Itanagar: People are now forgetting their own culture and tradition; I believe this book will bring people, especially the younger ones close to our folklore, said Tumbom Riba ‘Lily’. Tumbom, who is working as an assistant professor at Dera Natung Government College in Itanagar said this while launching her book Katam at the second edition of the Arunachal Literature & Art Festival (ALAF) began at the extended ground of Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar on Saturday.
Katam is a collection of folktales from different ethnic groups of Arunachal Pradesh. It consists of 20 stories that include Mopin (Galo tribe’s folklore), Tai Bida and Mithun (Nyishi tribe’s folk), Abotani ka vivaah (Galo folklore) and Donyi Mumsi (Tagin-Nyishi tribe’s folklore), among others.
“My dad was a company commander in defence services, so he had to travel to different places. During vacations, we (Tumbom and her siblings) were taken to our village and we were extremely lucky to be raised in an environment comprising relatives including maternal and paternal aunts, grandparents which helped us listen to folklore,” said Riba.
“However, the scenario has completely changed as nowadays kids have very less time for activities like listening to stories, rather they will spend some time on social media or electronic gadgets,” Riba added.
“The meaning of Katam is raasta dikhane wala (road viewer) and maybe my book can make few kids learn their folk culture,” said Riba, who is popular for her ‘green dustbin’ campaign. She was seen carrying and installing her green dustbins not only in Itanagar but also throughout the state as part of the initiative.
When EastMojo questioned her about her journey from the green dustbin to a writer, she said: “I used to give so much of my time in painting dustbins and installing them in different places.”
“But I was very disappointed when I saw people not cleaning those dustbins and not using them properly,” Riba said, adding: “I was worried and then my father said that in order to make people understand their responsibilities, we have to change our mindset and for that I have to start writing.”