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Sumis celebrate Ahuna

Ghokimi cultural troupe performs at the Ahuna Festival cum State road show at Zunheboto, Saturday. (DIPR)
Staff Reporter/DIPR DIMAPUR, NOV 13 (NPN):
Published on 14 Nov. 2010 12:16 AM IST
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Ahuna festival, the annual post harvest festival of the Sumis was celebrated in different parts of the state on November 13. The main celebration was held at Zunheboto where the Ahuna Festival-cum-State road show was organized from November 13-14.
Gracing the occasion as chief guest, minister for planning & co-ordination, animal husbandry & evaluation, T. R. Zeliang described the Sumis as “very dynamic and progressive tribe” pioneering in various fields and called for using the same qualities to lead the Naga people in the development process of the state.
He noted that the most important need of Zunheboto district was connectivity and that the district being centrally located bounded by six districts, it has a great potential of becoming the hub for commerce and economic development. He said that the government was taking care of the connectivity of Zunheboto district with the state capital under the SARDP that takes care of the Zunheboto-Chakhabama section of the road connecting it to the NH-155 at Chakhabama. He said the problem now was over the Zunheboto-Mokokchung road, which was presently under the BRO.
“It should be our collective effort to ask Government of India to maintain this road under the GS (General Staff) and in fact suggest that this should be linked to the Marani-Mokokchung road,” he said. Zeliang added that if this was done then the Assam-Myanmar trade route could also pass through Zunheboto district, which in turn would give boost to the economy of the district.
The district was sparsely populated and that there was no specific or specified economic and commercial activity, Zeliang said “There is a need to review this situation in the district and to identify the resources and opportunities of Zunheboto district and to evolve a development model for the district”.
Stating that the present Ahuna festival-cum-State Road Show was a part of the statewide festivity series, he said the intention was to bring out the rich cultural and traditional heritage that also encompasses the great potential for eco-culture tourism.
Minister for road and bridges Kaito Aye announced that the state government has assured to open Superintendent Engineer office at Zunheboto as Ahuna gift.
In his keynote address, ACS & Devp Commissioner Alemtemshi Jamir, highlighted the importance and objectives of state road shows and asserted that among the many benefits from the road shows, an interactive session would help to identify the immediate requirement of each district. He said that the recommendations emerging from the interactive session with the public would be incorporated in the proposal for the 12th Plan.
Besides various cultural extravaganza, display of Kiti-do fetched high admiration from the capacity crowd. This indigenous sports gained popularity in both national and international platforms and requested the state government to recognize this sport as state indigenous martial art. The Concerned Citizens Forum Zunheboto requested the minister for planning and co-ordination for construction of sports complex at Zunheboto.
Earlier, the programme was chaired by Deputy Commissioner, Zunheboto, T. Kiheto Sema, while welcome address was given by parliamentary secretary for industries & commerce, Dr. K.C. Nihoshe.
The festival originally falls on November 14 but in some parts of the state, the festival was celebrated a day earlier as the actual date fell of Sunday.
In Dimapur, Ahuna was celebrated at Lampstand School, Toluvi village and Sumi Baptist Church Purana Bazaar.
At Toluvi village, the programme was organized by Naghutomi Union Dimapur Area Welfare Society and attended by around 150 families and 1000 people approximately. Speaking about the significance of Ahuna festival, the Ahuna Papu (Ahuna father), Retd deputy director RD, Luhekhu Chishi said that the Sumis used to widely observe Ahuna festival before Christianity dawned on them. He said, unlike contemporary days, the Ahuna rice used to be taken only by the male members of the family. He called upon the gathering to keep their tradition alive for the sake of posterity.
Speaking on behalf of Amalimi (Those who married women from Naghutomi village), CMO Dimapur, Dr. Sukhato said it was a matter of pride and privilege for the Amalimis to be associated with Naghutomi village whom he pointed out were one of the pioneers among the Sumis in the field of politics, religion etc. Thoshili spoke on behalf of Amulimi (women who married man from Naghutomi village). Others who spoke on the occasion included former chief minister and MLA K. L. Chishi, IAS (retd) K. K. Sema. Er. Kahoto Chishi delivered the welcome address while L. Tokishe Chishi chaired the programme. The programme saw intense competition in traditional games such Ami kukula (traditional fire making), Akhetsu kuzu (top spinning), angu kupusu (spear kicking), Aghau ghugha (imitating birds voice), Akighi kusunhe (tug of war), Aphilo Kuwo (folk dance) etc.
Meanwhile, Sumi community from East Dimapur Sumi Council comprising of Darogapathar, Naharbari, Darogajan and Purana Bazaar celebrated Ahuna festival at Sumi Baptist Church Purana Bazaar, Dimapur. The festival was graced by former minister Kiyezhe Aye as the chief guest besides a host of other dignitaries and GBs. The festival was marked by cultural presentations by various groups.

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