The sixth edition of Delhi’s biggest ever carnival–Northeast festival 2018, brought to light the exuberant culture of the eight northeastern states in a grand way held in the premises of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA)
Lip-smacking dishes, rich handloom couture, fashion, music were the talk of the town among visitors who thronged the festival that made them aware about the lifestyle of the northeast.
The festival was inaugurated by Dr. Sachidananda Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA who graced the event as the guest of honor along with the organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta.
In fact, this year’s edition saw a huge footfall of visitors that included both young and old visitors.
Speaking to ANI, Shelja, a visitor from Noida, said, “It is a wonderful experience; northeast festival is like a total package including shopping, food, culture, entertainment and everything under one roof. I think there should be more such festivals. It actually showcases the authentic culture of northeast. People will become more aware of the region. It will preserve its rich culture.”
The northeast festival rock battle , which was among the major highlights, saw participation of as many as 25 music bands from various colleges giving a tough fight in the competition.
The people of northeast have music in their blood and this was well-justified in the fest, which saw a number of amazing performances by talented artists of the region including Awangtha Chiru of Manipur.
Besides this, one of the unique features of this year’s edition was the food walk that gave Delhiites chunk of information about varieties of herbs and ingredients that make each dish of the northeast state all the more special and unique.
The wide array of exotic herbs from Assam and Nagaland added a new twist to the very concept of the colourful northeast festival.
“The main motive is to show people what ingredients we use in cooking because these are not common in rest of the states in India. These are very different. Our food is herb based. These are the few ingredients that I have collected among which Kaji Nemu, dry Yam Leaves which are basically used in Mizoram and Nagaland,” said Snehalata Saikia , a chef from Assam.
The spectacular presentation of delectable cuisines from the region with more than 40 stalls of northeastern food including Naga, Manipuri, Assamese, Arunachali, Sikkimese, Mizo, Tripura and Khasi food was a delightful experience for food lovers.
Not only these, the crowd got to witness live demonstration by few Assamese women on how to prepare Pitha and other snacks including Tel pitha, Ghilaa pitha, delicious rice fritters to name a few
Assamese pithas are often made from Bora Saul, a special kind of glutinous rice, or Xaali Saul or sun-dried rice.
Stalls displaying barbeque chicken, pork and other items including crabs were like cherry on the cake for gastronomes
Later, a visitor from New Delhi told ANI, “I love northeast cuisine, there is a burst of flavour and I have tried the food before but I had just one flavour in my head , I didn’t know that there are wide array of flavours and each one is different in their own way.”
More than 150 artisans and weavers from the states showcased their products including exquisite handwoven shawls and textiles, jute and cane products and traditional jewelries, specially the famous ‘Oxomiya Gohona’ (Assamese Jewelry).
Models from the region pepped up the stage as they walked down the ramp showcasing chic, charismatic and exclusive fabrics and designs curated by budding fashion designers of the region.
“We showcased our spring summer collection and the collection is really special to us as it’s been inspired by a mother’s gift to a daughter. Being a tribal from northeast it is our tradition to preserve our fabrics which really values a lot,” said Bompie Riram, a budding fashion designer from Arunachal Pradesh.
Later, power-packed performance by Bollywood music sensation Angaraag Papon Mahanta added to the adrenaline rush among the visitors.During the festival, a large number of enthusiastic crowd were seen grooving, crooning to popular hits like Jiye Kyon, ‘Chaav Laaga’ from the movie Sui Dhaga and many more belted out by him.
When asked about his new plans, Bollywood singer Angaarag Papon Mahanta said, “It’s good to come back again to Northeast fest 2018. Bollywood wise, the year has been busy not because I sang too many but also because last year pending songs just happened this time. This time, I have released maximum bollywood songs and good productions and banner. I am trying to redefine my sound. I have started doing Ghazal shows.”
The third day of the event was graced by Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam along with many other dignitaries from the region.
Organising such festival will not only boost the rich culture of the region, but will also go a long way in connecting people through oneness, integrity and camaraderie. Over the years, this festival has given a platform to people from the northeast to showcase their talent.