Apatanis of Arunchal Pradesh celebrated the Dree festival with traditional zest marked by sacrificial offerings and prayers at Mahadevpur in Namsai district on Tuesday. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein attended the event as Chief Guest.
Extending heartiest festival greeting to the Apatani community, Mein lauded the efforts of Apatanis in preserving the age old tradition and culture. He said that Apatani tribes as of today are way ahead culturally, economically and educationally because of their self disciplined nature and dignity of labour. Mein hoped that Dree festival will bring cheer, happiness, health and prosperity to all.
The mythology on Dree is about agriculture system of the Apatani tribe. All festival celebrated in State are related to socio-agricultural festival, Sangken like Dree is also socio-agricultural festival of Khampti tribe. Agriculture being the main activity of all the tribes, we must learn the unique way of sustainable and efficient methods that the Apatani people have been following to cultivate rice, he added.
Mein exhorted that it is also important to preserve the indigenous varieties of crop. For fulfilling the high yielding demand, people are mixing the various indigenous crops and so it is losing its natural aromas and its originality. If steps to preserve the indigenous varieties of crop are not taken now than it won’t be long that we may lose all indigenous crops for want of quantity not quality.
The unique and interesting part of the festival included distribution of cucumber, symbolizing the sacredness of vegetables, to guest and participants. Other highlights of the festival included Daminda dance performance by all dignitaries which added festivity, fervor and colours to the day. Besides seeking blessings of almighty for a bumper harvest along with colourful cultural programmes presented by the Nyishi, Galo, Singpho and Apatani dance troops , the community feast served with delicious rice and millet beer added attraction to the celebration.