Cultural workshop resolves to reduce spending on rituals; no phijang, no party, and no photo session

Cultural workshop resolves to reduce spending on rituals; no phijang, no party, and no photo session

IT News
Imphal, June 24:

A recent two-day cultural workshop resolved to reduce spending on rituals by eliminating practices deemed alien to Meitei culture, such as cake cutting, excessive decorations, and lavish parties. The event, organized by SEACO, HERICOUN, NIPCO, LIPUL, and CCSJ, was held on June 22 and 23, along with 13 additional organizations including Wakhallon Manaba Apunba (WAMA) and Uttra Sanglen Sanakonung.
The workshop, which aimed to preserve indigenous cultural practices, featured notable speakers who emphasized the need to avoid actions that violate traditional values. On the first day, presentations were given by Chirom Rajketan Singh, Associate Professor of Manipuri Department, MU; Dr. Dhanabir Laishram, Social Scientist; and Dr. Makhonmani Mongsaba, Assistant Professor at Manipur University of Culture. The second day saw contributions from Leimapokpam Lakpati Singh, Guru Gulapi Nata Sangkirtana; Dr. Chinglen Meisnam, Head of South East Asian Studies; Thokchom Thouyangba Meitei, Anji Cultural Academy, Kongba; and Dr. Naorem Sanatomba, Assistant Professor, Manipuri Department, Manipur University.
Participants discussed various rituals from birth to death and recommended measures to reduce unnecessary spending. Resolutions included stopping the practice of cake cutting at Heijingpot, ring ceremonies, the use of drugs and intoxicants, and thabal chongba at weddings. Additionally, the use of phijang for decorations should be limited to the center of the mandop, and pre-marriage and post-marriage parties along with high-tech photo sessions should be stopped.
The workshop also addressed the financial burdens associated with marriage and death rituals. It advised against giving money to bhabok during the ceremony, drinking at Mangani Chakouba, ribbon cutting while laying the bed, and blasting crackers at weddings. Spending large sums on makeup and potloi was also discouraged. Photographers at weddings are encouraged to wear traditional attire.
To ensure these resolutions are implemented, the workshop proposed the formation of a vanguard organization—a conglomerate of the participating groups—to uphold and practice the cultural codes established during the event.
The workshop concluded with a strong commitment to preserving Meitei cultural values and reducing the financial burden of elaborate rituals, aiming to foster a return to more traditional and meaningful practices.

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