Tura: People in large numbers took part in the Rugala ceremony of the 100 Hundred Drums Wangala Festival organised at Asanggre near Tura.
On the eve of the Wangala, a ritual called Rugala is performed by the Nokma, a village chief, and in this ritual, the offering of the first-hand special rice-beer along with cooked rice and the vegetables are given to Misi Saljong, the “Great Giver”.
Participating in the programme, Meghalaya minister for tourism Metbah Lyngdoh expressed his happiness to witness the Wangala Festival which he said that he had missed many times due to various reasons. While addressing the gathering he even greeted the people in Garo language. Mentioning about the importance of preserving the culture and identity of the people, he lauded the committee members for keeping the tradition alive and also appreciated the decision of the Wangala Committee to promote the Clean and Green Wangala Festival.
Further, the minister also handed over a cheque of Rs 20 lakhs from the Department of Tourism to the chairman of the 100 Drums Wangala Committee.
Indigenous games and cultural competitions marked the second day of the Wangala festival.
Deputy Speaker, Government of Meghalaya, Sanbor Shullai; advisor to the chief minister, Thomas A Sangma; MLA Mawsynram constituency, Himalaya Shangpliang; MLA Umroi constituency, George B Lyngdoh; MLA Rambrai Jyrngam constituency, Kimfa Marbaniang; MLA, West Shillong, Mohendro Rapsang; director, Department of Tourism, CVD Diengdoh; deputy commissioner, West Garo Hills, Ram Singh; superintendent of police, Dr M G R Kumar; district officials were among others present at the festival.