Meghalaya: A Glimpse at the 'Dance of Joyful Hearts' -- Shad Suk Mynsiem

SHILLONG, April 10: Hundreds of tribal Khasi men and women on Monday celebrated the “Shad Suk Mynsiem” (dance of peaceful hearts) across Meghalaya marking the harvest season and also paying obeisance to God.

The dance was performed at the Weiking ground here.

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Young girls wore colourful exotic silk dresses and were decked in ornaments of gold and silver, while the men wore silk dhotis, waist-coats, plumed turbans and ornaments.

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They danced to the accompaniment of traditional music.

The girls danced in the centre while the males danced around them to represent protection for the family and the community. Being a matrilineal society, the female is the centre of the well being and progress of the family and hearth.

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“The ‘Shad Suk Mynsiem’ is one such celebration to show the community’s admiration for God. It is organised throughout the Khasi Hills during spring time when nature rejuvenates itself and mankind is filled with the hope of a rich harvest from the sown seeds,” said Sumar Sing Sawian, an elder of the Seng Khasi, a movement to preserve and propagate the indigenous religion and culture.

The Seng Khasi’s foremost task during the early 1900s was to preserve this traditional dance, which began to disappear due to the oppression of the colonial rulers.

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In 1910, the Seng Khasi leaders decided to shift the venue from Mawkhar to a more open space to its present location at Lympung Weiking.

It was on April 14 and 15, 1911 that the first “Shad Suk Mynsiem” was held at the spacious Lympung Weiking.

The Seng Khasi have been able to preserve all the aspects of this dance form, including the beat of drums, cymbals and the shrill piping sound of the tangmuri (a traditional trumpet).

(Source: Agencies) 

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