Traditional systems of the Jaintia community: Change and continuity

Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture Guwahati in collaboration with Seinraij Jowai organised a seminar entitled “Traditional systems of the Jaintia community: Change and continuity” held on 17th and 18th December 2018 in Jowai, Meghalaya.

Total seventeen papers were presented in the seminar. The resource persons involved were twenty three. These were Oral history of the Jaintias, Traditional self governing Institutions, Administrative organisation of Seinraij Jowai, God and Goddess of Jaintia community, Divination, Marriage system of the Jaintias, Birth Rituals, Naming rituals and Death rituals, Community Festivals, Creation History of the Jaintias, Traditional healing, Two papers on Traditional knowledge for cultural continuity, Mourning prayers of the War Jaintias, Kopati puja. The papers were well written and well presented. The presentations were followed by discussion part where the audience took active part. Approximately 600+ participants were there in the seminar from different parts and villages of Jaintia Hills.

Mananeeya Nivedita R. Bhide, Vice President, Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Mananeeya Pravinji Dabholkar Joint General Secretary, Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Shri O.R Shallam, President, Seinraij Jowai, Sri Atworki Sumer, Secretary. Seinraij, Jowai, Dr. Joram Begiji, Prant Sanchalak, Vivekananda Kendra Arunachal Pradesh Prant, Prof P.C. Bhattacharjee, Director, VKIC, Kum. Meera Kulkarni, Prant Sangathak, Vivekananda Kendra, Assam Prant were present in the seminar. Dr Joram Begiji delivered the Keynote address and Mananeeya Nivedita Didi delivered the Valedictory address.

Man. Nivedita Didi, observing all the paper presentations highlighted in Didi's valedictory address the commonalities of Jaintia community with others like to see the Divinity in all, worshipping actually the Divine that is expressed in Nature, respect for mothers, respect and obligation to the ancestors, etc. Didi also cleared some basic confusion like Hindu conversion, one's faith and culture are separate identities, culture is on one's fooding and clothes only, etc. spread by the vested agencies.

In the valedictory session Man Pravinji told about the Vivekananda Kendra activities. Dr Joram Begiji told about the Vivekananda Kendra activities in Arunachal Pradesh with reference to the starting from Man Eknathji Ranade.

VKIC and Seinraij jointly felicitated nine Jaintia community elders for their outstanding contribution to the community with citations in valedictory session.

Traditional Jaintia food was there in the seminar. Mothers cooked and served food with so much love and care.