Do Football Players At Service Academies Have To Serve Military Indigenous Games of Manipur

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Indigenous Games of Manipur

Manipur – the jeweled land, shares borders with Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Myanmar. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India conferred the term “Land of Jewels” on Manipur. He is truly a sparkling gem, whose luster has refused to be dimmed by the stormy trials of fire. The Indian Viceroy, Lord Irwin, also referred to the state as the “Switzerland of India”. Manipur is home to a variety of fauna and flora species that are difficult to find elsewhere.

The state’s claims to fame include its historical role in World War II, the hoisting of the Indian National Army flag at Moirang by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1944, the classical dance “Rasa Leela”, indigenous sports and martial arts, and Sangai (Sangai). Forehead antelope) and Siroy lily.

The hills of Manipur echo and reflect a distinct sound and sight. Its residents could easily pass for Hong Kong or Bangkok but ironically invite a second look of curiosity to our national metropolis. Its own art form and cultural expression and impact manifest Manipur to the world.

Ras Leela is a Manipuri classical dance form based on the mythological love of Lord Krishna and Radha and the devotion of the gopis to the Lord. The richness of the costume adds to the beauty of the art.

Nupa Pala (Kartal Cholom or cymbal dance) is a result of Manipuri style of dance and music. It is usually performed by male performers using a cymbal and wearing a white phejom (dhoti) and circular turban. They sing and dance to the beat of the pung (mridunga).

Manipur is promoting the development of adventure sports in the region. Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association, Manipur Adventure and Allied Sports Institute and The Adventure Academy of Manipur offer courses and assistance in white water rafting and trekking.

The game of Sagol Kangjei (Manipuri polo) has been adapted and adopted as polo by international enthusiasts and is now played all over the world. It is accepted by the world that the game of polo originated from Manipur.

Khong Kangjei (Manipuri Hockey) is also a very popular Manipuri outdoor sport. The game is played with seven players on either side, and each player carries a bamboo stick about 4 feet long and bent at the lower end like modern hockey sticks. With seven players on each side, the game is stronger than hockey and is a mix of hockey, football, rugby and wrestling.

Mukna, the Manipuri version of wrestling is a must on the last day of the Lai Haraoba festival. Competitors are matched for physique and weight.

The game of UB Lakpi (Manipuri Rugby) is played on the green grounds of the Palace Grounds or the Bijoy Govinda Temple Grounds. “Ubi” means coconut and “Lakpi” means cocoon. Each side consists of seven players in an area approximately 45 x 18 meters, with one side forming the center of the goal line.

Kang is usually played on the well-polished floor of a large house. Fixed targets are hit with a “Kang” which is a flat and rectangular tool made of ivory or lacquer. Normally each team has 7 partners.

Hiang Tannaba (Boat Race) is usually held at Thangapat in the month of November. The boats called hiang hiren are believed to be imbued with spiritual powers and the game is associated with religious rites.

Thang-ta and Sarit Sairat are the martial arts of Manipur. Indigenous martial-art forms were meant to enhance one’s fighting skills. Recently it has been recommended to include this art in the school curriculum.

Some of the important festivals of Manipur are Yaosang (Holi) Cheraoba (New Year), Ningol Chakouba, Kut, Kwak Jatra, Heikru Hidongba, Lai Haraoba, Lui-ngai-ni and Chumpha.

Major tourist attractions are Sri Sri Govindaji Temple, Khawairamband Bazaar (world’s oldest market), Shaheed Minar, World War II Cemetery, Manipur Zoological Park, Singda Dam, Langthabal Palace, Khonghampat Orchidarium, Japanese War Memorial, Busnupur, Lokmat, Patangan. Kabul Lamjao National Park, Ukhrul and Moreh.

Manipur is well connected to major Indian cities. Imphal Airport has daily airline services like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Deccan and IndiGo. The nearest railway station is Dimapur in Nagaland. However, Guwahati railway station in Assam is preferred by most travelers due to its modern facilities and daily bus service to Imphal.

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