Recognition of folklore as a serious academic subject to understand the core components of culture in Nagaland was discussed Thursday during the 34th Indian Folklore Congress meet at ATI Kohima. Indian Folklore Congress is an academic body of social scientists devoted to study folklore.
Addressing the inaugural programme of the three day event, retired Nagaland government official IAS, Khekiye Sema said that Nagaland lacked establishments or study centres on folklore with no correlated study to understand the social value systems through folklore. He stated that Nagaland University had not prioritized folklore as a subject, and suggested that the university magnify the importance of folklore in Nagaland.
Citing some examples of mystical facts in Nagaland, Khekiye Sema said that Naga culture has intricate relationship with nature and mystical beings. He however pointed out that the oral traditions passed down from the traditional Morungs were disrupted with the coming of civilization, the written script and the dawning of Christianity. He referred civilization as “destructive” in the sense of its destruction on Naga traditions, its value system, strong family ties and the oral history. Sema maintained that the present generation had forgotten its values and traditions. Dwelling on civilization and Christianity vis-à-vis folklore, Sema opined that there was serious conflict in this area where folklore was wrongly interpreted.
President of Indian Folklore Congress, Professor Jawaharlal Handoo gave the keynote address with variation, ethnic identity and folklore as the theme in a theoretical viewpoint.
Traditional folk song was presented by Angami children, while the programme was chaired by Dr. Anungla Aier, secretary, local organizing committee. The three day meet will focus on various topics including culture, folklore and identities of various tribal. The Indian Folklore Congress is being organized by Anthropological Society of Nagaland and Women’s Studies Centre Nagaland University.