Tura, Jan. 30: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today mooted setting up institutions to promote and preserve indigenous dance, music and culture while speaking at the Rhythm of Hills festival at Betasing in South West Garo Hills. He said an institution for excellence would cater and nurture the talents. Every block in Meghalaya would have an institution, where performing arts, indigenous music and dance will be taught, the chief minister added.
Stating that the government is committed to promoting the state as a global tourist hub, he said, “We have earmarked funds for promoting tourism by harnessing the rich culture and tradition of Meghalaya.” On the need to promote and brand Meghalaya as a popular “winter” and “New Year” destination, Sangma said, “We are working out an elaborate plan to popularise the state for attracting global tourists.”
He also laid focus on branding and marketing the state as an alternative winter destination in the world. Sangma said, “The exclusive culture and tradition of the state is the USP, and we have to ensure that we can give the best to the tourists.”
The chief minister tried to encourage the local residents at Betasing, which is a remote location about 52km from Tura. Urging the people to revive their culture, he said, “Tourists from Europe and the US would like to visit this part of the world for something different. At all costs, it is our duty to preserve our identity.”
Elaborating on the economics of promoting the culture, he said, “We should be able to sustain our livelihood on tourism” and asked people to avail of funds for promotion of arts and culture. He said, “The government will be more than happy to encourage people, who would like to revive their age-old traditions.”
Explaining the dynamics of promoting Meghalaya as a robust cultural hub, he said, “Our youths should enhance their skills and talents.”
On promoting Meghalaya as a film destination, he said youths should equip themselves with the knowledge of art, culture, music and dance so that they will be able to participate in different aspects of filmmaking.
After speaking at the festival, Sangma reviewed the programme for the much-anticipated maiden visit of Meghalaya governor K.K. Paul tomorrow.
He also witnessed a cultural programme comprising Wangala dance competition, indigenous sports and musical instruments, among others.
The crowd was enthralled by The Titans, a renowned band from Garo hills.