27-year-old Kasii Athine, a Mao tribal folk singer, is one of the six MSKA Young Talent Awardees

Imphal: Manipur is known for a sea of young talents making foray into various fields and bringing laurels to the state and the nation as a whole.

In recognition and encouragement of the young talents of the state, especially in the field of art and culture, Manipur State Kala Akademi (MSKA) recently recognised six young artistes of the state for the MSKA Young Talent Awards 2016-17.

A 27-year-old keyboard instructor-turned-folk musician, Kaisii Athine, from Senapati’s Maopungdong village was among those six recipients for the prestigious Akademi Award for Tribal Culture.

Despite her young age, Athine has been promoting folk music, especially the folk songs and dance forms of Mao, the community which she belongs to.

Speaking with EastMojo, the young woman folk singer recalled her childhood days and how she emerged from all the criticisms to follow her love for the age-old folk music.

“Since childhood, I have been interested in folk music. However, I was often made fun of by others for my choice of music since most youngsters were into a contemporary musical piece,” she said.

“I feel so happy and proud of myself to have achieved this feat. I thank my family, friends and relatives who’ve supported me all along this journey,” Athine said after receiving the award at the august gathering in Imphal on March 3.

Since 2014, Athine has been trained on the use of Mao folk musical instruments such as Lokabvii, Khetsii, Solei and Lokabvii Kava by a renowned guru of tribal culture, A Kholi, and Guru Bessi Pfoze Mao of Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal.

After taking a short break between 2017 and 2018 for some personal reasons, Athine’s comeback has once again proven her deep love and passion to revive the dying folk music of the Mao community.

“We need to keep our culture and tradition alive. I would like to teach Mao folk songs and dance to youngsters,” Athine said, when asked on her future course of action.

Another young trendsetter is 32-year-old differently-abled Moirangthem Inaoton Singh, a well-known mime artist from Kongba Kshetri Leikai of Imphal East district.

Moirangthem Inaoton Singh, 32, is a stage actor performing across the world

Born deaf and dumb, his physical disabilities did not deter Moirangthem to pursue his dream of becoming a stage actor.

A recipient of several scholarships from Manipur State Kala Akademi and ministry of culture, Moirangthem has performed in a number of reputed theatre festivals, including the theatre festival for children in New Delhi, Chuncheon International Theatre Festival in South Korea, High Fest International Performing Art Festival in Armenia and Theatre Olympics, among others.

Under the able guidance of Dr Y Sadananda, the director of the Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory, Moirangthem continues to harness his skills in acting and establish himself in the world of mime theatre.

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