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Balajied stresses role of tourism in economy

Shillong, Nov 7: The Syiem of Hima Khyrim, Balajied Sing Syiem has stressed the important role that tourism can play in uplifting the economic condition of the Khasi people.
“We are very thankful for the assistance we receive from the Tourism Ministry from New Delhi a few years back and that is still continuing till date and we are hopeful that through the assistance we are receiving from New Delhi we will be able to further improvise and meet all the requirements to further improve and assist the tourists including our people and especially the participants in this traditional dance of the Khasi people,” Syiem said at the sidelines of the Shad Nongkrem festival at Smit today.
It may be noted here that Shad Nongkrem is the traditional dance of the Hima Khyrim that is celebrated annually at Iing Sad at Smit, as practiced from time immemorial.
Syiem said that the inflow of tourists from outside the State and also those from overseas who come and witness this festival will be of great help to show before the world the unique identity and tradition and rituals of the Khasi people.
“I am thankful to God who has showered his immense blessing from day one of this festival till today and I pray that peace and serenity prevails in the state,” he added.
Governor Tathagata Roy who witnessed the Shad Nongkrem for the first time said, “This is the high point of my stay in Shillong and Meghalaya and I’m really grateful to all the gentlemen who have invited me to witness this festival which is a feast to the eyes and very beautiful.”
The five-day long religious festival takes place at the ‘Iing Sad’ at Smit.
The Syiem of Khyrim along with the high priest performed the Pomblang ceremony, where a goat is sacrificed to appease the Lei Shyllong; the god of Shillong peak and also to the ancestors and ancestress of the ruling clan.
The religious part of the festival precedes dances, in which unmarried girls in all their exotic costumes participate.
Attired in their majestic and traditional regalia, young men also take to the dancing arena in front of the Iing Sad. They hold swords and white Yak hair whisks in their hands, keeping time to the changing beats of drums and haunting tunes of the tangmuri (pipes).
Dressed in their best, people throng the dancing arena and the adjoining hills where a colourful fair, featuring local handicrafts and delicacies is held on the occasion every year.
The concluding day of the festival today was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, State Planning Board chairman Lambor Malngiang, KHADC Chief Executive Member Teinwell Dkhar, Deputy CEM Pyniaid Sing Syiem among others.