Manipur celebrates its daughters and sisters with ‘Ningol Chakouba’

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MANIPUR, November 9: Lunch with your family not only makes your day, but also unites you with your loved ones. ‘Ningol Chakouba’ is one such festival celebrated by the people of Manipur that makes siblings eat together and lets them enjoy some quality time at their parental house after sister’s marriage.
‘Ningol Chakouba’ is the largest and most popular festival celebrated by the people of Manipur. ‘Ningol’ means daughter and ‘Chakouba’ means feast.
The festival is a celebration of the loving bond between brother and sister that gives an opportunity to strengthen ties inside family.
The festival is believed to have its roots in the fourth century. Married women are invited at their parent’s house along with their children for lunch. The festival is observed on the second day of New Moon in the Manipuri month of Hiyangei (October/November).
Men send lunch invitation wrapped in betel leaf with betel nuts to married sisters. Women wear their finest traditional Manipuri dress, accessories and visit their parent’s house with various eatables, like fruits, snacks and sweets. After lunch, daughters are presented with gifts from their parents and brothers and showered with blessings for a long and healthy life.
Nga-touba (fish fry), Sinju (vegetable salad with fermented fish), chamfut (boiled vegetables), soibum thongba (fermented bamboo shoot curry), Uti (classic Manipuri vegetarian dish) are some of the delicious cuisines prepared on this festival. Nga-thongba (fish curry) and Eromba (Manipuri chatni) are must items of the day.
Several social organisation also organise ‘Ningol Chakouba’ in different parts of Manipur to build unity and prosperity.
This year also, annual fish fair-cum fish crop competition was organised by Department of Fisheries, Government of Manipur at DM college of Arts Ground, Thameiband for Ningol Chakouba on Thursday. More than 70 stalls took part in the competition. The participants came from Thoubal district, Ukhrul district, Senapati district, Imphal East, Imphal West and Bishnupur district.
A variety of fish were displayed for the competition and for sale. Pinky, a fish buyer said, “It is good to organise such fairs because it makes variety of fishes available at a low price at one place. It saves time and money”.
Similarly, 17th ‘Ningol nachom’, a musical event is being organised by Young Voluntary Organisations (YVO) at THAU ground, Thameiband on Friday. Well known artists are supposed to perform their popular songs in the event.
A massive traffic jam hit Khwairamband Bazaar as the market flooded with buyers on the occasion of Ningol Chakouba festival, causing trouble to the residents. Many were seen purchasing gifts for their daughter, sister and their kids.
“I invited my sister for lunch after two years due to our mother’s death and financial issues. I will buy a pashmina shawl and rice cooker as gift for my lovely sister,” said an excited Ebomcha. (TNN)