STAFF CORRESPONDENT DIBRUGARH, Jan 31 - Southan Sakonhninhom, the Ambassador of Laos (People’s Democratic Republic) got emotional while attending the Me-Dam-Me-Phi programme, the annual religious festival of the Tai Ahoms at the Tai Educational and Cultural Centre at Boiragimoth here today.
Ambassador of Laos along with other officials during a visit to Charaideo Maidam at Sonari, on Monday. – UB Photos
The Laos envoy was delighted at discovering certain similarities among the Tai and Lao Ahom communities. “I am observing that the language and the culture of the Tai Ahoms here are similar to those of the people of Laos in certain aspects. The manner in which the history, monuments and culture of the Ahoms are treasured here is wonderful.
The peaceful co-existence among the various communities and their solidarity needs appreciation. I am interested in strengthening this relationship with the people of Laos,” the visiting Ambassador told the newsmen here today.
While addressing a gathering at the Me-Dam-Me-Phi function, Southan Sakonhninhom said he was very much moved by the hospitality of the Ahom community members. “I am really feeling excited and emotional being here among you. Let me tell you that I will never forget the warm reception given to us. We will surely convey the message of love and kinship of the Ahom people here to the people of our country,” he said.
The Laos envoy also underlined that his country supports the Look East Policy (now Act East Policy) of the Government of India. Through this policy we look forward to build a relationship between the two nations and bolster our bilateral ties in different fields. We fully support this policy,” he said.
The other diplomats of the Lao Embassy include Consular Bounmy Vammany and Third Secretary Bounthieng Douangmala.
The Laos envoy and the diplomats were accorded a warm reception on their arrival. They were greeted with Bihu dance at the entrance of the Tai Educational and Cultural Centre. They also took part in community prayers in which ancestors were invoked for blessings. The president of the Me-Dam-Me-Phi programme, Durlav Chetia expressed his deep respect and appreciation to the diplomats of Laos for accepting their invitation for the event.
The Me-Dam-Me-Phi celebration committee has stepped into its golden jubilee year with this event. The diplomats also toured different places of historical importance in the State during their two-day stay in Assam. They visited Sivasagar, Joysagar, Rang Ghar, Karen Ghar, Talatal Ghar, and Charaideo Moidam, among others.
Me-Dam-Me-Phi was also observed at Borborooah Sui-ka-Pha Bhawan and Milan Nagar here, where members of the Ahom community unfurled flags of their respective committees and performed maidam tarpan and other traditional rituals. Open sessions were also organised for the public to highlight the significance of the day.
In Jorhat: With devotion in their hearts and prayer on their lips, members of the royal Ahom community observed Me-Dam-Me-Phi and paid homage to their departed ancestors at the office premises of Jaya Bhawan on the west bank of Rajmao Pukhuri, Bolia Gohain Pukhuri, Lachit Maidam and many other locations within the district today, our Correspondent adds.
After traditional worship and cultural rallies, people offered tarpan at Rajamoidam and Deughar in the city, which was followed by public meetings on the significance of the religious festival, besides the socio-cultural heritage of the royal Ahom community.
Showcasing of royal weapons, traditional attire, worship to the departed souls and offering of traditional dishes to the people in all the places of celebration caught serious attention of the guests.
Office bearers of the Tai-Ahom Sanskriti Sangraikhyan and Siksa Bikash Committee organised the programme at Jaya Bhawan, where serious deliberations on the spiritual significance of the function was arranged.
“The programme reminds us of the royal tradition of worship. It also sends out a message of unity and brotherhood . People from different castes and communities also participated in the programmes,” said Jitul Gogoi, an organiser of the Me-Dam-Me-Phi programme at Jaya Bhawan.