEC) and Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) on April 11 at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
Almost fifteen thousand people including a large number of young people from the eight North eastern States packed the giant stadium cheering the most popular bands of Northeast. A grand performance of songs and dance by 130 artistes from the eight northeastern states – Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim - and their unique dances, choirs and foot-tapping music from their bands was the feature of the day-long festival held here for the first time to acquaint and connect people with the vibrant cultural diversity of this region.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said, “The states of North East are an important part of the country. Despite their small population, they have made immense contribution to the nation. The people of the region took active part in the freedom struggle. Many of their political personalities have enriched national life. Song, dance and music are part of the everyday life of the people of the region, who are known for their hospitality and courtesy. The region has rare flora and fauna, natural scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. The festival showcasing the rich, cultural ethnicity and diversity of North East India will help bridge the gap between the people of the North-Eastern States and the rest of India.”
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mukul Sangma and other Governors and Chief Ministers of the eight North-Eastern States were present on the occasion. This event will be held by rotation in different parts of the country in collaboration with one of the eight States of the region.
Leading bands like — Imphal Talkies(Aizawl) , PhuNingDing, Minute of Decay, SilmanMarak, Mizoram Folk Artist, Girish and the Chronicles, MonirajHazarika, Shillong Chamber Choir (Meghalaya) , Testeo Sisters (Nagaland) and the acclaimed Indian Idol’ winner Amit Paul were the main attraction of the event.
Hundreds of visitors queued up to become a North Easterner for a day by slipping into their traditional dresses and sharing the North Easterner side of themselves. There was no end to savoring the ethnic food from the all eight North Eastern Regions prepared by the chefs who were specially flown down from different corners of North East. The interest in knowing about the tourist destination was so encouraging that the tourist officers were carried away by the unprecedented response. The festival concluded by a special number created for the occasion by the Shillong Chamber Choir.