[lg policy] Nagaland: ‘Language has the power to bring souls together’

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed May 24 10:48:12 EDT 2017

 ‘Language has the power to bring souls together’

May 24, 2017
[image: A traditional presentation during the opening day of the Tenyimia
Pederüchü which began on May 23 in Kohima. (Morung Photo)]
A traditional presentation during the opening day of the Tenyimia Pederüchü
which began on May 23 in Kohima. (Morung Photo)
*47th Tenyidie Pederüchü underway in Kohima*

Morung Express News
Kohima | May 23

The 47th Tenyidie Pederüchü began today, May 23 at Ura Academy Badi, Kohima
and will continue till May 25. Hosted by the Tenyimi People’s Organisation,
the inauguration was graced by Nagaland Governor P.B Acharya.
The welcome address was delivered by Rev. Tsolie Chase, Ura academy and
folk songs and special numbers were presented by various groups.

Nagaland State Chief Minister, Shürhozelie Liezietsu spoke on the history
of the Tenyidie Pederüchü which started in 1970. However the study of
Tenyidie can be traced back to 1939 during the time of the American
Missionary Tanquist.

It was only in 1970 that a renewal study and research on Tenyidie took
place, which also led to the development of the language in academia.
Liezietsu lamented that before the 1970s, due to the conflict and national
movement, the Tenyimia community could not focus on the development of

However because of the efforts of the few elders, who even in the time of
conflict continued to work towards the preservation and promotion of
Tenyidie, Liezietsu said that there was progress of Tenyidie. “The efforts
and contributions of our elders continue to guide us,” the CM said and
urged the young generation to work towards the progress of Tenyidie. He
informed that the Ura Academy will be initiating projects to promote
Tenyidie by providing classes and training on folksongs and stories.

The Tenyimia People’s Organisation in their greetings expressed the
contentment of a shared language among the Tenyimias, and also noted that
the Tenyidie Pederüchü is one of the biggest celebrations of the Tenyimias.

Congratulating the Government of Nagaland on the implementation of the
three language policy to preserve and protect the local Naga languages,
Governor PB Acharya meanwhile impressed on the importance of one’s mother
tongue, which is one of the core basis of identity. “Language has the power
to bring souls together,” he said, while however expressing regret that
local languages are not emphasized enough, and while most Universities in
the country have departments of foreign languages, there are no courses on
tribal dialects. Therefore, the Governor stressed on the promotion of local
dialects in universities across the country, besides the promotion of one’s
mother tongue in primary education.

*We must remember we are a nation: Niketu Iralu*
Exhorting the gathering during the Tenyidie Pederüchü, Niketu Iralu spoke
on the necessity for Nagas to build stronger relationships with the Indian
people, and tell the Naga story to the rest of the country. “Our Story has
crossed difficult paths but today we must begin a new battle and that is
reaching out to the Indian public. In the past, the talks and interactions
have been confined only to the Government of India, the Army and its
agencies. And because we are small and they are big, they have continuously
humiliated us. Many things have gone wrong. That happens in history and its
okay. Today we must interact with the India public. Our new future will
begin with this,” he stated.

To begin a new future, we must really understand our story and where we
stand, viewed Iralu, who also cited the two conundrums that young Nagas
faced today: ‘Was our struggle right? And have we covered any distance or
achieved anything because of the sacrifices our people have made?’

Iralu maintained that to deny the Naga struggle would be a grave injustice.
“What we struggled was right. We must not let this struggle and our history
disappear. If we lose it then our story does not hold any foundation. Nagas
are not anti-Indians. We told our positions as our history told. Nagas are
India’s little neighbor and our story has just started,” affirmed Iralu,
and urged organizations like the TPO to reach out to the rest of the tribes
and communities.

To the young generation, Iralu advised, “Your life, your personality, your
dignity, your intelligence, your values must speak to the people of India.
People who fight for your dignity, your self-respect, you will find it in
Indian people.”

Lamenting that Nagas have often narrowed down themselves on tribal lines,
Iralu reminded Nagas, “We must remember we are a nation. We must admit the
facts and let the facts win. Let the wrong be proclaimed and acknowledged.
If the process is clean, the outcome will be right.”

The Tenyimia Pederüchü is an annual conference of the Tenyimias especially
focusing on Tenyidie students, where discussions and lectures are held
besides the presentation of traditional songs, folklores. Some topics of
discussions and lectures this year will focus on Tenyidie vocabularies and
the essence of culture. The speakers for the conference are Dr. Mimi K.
Ezung, Dr. Khrüvolü Keyho, Eno Keduolhoulie Belho, Zacivelü, Vizomenuo
Yhome, Vimedo Keyho.


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