Tura, Nov 10: The Hundred Drums Wangala festival on Saturday came to an end at village of Asanang with a huge turnout being witness to the beat of a 100 drums that came together to make the hills sound sweeter.
100 Drums Wangala is the post harvest festival of the Garos, consisting of various thanksgiving rituals followed with merrymaking, music and dance.
The final day saw deputy chief minister, Prestone Tynsong as the chief guest among a host of dignitaries that came to see the glittering ceremony come to an end.
The Deputy CM paid tribute to the efforts at the preservation of the rich culture and heritage of Garos through the 3 day festival after witnessing the festivities. He felt it would not only showcase the rich cultural heritage but also help the people connect with the rest of the world.
“Our (government’s) endeavour to preserve and promote the cultural heritage has taken cognizance of promoting such festivals in more befitting and meaningful manner to benefit the people and help pass it on to younger generations,” said Tynsong while urging the Wangala committee and the people in general to sustain the responsibility of taking the festival to greater heights.
He also urged all to inculcate the traditional values as well as keep the festival clean and green.
Meanwhile the Hundred Drums Wangala Festival Committee in a decision has made the popular folk song ‘Dimdim Dimchong Dachichong’ as the anthem for the festival going forth.
This year’s festivities were witnessed by record crowds which included tourists from France, Germany, USA among other countries. International TV presenter Alex Outwaite of TravelX channel’s show ‘Quest’ was amongst the visiting guests who along with the Meghalaya Rural Tourism Forum in collaboration with Meghalaya Tourism participated as part of their continuous effort to promote tourism in Garo Hills.
The year’s contest was won by the contingent from Gondenggre with Chidaogre and Sadolbra coming second and third respectively. A total of 10 contingents took part in the completion. Apart from the 3 winners, the other contingents were Selbalgre, Dabakgre, Golmangre, Halua Resubelpara, Watregre, Sokadam Balading, Dametgre and Chokpot.
Adviser to the Chief Minister, Government of Meghalaya, Thomas A Sangma, Government Chief Whip, Marcuise N Marak, Co-Chairman, State Planning Board, Nihim D Shira, Judge Guwahati High Court, Justice Kotiwar Singh, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills Ram Singh and host of dignitaries attended the festival.