Arunachal Pradesh witnessed a captivating cultural exchange programme organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The two-day event, titled "Explore Culture, Cuisine, Heritage, and Art of the Vibrant Villages of India," took place from the 28th to the 29th of this month in Jemeithang.
The programme brought together 15 students from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, along with officials from the Ministry of Culture, led by consultant Gauri Basu. Additionally, members from the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) and officials from the Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, actively participated in the event.
During the occasion, Kesang Ngurup Damo, the Deputy Commissioner of Tawang, highlighted the recent meeting of Deputy Commissioners from 19 border districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The meeting, held in New Delhi with higher authorities, focused on the vibrant village programme. Damo emphasized that while Tawang had received 67,000 tourists until April this year, visitors typically limited their itineraries to four main attractions: Bumla, Jhonga-Tser, Sela Pass, and Tawang Monastery. However, the picturesque Jemeithang area, with its untapped potential for tourist attraction, remained unexplored. Damo encouraged tourists to visit Jemeithang and explore its hidden gems, including Namka-chhu, where the first bullets of the 1962 war were fired, Kenzamani and the holy tree from which the Dalai Lama entered India in 1959, the 12th-century old Gorzam Stupa, breathtaking waterfalls, and ancient shrines. He expressed hope that Jemeithang would become an important tourist destination under the vibrant village programme, and local administration has initiated action plans to submit to the government for further consideration. The administration also intends to invite students and visitors from different parts of the country for Seema Darshan at Kenzamani and Hathongla borders to promote tourism in the area.
Gauri Basu, the Consultant from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, praised the excellent coordination between the army and civil administration in organizing the programme in the border area of Tawang district. She highlighted that Jemeithang was the sixth village in Arunachal Pradesh to be visited under this programme, which aligns with the Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat initiative of the Indian government. Basu commended the artists from the Indian army who participated in the cultural exchange programme, describing their performances as heartfelt music from those responsible for our security. She also noted the spiritual atmosphere in Jemeithang, which leaves a lasting impact.
Brigadier Vikas Lal, acknowledging the significance of such cultural exchange programmes, stated that they serve as a platform to deepen one's understanding of the country and play an important role in national integration.
Tashi Dhondup, ADC Lungla, expressed gratitude for the rare opportunity to witness cultural performances from different parts of the country in a remote area. He emphasized the richness of the villages in Jemeithang and their unique cultural identities. Dhondup also highlighted the opportunity for the villagers to engage in a cultural exchange with artists from the Indian army and Orissa.
As a tribute to the people of Jemeithang, the artists from the Indian army dedicated a specially composed Jemeithang anthem by Brigadier Vikas Lal.
The cultural exchange programme commenced with a warm welcome address by Circle Officer Jemeithang, Deewan Mara, and concluded with a vote of thanks from Sonam Tsering, District Art and Cultural Officer of Tawang.
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