The 121st Seng Kut Snem celebration of the Seng Khasi Kmie was held today in a more subdued manner due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead of thousands of members of the public thronging Lympung Weiking in Jaiaw, only around 100 attendees were part of the afternoon celebration. Unlike in earlier years, stalls where the public could savour a variety of Khasi cuisine and buy Khasi souvenirs were also absent.
In the morning the Seng Khasi Kmie hoisted the Seng Khasi Flag at the Seng Khasi Hall in Mawkhar.
In the afternoon, two medical professionals, Dr Werlok Kharshiing of Woodland Hospital and Dr RS Thangkhiew of Super Care Hospital were felicitated for their contribution to society.
It was on August 23, 1899 that 16 brave and patriotic Khasi youth formed the Seng Khasi to protect the indigenous religion, culture and unique language in the face of the onslaught of outside forces brought about with the coming of British rule.
This day marks the beginning of the movement for preserving and conserving the uniqueness of Khasi belief, tradition and culture.
The festival was marked by prayers invoking god’s blessings, speeches, songs and cultural programmes.
On the occasion, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma extended greetings to the citizens of Meghalaya.
“The Seng Kut Snem festival celebrates the Seng Khasi movement and the efforts of the Seng Khasi to preserve, protect and uphold indigenous Khasi faith and culture,” Sangma tweeted.
Leader of the opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma, also conveyed his best wishes to the members of the Seng Khasi Kmie.
Acting Syiem of Hima Mylliem, Ainam Manik Syiem, was the chief guest on the occasion.
The whole event was streamed live on the Seng Khasi Kmie’s Facebook page so that believers could be part of the celebrations virtually. More than 10,000 people tuned in to the stream at the time of filing this report, either watching it live or later.