The Ri-Bhoi Tourism & Environment Development Forum (RBTEDF) in collaboration with Highland Integrated Development Foundation (HIDF) will be organizing a two-day festival —‘Native Fiesta’ early next year at Dam Site (Umiam Lake), with an objective to promote tourism in Meghalaya.
According to the organizers, the projected expenditure for the festival in Ri-Bhoi with the theme ‘Awakening of Socio-Economic, Cultural, Political Identity and Natural Sustainable Tourism’ is around Rs 50 lakhs.
Plielad Tiewsoh, Chairman of the organizing committee said, ‘We aim to promote tourism in the State and create awareness on the identity, cultures, lives, organic products, handloom and handicrafts of the indigenous people of this region through the festival.’
He informed that to attract tourists, the organizers will soon launch their advertising campaign.
The festival will also host various competitions on traditional folk dance, folk song, playing indigenous musical instruments of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes, traditional fashion shows, archery (Siat Khnam), cycling etc.
He also said that two songs will be released during the festival, one with the title ‘Bam Khana Shnong’ which means community picnic. ‘We want to awaken the spirits of the people of the State through this song, since in the past, communities belonging to the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo use to organize such picnics. However, these days the idea of having community picnics is out of the trend.’
The inflow of tourists to Meghalaya will also benefit the whole State. ‘We will also soon meet the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma who is also in-charge of Tourism to brief him on the festival. We are expecting his full support.’
Meanwhile, D S Malai, Secretary, Human Rights Council of India (Protection of Human Rights) in-charge North East Region said, ‘The idea is to organize the festival annually and we want to promote more places in Meghalaya which can attract tourists.’