Aim and Vision
After a grand success on the WSPNC-1 in 2018, the organizer has decided to organise the WSPNC-2 this year, 2019. The school aims to preserve and promote the culture of Poumai Naga by imparting the knowledge about the unique culture of Poumai Naga to the younger generation. In the school, the younger generation will get an opportunity to learn and gain knowledge from the elders--the knowledge that is ignored in school textbooks. This is one of the best opportunities for a participant to interact and learn from those learned elders who have acquired knowledge through lifelong experience living in their native villages, not necessarily through formal education.
The Vision of this WSPNC is to develop a scholarship in Poumai culture:
Dao maisii daomaisii chabi thoutia moshe
Translation: In the past, locks were not required [From Poula song]
We evidence that the younger generation are vague even on the basic notion about the culture. At a fast-paced haste, they are adopting the emerging modern trends, so called westernization. In this transition, the value of our culture diminishes both in discourse and practice. Basically, this is due to the lack of avenues to exercise, including the education system and socio-political environment. This has led to endangerment of the culture and language, our identity. The death of a culture (or a language) is not merely an extinction of a code, but it is the loss of a vital knowledge and information that it clasps, which is an irreparable loss to human civilization.
In India alone, with diverse cultures and traditions, there exist more than 780 languages. According to PLSI (The People's Linguistic Survey of India) report, the rate at which languages are dying in India is extremely high as over 220 languages estimated as death in the last 50 years. UNESCO has recorded that, in India, 197 languages are categorised as endangered. In the list, Oinam, Ngari and Khongdei languages of Poumai Naga tribe are not even listed; these languages are yet to be known to the rest of the world. If we consider the indigenous practices, most of the traditions are all in verge of extinction; only few elders could explicitly interpret the connotation of these unique practices.
This infers a call to the community members to start preserving and promoting through documentation and relativization program--like this winter school. The knowledge clasped in our tradition must be promoted while the elders are still alive to teach us. Sadly, there is little that the central government is doing for these cultures and languages of northeast India. One right way to begin is to start imparting the knowledge that our culture clasps to the younger generation. This will certainly enable the next generation to get the knowledge from the present generation.