POI PEE MAU TAI KHAMPTI



POI PEE MAU TAI KHAMPTI

THE NEW YEAR OF THE TAI KHAMPTIS


Located on the Northeastern region of the country, Arunachal Pradesh, popularly known as the Land of the Rising Sun, prides itself on its myriad tribes woven together in a diverse but rich cultural fabric. The tribes maintain and express their sense of joy and harmony and spiritual satiation in the form of festivals celebrated in different seasons of the year.
The Tai Khamptis, members of one of the major tribes of Arunachal, inhabit the lush green southern part of Lohit district. The Tai Khamptis are good craftsmen, enterprising traders, expert agriculturists and practice martial arts (Soung) and Koboj which earlier helped them resist the British army.
Every festive occasion or celebration of the Tai Khamptis revolves around the principles and teachings of Lord Buddha. All its socio-cultural activities have been truly religious. 
The essence of festivals lies in bringing people together and spreading the intrinsic values of their cultures and traditions.
Being followers of Lord Buddha, the Tai Khamptis are lovers of peace and harmony. Thus, Poi Pee Mau has always unfolded the message of peace, harmony and unity. Be it language, literature and script, art and culture, games and sports and food habits - all these of the Tai Khamptis are unique and beautiful. Their decency and craftsmanship and their cuisine reveal their love and taste of food, while their sports show their adeptness in the art of games. 
Poi Pee Mau - a New Year festival of the Tai Khamptis - is the celebration of the advent of a new dawn for the community to usher a fresh era of socio-cultural development.

  
Poi Pee Mau Tai Khampti or the Tai Khampti New Year has become the biggest festival amongst the folks of the Tai communities in the world. Thus, the idea to give a chance through such celebration was conceived and brought up by the Tai Khampti Development Society (TKDS) of Namsai to celebrate the New Year day festival in accordance with the ancient Tai calendar. It usually takes place in November or December.




This year, the formal inauguration of the festival was done by His Excellency, the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, JJ Singh. Participated in by many dignitaries, local people and tourists, the festival aimed to showcase the state’s culture to tourists from other parts of the country as well as abroad.
In accordance with the ancient Tai calendar, however, the festival was also celebrated from November 27-30 last. The occasion was graced by Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu at Chongkham in Lohit district. The festival aimed at promoting the hidden paradise of India. 


The ethnic Tai Khamptis, under the influence of popular culture, had begun to give a second place to its own. Their own script, songs, dances, dramas and literature took a back seat, the dress and customs were going out of use, their traditional games and sports almost forgotten, and so on.
Under the banner of the TKDS and in collaboration with the Khampti Singphoo Council (KSC), the organizers took pains to revive the tribe’s culture, heritage, literature, music and way of life.
The initiative and the foundation of the festival laid by the TKDS will help the Tai Khampti people, especially the youths, to propel themselves towards a modern, vibrant and developed society - a society that will be at par with any developed society of the world. 
To check these harmful bad habits which are easy to acquire but difficult to avoid, the initiative of the TKDS to organize the Poi Pee Mau to promote the Tai Khampti culture and tradition and thereby bring awareness and revolution among the Tai Khampti people, especially the younger generations, for all round development is appreciable.
 
The common platform in the form of Poi Pee Mau Khampti provided to the youth has relevantly changed the mindset and helped them see the brighter part of life. The Poi (festival) has in the true sense made the younger generations more acquainted with at least the names of different games and sports disciplines, and also rescued the Tai Khampti culture from the threat of possible extinction.

The celebration of Poi Pee Mau is designed in such a way that it will become a platform to develop and display the talents of the budding artists and writers of the society. It will also expose the tourism potential of the area to the outer world and help the unemployed youth get employment under the tourism sector.
Organizing the festival will surely go a long way to inspire the youths to come forward and protect the identity and culture of the community - be it today, tomorrow or in the days to come.
It also sustains the prospects of tourism and ultimately helps in strengthening the society, the state and the nation as a whole.
Poi Pee Mau Tai Khampti festival is one such way to showcase the cultural specialties of the community. It represents the cultural ethos, providing sustenance to it and ultimately promotes tourism and provides continuity to customs, tradition and culture. 
The festival also serves as an ideal platform for showcasing the splendour of the region with respect to its culture, practices, crafts and arts, and can effectively attempt to change the stereotypical notions about the district and the region as a whole. It will give ample opportunity for everyone to come together and rejoice this change. The launching of the website on the maiden Poy Pee Mau by the Governor will bring all the Tais closer, give them exposure to the world and foster universal brotherhood.

Chow Bilaseng 
Namchoom