6 July 2018:
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Dree, the annual agriculture based festival of the Apatani community of Arunachal Pradesh, was on Thursday celebrated across the State, including Ziro plateau, with much pomp and gaiety.
Notwithstanding heavy rains, huge numbers of festival revellers, including males and females, young and the old alike in their best traditional attires thronged the Dree ground at Papu Nallah near Itanagar to celebrate their most popular festival. Greeting all a happy Dree on the occasion, the chief guest, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein commended the Apatani community for jealously up keeping their cultural identity that was handed down by their forefathers through ages.
He said that because of their efforts in keeping their traditions and culture alive, Ziro Valley is known all over the world today and many tourists from across the globe come to see the valley. The Deputy Chief Minister further assured that the State Govt will give every support to enable the Apatani cultural landscape in Ziro Valley to be declared as one of the World Heritage Sites.
Hailing Arunachal Pradesh as a hot-bed for research scholars due to its rich, diverse culture and traditions, he said the State Government has kept budgetary provisions for research and documentation of the unique tribal culture & traditions.
Making a mention of present period of technology and innovations, he called upon the youths to use the technology to their advantage in more positive way. He urged them to shun the negativity and instead make use of internet like YouTube and social media for promotion and publicity of our unique cultures, scenic beauties and beautiful landscape to the outside world which would give fillip to tourists flow in the State.
Former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who was the special guest on the occasion, praised the Apatani community for contributing immensely towards the progress of the State. Further appreciating the ‘hardworking’ Apatanis’ agricultural practices including paddy cum fish culture, and their cultural advancements, etc, the former CM said the community has contributed vastly towards human resource development in the State.
Citing the joint peace accord inked by Tanw Supun Dukun (the apex council of Apatanis) and Nyishi Elite Society (the apex body of the Nyishi community) three years back, Tuki said it has emboldened the sense of fraternity, cultural affinity between the two tribes towards maintaining peace and communal harmony.
Advocating preservation and promotion of cultural traditions, Tuki also had the words of advice for the youths asking them to stick to their culture and traditions and learn more about their cultural roots from their elders otherwise they will fade into oblivion.
Chief patron of the festival committee cum Itanagar MLA Techi Kaso also addressed the gathering.
Major highlights of the celebration were presentation of Dree mythology in the form of a drama by artists, performances of ‘Pree’ dance, multi-tribe dance (depicting pan Arunachal identity) and the most popular folk dance ‘Daminda’