In violence-hit Manipur Holi is muted and colorless this year

In violence-hit Manipur Holi is muted and colorless this year

Imphal: As the whole country celebrated Holi, it was a lull in the state of Manipur. The Meiteis in Manipur are known to celebrate Holi or Yaosang for five continuous days but this year there were no celebrations due to the violence that has been ongoing in the state for the last 10 months.

Yaosang is very popular among the children as they wait to celebrate this occasion every year but this year’s battle for survival has taken the front seat as the state grapples with violence among two communities.

According to reports, there are more than 50,000 people from the Kuki-Zo community who are displaced and are living in relief camps and have not been home for months. Some are not even in their own state but have taken shelter in neighbouring states.

“A symbolic Yaosang is what the Meitei people want. The festivities may be done away with this year. But Yaosang marks the coming of spring, of being together, of generosity and community work,” Elizabeth Kh, a social sector professional from Manipur, told.

Yaosang is especially popular with children. Every year, they wait patiently for Yaosang to arrive so they can participate in their favourite segment of the festival on the first day of the celebrations, which they call “nakatheng”.

The children dressed in their finest clothes walk from door to door in their neighbourhood and give blessings to adults, who would be waiting for them. In return, the children get loose change that they use to buy sweets and share among themselves.

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