Kokborok Melodies and Yoga’s Embrace in Gondatwisa College’s 46th Kokborok Day Celebration

By Saibal Debbarma

January 21, 2024

Gondatwisa (Gandacherra) College celebrated its 46th Kokborok Day in a unique manner on January 19. A Kokborok folk song, reflecting on the everyday struggles of life, goes, ‘Jadu hwnma le bo kisa ni ya / hani sakha nokha ni tola,’ meaning ‘Brethren, it’s not easy to walk / upon this earth, beneath these skies.’ This encapsulates the essence of the tradition and the distinctive culture of the Tipra community, where they seek to understand life’s broader questions by delving into its smaller components.

The students of Government Degree College, Gondatwisa, face challenges that might seem trivial to their urban counterparts. They engage in activities such as working in huk (jhum), as daily wage labourers, or as REGA workers, earning minimal wages to support their families through days of trials and hardships. The crumbling infrastructure of the Gondatwisa Sub-division, coupled with its remoteness from major cultural, social, and economic centres, defines the existence of the average Gondatwisa college student, resonating with the sentiments expressed in the folk song ‘Jadu hwnma le bo kisa ni ya’ meaning ‘Brethren, it is not easy to walk.’

Despite these challenges, there are rare moments of joy and celebration when indigenous communities come together to celebrate their uniqueness and diversity through colourful costumes, cultural performances, and displays of talent.

In this spirit, the Department of Kokborok and the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of Government Degree College, Gontatwisa, collaborated to celebrate the 46th Kokborok Day on their cozy yet vibrant college campus. The celebration took a unique turn with the presence of Yogi Krishna Nayaka from Mysuru, Karnataka. He has dedicated his life to promoting the practice of Yoga among young minds, having walked over 10,000 km across all states of India to teach yoga in different learning institutions.

The NSS Unit of the college invited Guru Krishna Nayaka to the college, making the occasion a unique amalgamation of Kokborok language celebration and Yoga practice. It blended cultural and spiritual awareness, and Guru Krishna Nayaka expressed that in his travels across the northeastern states of India, he hadn’t encountered such a beautiful gathering where indigenous communities celebrated in their traditional attire. He even managed to speak a few words of Kokborok, saying “Ang norok jotono Hamjago,” meaning “I love you all,” and concluded his lecture with a modest “Hambai” (Thank You). This small gesture greatly uplifted the spirits of the students of Gondatwisa College, who have so little to brighten their days.

Picture 1: A student of Gondatwisa College, speaking about the importance of the language and its heritage.

Picture 2: Guru Krishna Nayaka, who is spreading the practice of Yoga among young minds across India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Picture 3: Guru Krishna Nayaka imparting wisdom through the art of yoga, gracefully demonstrating various poses.

Saibal Debbarma is Assistant Professor, Department of English, Government Degree College, Gondatwisa (Gandacherra), Dhalai District, Tripura.

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