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3-day Ishan Manthan showcases culture, crafts and cuisines of Northeast in Delhi

A dance performance by artists from the Northeast on the inaugural day of the three-day Ishan Manthan festival in New Delhi (Pics. Courtesy Twitter/@ignca_delhi)

The people of Delhi and NCR got a chance to experience the authentic culture, art, traditions, folk dances and music, handicrafts and traditional cuisines of Northeast India — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura — as the three-day Ishan Manthan, kicked off on Friday at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

Besides getting a glimpse of the different States of this region, the visitors will get a rare opportunity to enjoy varied cultural programmes and buy handicrafts, garments and other items directly from the artisans of these areas.

At the inaugural session there was a discussion on the indigenous faith of North East India, performance on the wedding songs of Assam and Mithilanchal and discussions on the unsung freedom fighters of the North East. The performances included Bodo community’s Bagurumba folk dance, Khamba Thoibi Jagoi dance by Delhi’s Manipur Students Association and the Sofiyum Band presenting folk songs and music.

Today there will be Mamita dance by Tripura students, songs and music by Arunachal Pradesh’s Karpung Karduk Band and Bhutia dance while on Sunday there will be Mizo bamboo dance or Cheraw, Wangla dance and music by Nagaland’s Tetseo Sisters.

The Tetseo Sisters are not only popular in India but also in other parts of the world. The sisters Mutsevelu, Azin, Kuvelu and Alune traditionally sing folk song 'Li' in the Chokri dialect.

The fest was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Culture, G. Kishan Reddy in the presence of Member Secretary of IGNCA Dr. Sachidanand Joshi, Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prof. Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit and National convener of Prajna Pravah J. Nandakumar.

Speaking on the occasion Reddy said: “The Ishan Manthan programme is a three-day festival to celebrate the rich ethnicity and colours of North East India and it will help in fulfilling the resolve of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. The North Eastern Region inhabits about 400 communities who speak more than 200 languages. The simplicity and humility of the people from the northeast provides them a unique identity.”

The timings of the festival are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Also read: 10-day cultural and culinary bonanza starts at Delhi's historic Red Fort