Shillong, Nov 15: A national seminar entitled Folklore – Traditional Knowledge in Art Form was organized to commemorate the Tribal Pride Week (Janajaitya Gaurav Divas) at the Kper Mawbynna, Nartiang, West Jaintia Hills on the 15th of November 2022. The seminar was held in the presence of the Wahehchnong, Mr M Phalangki, who thank MLCU for hosting the seminar in the village. Others present were other representatives from the village of Nartiang, and the students of MLCU and Sauramandala Foundation, Shillong.
The event was organised by the School of Language and Literary Studies and the Department of Environment and Traditional Ecosystems, MLCU under the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Culture, MLCU, in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture, Government of Meghalaya. The main objective of the event was to have a discourse on folklore, definition, history and academic significance in contemporary times and to encourage and develop an interest towards folklore and folkloric studies.
The key note address by Dr. Eric Miller, Director, World Story Telling Institute, Chennai focused on the history of the academic discipline of folklore and encouraged the local community to take a lead role in documenting folklore through children’s local songs in games and local proverbs. Dr Glenn Kharkongor, Chancellor, MLCU spoke on folklore and explained on how it is the first authentic source of knowledge. Dr. H H Mohrmen, prominent activist and writer of the region, narrated the folklore of Nartiang and the Pnar people. Dr. Desmond Kharmawphlang, professor, Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, NEHU and Auswyn Japang, Assistant Professor, St. Anthony’s College, Shillong reiterated on the importance of memory and process in folklore. Dr. Srikumar Menon, Associate Professor, Department of Heritage and Humanities, NIAS, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore narrated the legends of the ‘Little People’ of Megalithic South India.
The seminar ended with a note from Dr. Gideon Arulmani, Director, The Promise Foundation, Bangalore on the importance of the need to create our own stories, a process which is an important aspect of folklore.