Guwahati: Continuing with the close association with the local Monpa tribe of Tawang, the Indian Army participated in the week-long festivities of the Losar festival.
The Monpa tribe, which has distinct ritual and traditions and resides in the area of Tawang and West Kameng, celebrate the Losar festival with great enthusiasm. Losar is a one-of-its-kind festival in which people belonging to the Monpa tribe come together to celebrate.
Losar, which is celebrated with much fanfare and enthusiasm, signals the arrival of spring and is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar calendar. The festival commences a week before the dates with residents cleaning their houses and the preparation of various delicacies including the khow suey.
The ‘Metho’ ceremony is observed as part of the festival, which is characterised by holy chanting and lighting the sacred fire to drive away evil spirits and usher in positive vibes through holy spirits.
The Monpas have called Tawang their home since 500 BC and are devout followers of Himalayan Buddhism.
The Indian Army in Tawang, which has become part and parcel of the local tribe was not left behind. The Army personnel were hosted by the various village community to participate in the religious rituals and witness various competitions, especially the indigenous sport of archery, and experience the traditional extravagant feast with locally prepared barley beer.
The locals made a warm gesture by reaching out to the Indian Army troops even at their duty locations in Zimithang, Kereteng and various other locations to celebrate with them. This heartwarming gesture touched the troops with ‘a home away from home’ feeling.
The Indian Army in its secular fabric has adopted the rituals of the Monpa tribe and assisted various sho (villages) in arranging these events.
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The Tawang area has witnessed large-scale infrastructure development and implementations of various government schemes for the development of the border areas. This has provided the Monpas with opportunities and avenues toward greater economic prosperity.
Riots of colour in terms of religious flags and decorations create an irresistible charm during the festival.
The enthusiastic participation of the Army in the Losar festival was well received by the locals, highlighting the bonhomie and the mutual trust between Army and the local people.
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