TURA, Jan 12: Revelry in Garo Hills continued even two weeks into the New Year with the town of Nongalbibra in South Garo Hills (SGH) holding a Song Kristan competition on Thursday.
The competition saw the local MLA of Rongara-Siju, Rophul S Marak act as the chief guest and was held under the aegis of the Nongalbibra Song Kristan Dance Competition Committee.
The competition, which is already in its 8 year and is one of the more eagerly awaited one, saw a total of 9 teams vie for the Rs 50,000 cash prize as well as trophy. The event was witnessed by over 3,000 people who gathered to celebrate through song and dance and was won by the Nongalbibra Colony.
The tradition is unique to the Garo community with Christians offering their prayers through the mode of song and dance, along with the playing of cymbals, drums and flutes. Performing Song Kristan is also a team celebration.
“Our celebration of the Christmas season ends with this competition. We want to ensure the traditions of our forefathers continue with such unique acts and thus the competition,” said president of the committee, Bijesh G Momin.
A six member panel of judges looked through the teams that took part in the competition. Teams from all across Garo Hills took part in the completion.
The judging took place across six parameters which included singing, dancing, discipline, combination, entertainment and music.
“We are looking for harmony of movement, chorus, unique moves as well as the overall level of coordination within teams upon which they are being judged,” said general secretary, Lapton Ch Sangma.
Local MLA, Rophul felt the potential for promotion of Song Kristan in Garo Hills was immense and need to be fully exploited.
“This unique tradition has the potential to attract tourists to Garo Hills and needs to be promoted on a larger scale. Song Kristan has endured through centuries in Garo Hills and will continue to be a part of our lives each year,” said Rophul.