Sakela Udhawli, the harvest festival of Khambus was celebrated at Pawai Bongoan, Ketetong near Margheritha in Tinsukia on Monday. Organised by Kirat Rai Mahasabha and supported by Gorkha civil society organisations of the region, the festival began with offering prayers to ancestors and deity followed by Silli group dances.
Khambu youths performed rituals in presence of Mangpa and offered prayers to Paruhaang and Sumnima for well being of the society. Thousands of Khambus being nature worshippers assembled to celebrate the he Sakela which is celebration is a prayer to Mother Nature for healthy crops and protection from natural calamities.
Sakela Udhauli is celebrated in the monrth of Novermber and December suitably after a full moon day which is harvest season, as a part giving thanks to nature for providing them a good harvest.
The open session of the daylong celebration was presided by Siddhiman Thulung while Deo Kumar Rai addressed the Khambus as Key Note Speaker where he spoke at length about Kirat Khambu Rai culture and traditions. Abhijeet Khambu Rai elected General Secretary of Kirat Rai Mahasabha, Assam (KRM,A) informed the gathering about the mission, vision and current focus of the organisation and its structure.
Convenor of the North East Kirat Rai Sanskritik Sansthan and Central Executive Member of All Assam Gorkha Students Union (AAGSU) Nanda Kirati Dewan graced the occasion as Guest of Honour and said,’The formation of Kirati Rai Mahasabha, Assam and its maiden Sakela celebrations here is a testimony of amalgamation of Khambus in an organisation to research, study and follow and most importantly preserve its culture and tradition. The celebrations today is proof of Kirati are indigenous and Sons of the Soil in Assam since time immemorial and deserving Scheduled Tribe of the country.’
‘Development and uplift of tribes like Khambu, Limbu, Tamang, Mangar, Gurung etc. will definitely strengthen the AAGSU ‘, Dewan added calling it Gorkha in Assam today is not just a tribe or caste but it is a composite society a community.
He further stressed that Khambus of Assam should join the national demands of inclusion Khambus of country in central Scheduled Tribe list under article 342 of the Indian Constitution.
Prem Sampang elected president of KRM,A , Former President of Assam Kirat Sammelan Pradip Limboo, Senior Advocate Rajesh Rai, Literaturer Shanta Bahadur Dewan, Sol Bahadur Loh were some of the invited guests who spoke on the occasion. The cultural evening attraction was kid celebrity singer of the region Nandita Rai and dance performance by Sakela Silli Dance group lead by Rahul Lamsong Rai. Guest Artist s Parashmani Rai of Zee Bangla famed Sa Re Ga Ma fame from Darjeeling performed in the evening.