Kohima ,8 August : The Yimchunger Union, Kohima celebrated Metemneo festival on 8th August 2008 at the official residence of Torechu, Parliamentary Secretary, CAWD, with Minister for Roads & Bridges G. Kaito Aye as the chief guest.
Metemneo festival is usually celebrated after the harvest of millet so that the first and fresh harvest of the crops is eaten during this festival. The festival is connected with the prayer for the soul of the departed ones. It is a sentimental ceremony for the dear ones who left for their heavenly abode this year.
Addressing the gathering, Minister for Roads & Bridges, Kaito Aye said that the Yimchunger community is peculiar in character comprising of people speaking six different dialects. He said that this unique feature should be an example to all Nagas for co-existence which signifies the uniqueness of our living. He appealed to all to preserve the strong cultures that have been practiced by their forefathers which marks the identity of the community in this westernized world. He said culture is the passport of the community and added that inviting people from other tribes to the celebration displays the goodwill of the community to develop better relationships. He also said that through the festival the trophy of ‘forgive and forget of all past mistakes’ is preserved. He lamented that in today’s context, contrary to mass proclamation of ‘Nagaland for Christ’ Nagas are digging our own graves and called upon the Yimchunger tribe to initiate peace amongst Nagas.
Delivering the Metemneo greetings, T. Torechu said that it is the biggest festival of the Yimchungrü community and it is a festival of friendship making, purification, prayers for good health, life and also for the departed souls. He said that sharing of cups of rice beer signifies forgiveness and conveys the message of the same to be practiced in future.
Parliamentary Secretary for Information & Public Relations and Economics & Statistics R. Tohanba said that Metemneo is one of the greatest festivals among the five festivals of the Yimchungrüs and is a time of engagements. He said that it is also the time to share the field for the following year’s Jhum cultivation, and is also observed for the longevity of children. He said that most importantly, it is a time of forgiving each other and added that it is a time for reconciliation of the past differences.
President of Yimchunger Union Kohima Kekongchim delivered Metemneo greetings on behalf of YUK. Invocation prayer was pronounced by Y. Hopong, while welcome song was presented by YSUK. Metemneo significance was displayed by Richang & company from Pungro town. Folk song was presented by Yimchunger Culture Club, Kohima. Benediction was pronounced by Yinsola, Women leader, YBCK.