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Nongalbibra joins Song Kristan revelry

 

TURA: The Christmas and New Year celebrations may have been over close to two weeks ago, but the atmosphere of joy and revelry continues in the Garo Hills with this time the town of Nongalbibra in South Garo Hills (SGH) holding a mega Song Kristan competition on Thursday.

The traditional dance competition accompanied by songs of festivity rant the air in this once coal rich town that use to be a major economic zone due to the presence of the much sought after mineral.

Organised by the Nongalbibra Song Kristan Dance Competition Committee, Siju-Rongara legislator Rophul S Marak was invited as the chief guest at the grand finale.

This is the eighth year of the competition and nine Song Kristan dance team took part to win the Rs 50,000 cash prize and a trophy. As many as 3,000 spectators from far and near witnessed the celebration in a large open field. The winner was the Nongalbibra Colony team.

Addressing the crowds, chief guest Rophul Marak said there was immense potential for promotion of Song Kristan in Garo Hills and called for more support for this annual Post Christmas celebration.

“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.

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.

 

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