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Zeliangrong Romances With Tradition By ‘Drumming’ Up Young Adults

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IMPHAL, Jan 12: In a throwback to the tradition of yore, the Zeliangrong community of Manipur has performed the rites of passage called Kong’“Poumei (drum dedication ceremony) as a precursor to accepting young residents of dormitory as adults in the society.

The ceremony of drum dedication which has been solemnized today is performed to honor two Khangbons (chiefs of Khangchu) S Khangmeidun and Ph Gaikompu and an equal number of senior girls of Luchu (girls’ dormitory) Sanarei and Aton. The event took place in Majorkhul, one of the influential Zeliangrong township in the heart of Imphal. Khong‘“Poumei is a ceremony to dedicate the acquisition of new drum in Khangchu (traditional boys and girls club), said Prof Meijinlung Kamson nostalgically, a former Member of Parliament and former Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in the sideline of the fete.

The new drum is dedicated with a colorful display of song and dance performed in honor of two male members of Kangchu (boys’ dormitory) and two girls of Luchu (girls’ dormitory) which is believed to enhance the magical quality of the drum and the users of that drum, he said. Prof Meijinlung Kamson further articulated the exceptionality of the occasion saying, ‘Khong’“ Poumei ceremony is usually a rare occasion, because it is not necessary that every drum should be dedicated with such rite.’ While Majorkhul Khangchu performed the last Khong’“Poumei ceremony half a century ago in 1959, other Zeliangrong villages located in Imphal have not celebrated the rare event for the last 60 to 70 years, he said.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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