North east festival 2022 and other information

The North east Festival or NEF is a celebration of everything that great about the north east of India. Its, cultures, cuisines, music, drinks, attires, dances, languages, styles among other things are the main focus of celebration during this 5 day fiesta. The north east festival is usually organized in the Talkatora stadium of Delhi each year; but this year in 2022, with the ongoing threats of the Omnicron variant of Corona Virus, the venue has been shifted to the Khanapara veterinary ground in Guwahati this year.

The entry fee to the festival is always free and it is like one has entered a wonderland of colors, merry making and good times. We personally visited the North East Festival in the year 2017 and let me say, it was a one of a kind of a festival. I went there with a few of my friends who were not from the north east to give them an experience of a lifetime, and let me just say… the festival DID NOT disappoint; much rather the opposite. My friends had such a good time; they talk about the events that took place the, to this day.

North east festival 2017 (5th edition) our POV

As we entered the grounds… we could hear the sound of the traditional musical instruments and the beating of the drum from the very point of entrance. The drums grew louder with each step we took as though calling us in a hurried way; and so we did hurry into the festival. Only to be greeted by a large gathering of people standing in a circle looking at a traditional dance of Angami tribe OF Nagaland. The people watched with awe and glee. Their colorful attires caught our eye and the traditional feathered head gear and how their bare feet thumped on the wet grounds on a very catchy beating of the drums made us so intrigued that we were all silent but felt a rush of energy as they danced in front of us chanting words with so much energy. It was magnificent to be able to witness this dance.  And as we stood there in absolute wonder… we wondered is more kinds of dances were happening elsewhere in places of the ground that we did not know about. A fear of missing out grasped us to our senses and we hurried past colorful, neat, vibrant and such attractive stalls looking for other such gatherings of people.

On our way we found  many people wearing their traditional attires just walking past us so casually that it almost felt like we were in the north east itself and walking through timelines of the 8 states to witness all these beautifully dressed people walking past us.

As we made our way deeper into the fields, in search of other such cultural performances happening; we came across an amphitheater where on the stage were people of the Mangar Tribe of Sikkim. Women sitting beautifully poised on the ground and the men in their pride standing right behind the women. The men on the either two ends of the line were holding a Madal (traditional drum) around their necks. A spirit of familiarity, thus excitement aroused within me so I took my friends and sat right in the front of the stage waiting for the right chance to pounce on the stage if need be. The host of the show was explaining how the festival of Diwali is celebrated in Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalimpong (because honestly it is a truly unique way in which we celebrate this festival back in the hills). Afterwards, the women and men on the stage would give us a beautiful performance of the DEUSI with all the musical instruments and the many harmonies that would make me sing with them like half the amphitheater was doing. As the host saw that there were so much energy going about the area, he called a few of us on the stage to sing along, I quickly took the chance I was waiting for and jumped on stage and did my part (as my friends recorded the whole thing).

We took our leave from the amphitheater and wandered some more. My friends were torn between hitting the food stalls next or to check the many stalls out. The stalls were full of colorful and inexpensive products such as shawls, bamboo bags, purses, mugs made of bamboo, north eastern textiles that looked rich on so many items like rugs, shawls, purses, hats, pants and tops, the chunky jewelry and wonderful aesthetics of it all was so appealing. On the other hand, the smoked and grilled pork, the barbequed chicken, freshly fried fish, the Tongba (millet beer), the organic alcoholic beverages, titaura candies, the meat made in so many varieties, steaming piles of momos, and taipos and aromatic axone with pork were all pulling us towards it as well.

Food Stalls

It may be unbelievable but we had to toss and decided to hit the stalls first and later in the evening hit the concert podium where Papon was going to perform and then on our way, carry some eatables and enjoy ourselves a little evening picnic in the garden. It was the perfect plan. Things went as planned and by the time Papon was performing, a really really large crowd gathered the stage waiting for the famous singer from Assam to deliver his performance. After we heard him sing so close to our eyes, our metaphorical thirst was quenched and we could finally head home in peace. What a time of our life it was.

North East Festival 2022 (9th edition)

This year in 2022 the festival has come back with a bang and we are all eager to visit the 9th edition of the festival that is all about inclusiveness, of making joy and merry, of dancing our hearts out and singing along songs we grew up listening to. This will be held on the 7th, 8th and the 9th of January 2022.  The best artist line up is to be expected this year and it will be accompanied by really fun events such as fashion shows, folk singing, folk dances, talent shows etc. not just that, there will be a large area to check out some of the best works of North East Indian traditional artists and their works with natural materials that are both fashionable as well as sustainable. The festival is free for entry but make sure you are double vaccinated as well as wear a mask to the festival sans which you will not be admitted to the festival.

This year an important discussion will be held in sessions where the topic of discussion will be “Make in North East” which is a very very important topic to ponder on for us North Eastern folks who strive to move ahead in the world. This dialogue session will be chaired by the Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy.

Another session that will be held on the Bhramaputra River conclave (another important topic for the north eastern states), will see attendance of state departments, shipping companies and major stakeholders. This session will be chaired by the Union Minister of Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal.

To further boost and uplift the tourism scenes in the North East, a session will be held that will be chaired by Arvind Singh, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India; and will also see the attendance of various tourism stakeholders of the region and the State Tourism Departments.

The Festival will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma.

We at NE Origins are super excited for the festival…  see you there!

NE Origins

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