Barak Festival 2019

Barak Festival falls between two seasons, the harvest and Christmas and marks the most awaited period of the year for the people of Senapati, Manipur. Who just after gathering the harvest, take pride and pleasure in hosting the mega celebration to showcase their rich cultures, way of life, traditional hospitality, fraternal bonds and the bounteousness of the Almighty God. The festival takes itns name from the Barak River, which for ages has sustained the indigenous communities and their civilization.
Serving as the central biosphere it has been supporting millions of people and billions of lives in and around its catchment areas. With its fountain head at Liyai (Zhaimai), Senapati District, Manipur, the Barak trips down the serpentine course, rips through the hills and valley across the Northeastern region of India and bestowing bountiful harvests, it has provided cleansing drainage over the years and painted its majestic flow with charm and
scenic beauty and transformed its bank into and eco-tourism paradise.
The idea of Barak festival as a collective for the tribes of Senapati District, comprising of Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal and Zelaingrong, was conceived by the Naga People’s Organization (NPO) and first celebrated in 2013. It has since then come to be celebrated during 11-14 December every year as a district event under the aegis of the NPO, the apex civil society organization of the district. This festival has been elevated to a State Level Festival in 2018,thanks to the Honourbale Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri Nongthonbam Biren Singh, who during his inaugural speech of the Barak Spring Fest 2017, at the mini stadium, Senapati declared it a state level festival. Tahamzam (Senapati) the land of butterflies, as fondly called by the residents has been the main venue of the festival. The theme of the 2 nd state level Barak festival 2019 “confluence of cultures” highlights the fact that different cultures comes together in building a civilization like the confluence of various streams and rivulets forming the beautiful and mighty Barak. Communities from all directions converge to celebrate the blessings of this benevolent river and to exchange their cultural diversities for deepening fraternal relationships and building a common future. The festival also aims at reaffirming one another the indispensable role of this great river for sustainable livelihood of the Barak communities and our
responsibilities towards its preservation.
The greed of a man has led to depletion of forest wealth and drying up of spring fountains thereby endangering ecological balance and provoking nature’s wrath. The Barak waters may dry up soon, the magnificent waterfalls may banish and with it the rich flora and fauna may be wiped out after few years from now if the ongoing unabated exploitation of catchment forest in the upstream areas is not put to halt immediately. For a society to contribute to live on in dignity and in wholesomeness, ecological balance must be maintained. Climate change has a telling effect in the living ecosystem and social fabric of peace and harmony. A time has come for the people living along its banks and the state machineries to take up a participatory planning and programme implementation to save the life-giving river. The festival was commenced with a cleanliness drive on 11 th December, Cycle rally and Marathon (run for cultural identity) in the morning session on 12 th December followed by the Opening of the Barak Mini Stadium, Senapati by Chief Guest Shri. Somorjit Salam, IAS Dy. Commissioner, Senapati . The inaugural ceremony of the Barak Festival was opened by the Chief Guest Shri Nonthomam Biren Singh Honourable
Chief Minister, Manipur.

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