Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has called upon the people to take full advantage of festivals by making relationships and intermingling for peaceful coexistence that would pave way for overall development in a congenial atmosphere.
Attending the 'Mega Reh festival' - a novel concept of the Mishmis to celebrate Reh under one umbrella - at Teluliang near Tezu in Lohit district on Friday, Tuki said such festivals are great occasions to know each other, mingle and develop a relationship of mutual understanding and respect.
"Festivals are not only a bridge between us and our tradition but also an occasion to rebuild a society of mutual understanding and trust," he said.
Praising the Mishmis - inhabiting Lohit, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Anjaw and the upper reaches of Upper Siang - for sticking to their roots and preserving their rich and colourful traditions, Tuki expressed concern over alienation of youths of some tribes from their cultural roots.
"Most of our youngsters do not even speak their mother tongue. This is not good for our future. It's our - the elders' - duty to pass on our rich cultural heritage to our youths. Let our festivals be a gateway to our culture not only for the outside world but our youngsters too," he said.
The chief minister reiterated that the government would always encourage celebration of indigenous festivals of all tribes and to begin with, funds have been placed for celebration of main festivals of all the major tribes of the state.
Tuki also assured to give Rs 1.5 crore for construction of a Mishmi cultural centre in Teluliang. The cultural centre would used for celebration of festivals of the Idu-Mishmis, Miju-Mishmis and Digaru-Mishmis.
Also present in the celebrations were Members of Parliamnet Mukut Mithi and Takam Sanjoy, along with Ninong Ering, Minister of State for Minority Affairs. (ANI)