TURA, Nov 11: The second day of the current Wangala festival, which also saw the inauguration of the festival itself, saw the presence of the Governor of the state, V. Shanmuganathan on Friday adding to the glitz of the festival which is celebrating its 39th year of inception in the village of Asananggre, near Tura in West Garo Hills.
The presence of Governor of the state after a gap of quite a few years came in the presence of more than 3000 people gathered at the venue to continue the celebrations of the post harvest festival held each year around the same time.
Governor V. Shanmuganathan who is also is the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh graced the inaugural function as chief guest during the 39th Annual Hundred Drums Wangala Festival at Asananggre, West Garo Hills, near Tura in the presence of distinguished dignitaries, district officials, committee members and others.
Wangala is the most significant post harvest festival of the Garos generally held in the second week of November every year. It is a Thanksgiving ceremony to Misi Saljong also known as Pattigipa Rarongipa (The Great Giver) for having blessed the people with rich harvest of the season.
In his inaugural address, the Governor stated that India is a land of festivals starting from the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu comprising of vibrant, colorful and multi- cultural festivals and Wangala festival is one among these festivals. Since the festival culminates with thanksgiving to the Giver for the bountiful harvest, the very fact shows that the Garo people are agrarian in nature, he observed.
The Governor appealed to the people of the area especially those belonging to the agrarian sector including the members of GHADC and government officials to plan and work together to make the agricultural sector more attractive where more people can earn their living independently.
Moreover, the Governor also lauded the unique and wonderful community life of the Garos in which they help each other both in times of family crisis and also during happy occasions like marriages when the whole clan helps in kind and cash.
Earlier in the programme, Tug of War and Garo indigenous musical instrument like Chigring, Adil and such competitions were organized as part of the Wangala festival.
The inaugural ceremony is traditionally followed by a Rugala Ceremony which is performed by the village head who is known as the Nokma.