The 2021 edition of the ‘Rhododendron Festival’, a two-day event that aims at promoting, conserving and protecting the Rhododendron flowers, got underway at Shergaon Village in the West Kameng district on Saturday.
The festival at Shergaon is jointly organised annually by the Sherdukpen community of West Kameng under the banner of the Shergaon Rhododendron Festival Committee (SRFC).
The theme of this year’s event is “Tribute to our Ancestors”. SRFC Chairman Ledo Thungon said that the motive behind the festival is to promote and create awareness of the importance of the Rhododendron flowers.
The festival also aims at promoting tourism in the region, he said.
More than 30 species of Rhododendron is found in Arunachal, out of which, eight are found only in West Kameng, Thungon said.
He said the Sherdukpen community has been organising the festival since 2018. However, there was a gap last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guru Tulku Rinpoche of Bomdila Lower Gompa, who attended the inaugural function as the chief guest, appreciated the locals for organising such an event to show their love and concern towards nature.
“Like the beautiful flower Rhododendron, we should preserve our culture and tradition as well,” he said.
Besides awareness programmes on Rhododendron, several other activities such as cycling, rock climbing, Sherdukpen pantomime, bird-watching, archery, cultural events, etc., are also a part of the two-day festival.