SHILLONG, March 31: Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC)â€™s CEM, PN Syiem, Saturday laid the foundation stone for the â€œKhasi Heritage Villageâ€ project at Mawphlang village, 26 kilometers from Shillong city.
The idea behind the project is to preserve the rich traditional and cultural diversity of the â€œKhasisâ€.
â€œWith the completion of the heritage village, the Council has also decided to soon launch the â€˜Monolith Festivalâ€™ which will be celebrated annually,â€ announced Syiem at the foundation laying ceremony.
For the construction of the heritage village, five acre of land has been donated by Hima Mawphlang.Â The total estimate project cost is Rs 5.90 crore of which Rs 80 lakhs have been released as first installment and in the second phase, Rs 2 crores would soon be sanctioned.
Situated right opposite the famous â€œSacred Groveâ€ of Mawphlang, Syiem said, â€œThis will adds more to this historic place and will further attracts tourists from across the worldâ€.
â€œThe heritage village will showcases right from the traditional ways of living and practices, traditional foods, attires, dances and housesâ€ the CEM informed adding all the Himas in Khasi hills have been directed to present their traditional cultural heritage and asked to construct traditional houses.
â€œOut of approximately 54 Himas, 10-15 Himas will be taken part in the first phaseâ€, he said.
Asserting â€œSixth Schedule is not only protecting the land of the people but also to preserve their rich cultural heritageâ€ he observed that the increasing urbanization is sabotaging the traditional societies.
He also apprised that the KHADC is taking initiatives in preserving other traditional places such as beautification of the oldest traditional market (Iewduh).
Local MDC and EM of KHADC Lamphrang Blah, while speaking at the occasion, said in this IT driver era, people especially the youths have been focusing more on modern lifestyles while overlooking their own culture. â€œI fear that one day, our culture will just be in name and not in realityâ€, Blah said.