Indigenous Day calls for reviving traditional values says Bishop George

Miao, 10 August: Indigenous Day is a reminder to revive the age-old traditional values of the indigenous people said Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese in east Arunachal Pradesh.

“It is not about some important events to mark the day, but it is a call to revive the golden values of our traditional societies, respecting the elders, values of family life, and to understand the importance of our communion with nature and caring for the earth”, said Bishop George at the backdrop of a small function held at Newman School Neotan to mark the World Indigenous Day 2021.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed every year on 9 August to raise awareness and to protect the rights of the indigenous people.

Reminding the students on the importance of learning the mother tongues and being proud of their tribal identity, the Salesian prelate said, “It is sad that many of our youth and children these days try to imitate K-Pop culture. Indigenous Day is a significant occasion to get back to our roots to preserve our unique tribal identity.”

According to the latest census of India, Arunachal Pradesh has a population of 1.4 million. Indigenous people constitute more than 70% of the total population, with 26 major tribes and more than 100 sub tribes.

Congratulating the school management for encouraging the students to wear their traditional attire for the school, the Bishop said, “Let us not lose our rich tribal identity due to modern technical advancements or to outside invasion. Each of us should not only preserve it but also promote it.”

Kohman Ngemu, an indigenous leader from Changlang district, said, “The humble effort to mark the day with the school children today will go a long way in encouraging these kids to be proud of their indigenous identity”.

Commenting on the day, Wanglung Mossang, a local dialect promoter of Arunachal Pradesh said, “As indigenous people, we must mark this day and celebrate it every year in order to cling on to our own inherited qualities of love and brotherhood and sharing and caring at is used to be in the days of the old”.

In the context of most of the younger generation not being able to speak their local dialects and losing sight of their traditional cultural values, International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is a wakeup call to become aware of the rich values of the the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh, remarked Bishop George.