Indicating the end of the New Year and Christmas celebrations in Garo Hills, the annual Song Krittan dance competition concluded yesterday with more than a thousand in attendance and a total of 16 troupes performing for the tag of the best group this year.
Song Krittan is a tradition carried forward by generations of Garos where ‘Kirtan’ is performed using drums, cymbals and flutes along with song and dance in order to appease God.
Dance troupes from at least four districts, including West Khasi Hills, South Garo Hills, North Garo Hills and East Garo Hills were a part of the festivities, with the winner taking home Rs 50,000 as prize money, the runner up getting Rs 30,000 and the third-placed team taking home Rs 20,000.
The competition was won by one of the local teams, Nongalbibra Adiagittim, with the team from Adokgre in North Garo Hills coming second and the team from Mount Carmel in Rengdim, West Khasi Hills, coming third.
The event was organized by the Nongalbibra Song Krittan Committee with the DFO of East Garo Hills, Rupankar K Marak, acting as the chief guest, local leader Albinush Marak with EGH district taxation officer, C Bhuto Marak and former MLA, Rophul Marak who was also a part of the organizing committee.
The teams were judged by a panel under the various categories of teamwork, music, discipline, songs, dance and entertainment value as well as team combination.
“It’s sad to see the tradition fading in this age. These are traditions that need to be kept alive and I am thankful to the organizers for setting up this competition. Many places in Garo Hills have already lost the charm of ‘Song Krittan’ (Kristan) and there needs to be more encouragement through programmes like these to ensure our traditions survive,” said Rupankar during his speech.
“We have been organizing this event every year and this time we did it following all Covid-19 protocols. The event has now become integral to Nongalbibra and we would like to continue this tradition that has been given to us through our forefathers,” said Rophul.
The event was organized through donations, mainly from residents of South Garo Hills as well as the local MLA, Rakkam Sangma, being one of the contributors.