Jakhama, Kohima: The much-awaited annual Spring fest of St Joseph’s College (Autonomous) Jakhama, began on Friday with much vibrancy and enthusiasm as thousands of students gathered to celebrate the two-day intracultural fest after a gap of one year.
Reshilong, a second-year student of the college, shared his excitement. “It is my first spring fest, and the chill is there. I am excited,” he told EastMojo.
As he lined up with a cultural troupe, clad in a Naga traditional attire, he said, “I’m nervous as I am participating. The feeling is overwhelming and I am hoping to enjoy it. The preparations were hectic, but it is worth it because the memories are fantastic.”
James HK, the Head of the Department (English), tells us the idea behind the spring fest said the festival concept was borrowed from the West, as Nagas do not traditionally celebrate a festival like the Spring festival.
“Anyway, it is always good to copy what is good from others. We did that, and this event has become our genuine festival. Through this event, we give a lot of opportunities to thousands of students. We need more platforms, more fests, more events to garner and showcase the talents of our students,” he said.
He informed that presently, there are 4,228 students enrolled in the college, located about 18 KM from Kohima. Among many events that the college conducts, he said that the Spring fest is one platform that will encourage students to excel in their area of interest.
Seyiekruonuo Yhome, the vice president of the students’ council, said that this year’s theme “honoring roots” was chosen to honour one’s origin. “Because of the pandemic, not only have we forgotten our roots but also our social environment. So, we wanted to bring up–not only honouring roots in culture but also our social environment and the skills embedded in us,” she said.
In addition to the traditional games and competitions that were conducted in the past, Yhome, who is the co-convenor of the event, informed that virtual art and Cosplay has been included for the 8th edition of the Spring fest.
“There are so many events happening with the hope that students do not let go of their college memories. We are also bringing in artists and alumni to motivate students not only in academics but also in extracurricular activities,” she added.
Dr Hovithal Sothu, project director of Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA) who graced the event as the guest speaker, encouraged students not to be ashamed of their roots and their origin, whether one likes it or not.
One way to honour roots, he said, is to take the good values of the culture and make them grow. Another way to do so, according to him, is not to hang on to the bad practices of the culture. “Continue to emulate the good things and leave behind the bad things,” he said.
As he lauded the cultural diversity of the college and the management of such a cultural event by the students, he encouraged the students to continue living together in peace despite their differences.
He also encouraged the students to become good citizens in society while working their way to achieving their dreams. “Be an asset and not a burden,” he told the Josephites.
The principal of the college, Fr Keduolhou George, in his welcome note, said that the most powerful and significant platform to honour roots in the spring fest as, without tradition, there is no identity and culture. “Without roots, there is no stem, branch, flower, and fruits. Likewise, we are the root for the heritage, today and tomorrow,” he said.
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