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Sun, 19 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

Sumis in Upper Assam celebrate Tuluni

Sumis in Upper Assam celebrate Tuluni
July 08
12:47 2019

NET Bureau

Sumi people in Upper Assam, comprising of six villages under Margherita sub-division in Tinsukia district, celebrated Tuluni festival on July 5 and 6 at Tingkupathar Sumi village under the theme, ‘Our Culture is our Shield.’

Addressing the gathering on July 6, Tuluni Father, Y Kikheto Sema IAS, Commissioner & Secretary for Land Resources Department, Government of Nagaland stressed on the need for Sumi Naga people living in Upper Assam to live in peace and harmony with people of all communities especially Assamese people.
He said the area was inhabited by a large number of Sumi Nagas as early as 1883 when they served there as Political Labour Corps. Then the Sumis settled in the area in 1904 at Sodiya when they came for clearing thick jungles and forest for Digboi Oil Refinery.
In 1911 too, they participated in the Anglo-Abor war by carrying ammunition. Later, among other Naga tribes majority of which consisted of the Sumis, they helped in the construction of Stillwel Road.
According to Kikheto, since many of those Sumis came to the area in the prime of their youth, they married and settled in the area. He said the British gifted massive area of land to the Sumis as requested by them in recognition of their help to the British. This is how the Sumis established several villages in Upper Assam, he added.
He lauded the Youth Departments of Churches of the six Sumi villages for organizing the programme and preserving the culture, tradition and language. He also acknowledged the parents and elders for teaching the youngsters about the culture.
Stating that their forefathers braved all situations and sustained, Kikheto urged them to take pride in it and emulate their forefathers in a positive manner.
He said it was understandable that the Sumi culture and language in the area had taken a diminutive image for sometime owing to inter-marriage.

Nevertheless, he lauded them for putting in best efforts to revive and preserve it. He encouraged them to preserve the way of life and language of the forefathers but added it does not mean dishonouring and hating other cultures.
Kikheto also highlighted on the significance of Tuluni festival. A host of GBs, elders, students and social leaders accompanied him.
Western Sumi Kukami Hoho, Vice President, Mughavi Awomi, Akukau (GB) and All Sumi Students’ Union President, Atokiho Assumi also exhorted the gathering and urged them to maintain their identity by preserving the culture and language.
Ato Kukau (Head GB) of Tingkupathar, Yetoi Awomi delivered the welcome address while other Sumi villages including Lal Pahar, Paharpur, Longtong, Balijan etc took part in various traditional items. The event was marked with rich and colourful display of Sumi culture and tradition.


Source: The Morung Express


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