The annual agro-based Solung Festival is one of the major festivals celebrated by the Adi community in India's northeastern Arunachal Pradesh state.
While the week-long celebrations are ongoing in the state, recently Adi community residing in capital New Delhi celebrated Solung with much fanfare and enthusiasm.
The main highlight of Solung festival is the enticing and religious Ponung dance in which women perform in a group. This year, a professional dance troop traveled all the way from Arunachal Pradesh to Delhi to entertain their people.
Ponung dance is a lively folk dance accompanied with mesmerizing songs where the dancers are all dressed in similar traditional outfits. The dance is led by a man who holds a sword and dancers' steps follow the movements of the sword.
Tapir Tali, the man leading the dance troop told ANI, "Without the sword, we don't enjoy the dance. Like banjo, harmony, guitar; this sword is a musical instrument for me. If I hold it, the energy comes in. But, just holding the sword is not fun. Moving the sword is. The movement of sword acts as a rhythm to the dance."
Apart from the Ponung dance, the celebration also saw Adi students perform their folk songs.
Niyang Pertin, the General Secretary of the Adi Students Union in Delhi and also one of the organizers of the event, said the main reason to celebrate the festival away from home is to keep in touch with the community's roots and culture.
"The reason why we celebrate Solung here in Delhi is that it is very important for us as students who study outside Arunachal Pradesh to still keep in touch with our roots and culture. This also becomes a good bonding place for Adi community residing in Delhi," Pertin told ANI.
Kiren Rijiju, MoS Home Affairs; Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, MoS Information and Broadcasting and Arunachal East Lok Sobha MP, Ninong Ering attended the event and extended their wishes to the community.
Addressing the crowd, Rijiju said, " Adi students' union and my friends, I would like to extend my hearty good wishes to you on the occasion of Solung Gidi 2017. Solung has been a festival where we devote our energy to have fun. Especially in Delhi, it has become a routine where we celebrate not only Solung but other festivals of Arunachal Pradesh," Rijiju said.
Traditional fashion show and community feast were the highlights of the celebration.