TURA, Nov 10: The sounds of 100 drums reverberated at Asanang – the venue of the biggest cultural festival of the Garos in Meghalaya on Friday and the joy of merriment was high in the air.
Asanang is on the outskirt of Tura town in West Garo Hills.
Amidst the colour of green, blue, red and yellow, the assembly of 100 drummers and dancers mesmerized the visitors, who were bowled with the richness of the Garo culture.
A perfect magical moment for the visitors, who were all glued to their camera taking pictures of the festivities as the drums accompanied by cymbals, gong and trumpet created an aura of a musical symphony.
The cultural diversity on display gave an opportunity for locals as well as foreign visitors an opportunity to engage and peep into the traditional practice of the Garos.
Opposition chief whip James K. Sangma attended the celebration as the chief guest, which was also witnessed by Assam MLA Numal Momin and BJP National Spokesperson Nalin Kohli, amongst others.
Addressing the gathering James Sangma lauded the effort, hard work and dedication of the organizing committee for successfully organizing the festival for the last 40 years despite facing various constraints and challenges on their way.
He reiterated that the committee has contributed immensely for showcasing this wonderful fusion of tradition, culture and history of the Garo culture to world over and is trying to attract tourist in different ways keeping in mind the traditional background of the society.
Stating that people without the knowledge of past history and culture is like a tree without its roots, James said, “It is important for our community to preserve the culture and traditional practices of our forefathers”.
He also said that it was imperative to safeguard ones identity and passed it on to the younger generations so that they can uphold and maintain it for the generations to come.
Foreign tourist who attended the festival had word of praise for the organisers for organising the event in its ethnic style. They also said that they would recommend their friends to visit Garo hills and explore the unique cultural bonhomie of the Garo tribe.
“I am interested in different culture and I found everyone here to be warm and welcoming. This is a real diverse India”, said Janet a tourist from Canada.
Most of the tourists were of the opinion that the festival should be promoted as they had little information about Wangala. “It is unique festival which you don’t see in other parts of India. It is good that people still hold on to their root and is making effort to showcase it to the world. I happy that younger generation are also learning the cultural practices”, said a tourist from Tokyo, Japan.
The tourists most of them with their shooting gadgets were enthused with the rich colour on display at the festival.
“We are recording the event and taking pictures, which we will share on social media and let the world know about the festival. It is unique and interesting. The people are simple and beautiful”, said John Homsher, a visitor from France.