Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dree Celebration 2008

4th July

Time 3.30 pm: I am thinking of capturing the Dree Celebration on 5th on my camera but am clueless on when to proceed to Dree Ground at old Ziro or when the programme would start the next day.

Time 5.30 pm: I got chance to go through the invitation card of Dree Celebration at one of friends house. The programme overleaf says:

0800 Hrs: Gathering at Dree Ground.
0930 Hrs: Arrival of Chief Guest.

With the details of programme the next day handy, I am thinking of making it to Dree Ground before 0930 Hrs the next day.

5th July

As late riser as I’m, I got up at around 7.30 am only to find that the Rain God has not been so kind. There have been heavy downpour since last night and it still is continuing. I’m not able to make out if I should proceed to Dree Ground or not or if it, at all would be possible to take any photos in such inclement weather (my camera is not water proof….gee.. :().

Time 9.25 am: Despite the heavy rain I finally make up my mind to go to Dree Ground at Old Ziro, to be part of the celebration, if not capturing the event. And with me, I tag my camera along; still unsure if I would be able to put it to use. I think of capturing whatever fancies me at the celebration ground if Rain God permits.

Time 9.45 am: I reach Dree Ground feeling bit annoyed with myself for not making it to ground on time prior to arrival of Chief Guests. But, where are the Chief Guest and Guest of Honor? They have not arrived yet.Meanwhile, the overcast subsides and the Rain God shy away paving way for bright sunshine, to the much relief of people gathered in the ground for celebration. It’s been an hour now waiting for the Chief Guest and Guest of Honor to arrive.

Time 10.45 am: Finally, Chief Guest Nido Pavitra, Hon’ble MLA Raga and Guest of Honor Ms. Bandhana Deori, IRS, Secretary Tourism & UD, Government of Arunachal Pradesh arrives along with the CDFC Chairman. What took them so long to reach the venue when they were putting up at Ziro since the previous day? Oh! I should have known what schedule means to the politicians.

Guest, Guest of Honor and CDFC Chairman pose with Dree 'Nyibu'

Time 11.10 am (roughly): With invocation of Dree spirits and hoisting of Dree flag over and with inclement weather paving way for sunshine, I let my camera take charge.

Camera Crew of Local Cable Network covering the celebration

Team Leader..Eh! A Japanese Tourist matching steps with Daminda Team

Turn of the Apatanis'-known for their hospitality to felicitate the Japanese friends who so enthusiastically took part in the celebration

With foreign tourists flocking Ziro to withness the celebration, I am thinking is it the dawn of cultural tourism.

Eiffel Tower for sale, any takers?

Pinta at Dree Altar

Who's the Subject?

Time around 2.30 pm: ‘Nikung Dapo’, Apatani Dictionary by Habung Donyi (New Edition) and 'Ditung Potung' of Hija released.

Time 3.20 pm: Feeling bit tired and bored to hell with the speeches delivered, I decide to retreat back to my home.

6th July

Time 2.30 pm: Cho called on to ask if I would be interested in going to Dree Ground to witness draw of Dree Lottery. With the sun blazing down fiercely since yesterday, almost making me sleepy and lazy, I am not in a mood to venture outside from the comfort of my home. Half heartedly, I give him an affirmative reply. From inside, I am praying that he would cancel his plan to go to Dree ground.

Time 2.35 pm: Cho along with Tallo knocks the door. There is no other option left with me but for tagging along with them to Dree Ground. I console myself telling myself that I will be witnessing the Dree Lottery Draw, which has earned a name for itself for it’s fairness in draw.
Time 4.00 pm: Draw begins and it indeed is a very fair draw without any scope of cheating the ticket holders.

A policeman and a lottery ticket holder inspecting the tambola used for draw

Time 5.30 pm: Our ticket numbers are not in the list of numbers drawn and we are heading back to Hapoli a little disappointed with our lucks :(


  • popisarmi

    Thanks AG for the hard work done.Felt nostalgic! Nice coverage. Don't you think you missed some thing? Could have invited some more personalities? May be the after mates of heavy dowm pour affected this year's DREE celebration!

  • Buru

    Nice photos.

    But disappointed to see Tambolas spoiling the pristine occassion.
    Booze should be discouraged to the minimum and lotteries should be banned altogether. With a profusion of these two our 'festivals' are an embarassment rather than a source of pride.

    * Japanese tourists need to be encouraged more. They are the favorites in the tourist circuit everywhere: Being loaded with cash, spends them freely, are well mannered, obeys rules and usually not involved with the drug-sex-party circuit.
    Western tourists often bring more damage in the long run than benefits.(The present ones are exceptions--they are mostly niche tourists, not the regular ones).

  • AG

    @ popisarmi,
    Thanks for the nice words. I'm not sure on what I could have missed. Could you please elaborate?


    I too agree with you that gambling in the form of dice, lotteries and 'tambolas' shouldn't be the part of such celebration. Here in this case, Tambola was used for draw of lots for lotteries:)

  • Anonymous

    celebrations should be less commercialized.... like everybody ...gambling wasnt necessary

  • AG

    On the contrary, I don't mind celebration being commercialized provided the organizer's put up a good show....having the potential to draw tourists as well as the local populace to the celebration..instead of just making it a political show... ;)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this worderful moments which I miss now. I enjoyed this when I was there in Ziro & now I am settled in a metro. Though I am a non apatani but I still carry those sweet memories in my heart which will never ever fade. I hope to see more of such event & postings in the future which will keep us intact even though we are afar. I would appreciate if you guys could find out the email ID or contact number of Mr Kuru Tai who is the top left hand side of the first photo. I long to see his contact in the next newsletter. I want to give him a surprise by calling him. I also thank you guys because finally through you people can now feel the real Ziro be in touch even from afar.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there,
    Here I would take the liberty to highlight a sentence from one of the comments on July 9th 2008 11:20 am. Here we go...
    "* Japanese tourists need to be encouraged more. They are the favorites in the tourist circuit everywhere: Being loaded with cash, spends them freely, are well mannered, obeys rules and usually not involved with the drug-sex-party circuit.
    Western tourists often bring more damage in the long run than benefits. (The present ones are exceptions--they are mostly niche tourists, not the regular ones)."
    What does this mean?
    In the first sentence the writer tried to encourage the inflow of Japanese tourist in Ziro but, the meaning is just the opposite if you know proper English. I doubt the Japanese might look weird after reading words like loaded with cash, spends them freely,
    In the second sentence, the writer just said NO to western tourist.

    Well, first of all I would like to apologize on behalf of this writer in particular to the Western & Japanese Tourist who intends to visit Ziro. This is out of sheer ignorance from the writer’s part.
    I guess its time we matured. Blogs or other social Medias are a medium to express our feelings these days but, we need to keep in mind that we represent a whole community & not just an individual when we express our feelings in any social media & our negative words might also boomerang & often can be fatal for the society as a whole. (Let’s not forget the Apatani Dictionary issue)
    The writer’s intention may be clean & he might be innocent & just expressed his individual feelings but, have we ever thought how the whole world will interpret it.
    Don’t you think we have good as well as bad people in the whole world and in every society? Have we ever thought how we behave with Non Apatanis, how few of our people are doing notorious things & even we too have such so called *xyz* circuit in Ziro itself? We too have few youngsters involved in unlawful activities & leading an estranged life. Does this mean that Non Apatani should also look at us in the same way the writer feels? I guess not; for the doings of few people or individual the whole community cannot be blamed or interpreted.
    It’s an opportunity for us to correct our mistakes in advance before it’s too late because we are in the early stage of social media & I feel lot of intellectual should join in to find alternate solutions for such issues. May be the Blog owner should filter the opinions before letting it live for the sake of our society.

  • buru

    Hi anonymous,

    Thanks for your opinion.Like you, I am also entitled to my opinion;
    I do not think I have been harsh on the Japanese-'proper' English or not; quite the contrary. I have been indeed harsh on the Westerners ( but not the present one's who are more of adventurers/anthropologists/Linguists/historians etc --hence I clubbed them under ' niche'); If you have been to countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, or, even to Goa and Manali you will know what I am talking about.

    Filtering of views can be done in ideal societies like the Tatmadaws Burma or Kim's North Korea.
    Please do not presume that all posters here are Apatani;)

  • Anonymous

    Hey Buru thanks for responding & I am extremely sorry as my intention was not to hurt your feelings. But I would still defend my views about "being loaded with cash & spends them freely" as similar to proverbs PARO in Apatani & MURGA in Hindi which also resembles lust & greed. I can feel your wish & concern for a cleaner tourism as I too agree that there were instances of Western Tourist involved in unlawful activities & I am also aware of the revenue generating ways by few of the countries & places you have mentioned which is turning those places into red light areas. Lets find ways together to tackle this in advance for instance, by notifying customary laws; do's and don'ts in the tourist guidelines in addition to the common guidelines issued by the govt of India; educating the Tour Operators in Arunachal Pradesh so that they can pass on the message to tourist for strict compliance. May be Buru you could provide even better ideas.
    Lets see how much Japanese spend in comparison to western tourist :
    Tourism expenditure by country: top ten tourism markets, 2006 ( latest data not available )
    Country US$ billion %of all tourism spending
    1. Germany 74.8 10.2%
    2. United States 72.0 9.8%
    3. United Kingdom 63.1 8.6%
    4. France 32.2 4.4%
    5. Japan*** 26.9 3.7%***
    6. China 24.3 3.3%
    7. Italy 23.1 3.2%
    8. Canada 20.5 2.8%
    9. Russian Federation 18.8 2.6%
    10.Republic of Korea 18.2 2.5%
    World 733 100%
    Source: World Tourism Organisation (WTO)
    Moreover, the so called Niche tourist are very less in number & don't even reach ten percent of the global tourism revenue as most of them are volunteers, students & mostly funded by research & non profit institutes where there is a restriction on expenditure & shortage of fund. They prefer to stay in camps, low cost transportation & often shop less unlike the other ninety percent who are spendthrifts, looks for luxuries & these days many of the western tourist are traveling a lot following the orders of Article 22 of the Constitution of the ILO which grants them four weeks of holiday. Even Western Corporates have found a new way of giving rewards to their employees by giving holiday packages which in turn relaxes the employee & thereby boosting their integrity towards their company & yielding more returns. I also agree with you that Japanese are the most welcomed tourist in the world because of their cleanliness & often it is said that you don't need housekeeping after a Japanese leaves the hotel. Moreover Arunachal is yet to improve the income generating means from tourism & presently we have very few countable means which is not enough. We don't have quality products to woe them like promotional rates for handicrafts,durability with modernity. Like our LERA (back bag) was earlier used to carry meat & bamboo shoots generally which is of less use now & becoming a decorative item. Therefore, we need to design crafted bags to carry books, mobiles or even laptops which would become a necessity & fashion. I guess tourist are visiting Arunachal to see its beauty but we don't have anything to offer them even if we do that lacks international standard.
    Any way Buru its time I left for work so let me wind up & I am sure we'll have a nice time ahead on various topics & I expect more from you.
    Bye for now.
    Wild Man

  • buru

    Hi not-so-wild man :),

    No sweat, I like to give and take punches, as long as it is on well argued points.I would have liked to reply to you more in detail, unfortunately I am travelling now.

    Just as a matter of interest I would like to know the major differences between the following 2 quotes:
    "being loaded with cash & spends them freely" as similar to proverbs PARO in Apatani & MURGA in Hindi which also resembles lust & greed AND
    "unlike the other ninety percent who are spendthrifts, looks for luxuries " I know you did not mean ill will with above quote, so was I.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Buru I appreciate your spirit & I got your point too. Well Buru I would have appreciated & your post would have been beautiful if you had used words like "wealthy" or something else instead of "being loaded with cash & spends them freely" which looks somewhat low or indecent as if we are feasting our eyes on their money. But sometimes like minded people meet by accident so lets hope for more fun ahead & safe journey to you.
    Wild man

  • buru

    WM (are you Jongo Lee?)You are fully correct re the usage of words like "loaded with cash" is mildly inappropriate , esp when using it to appreciate a persons qualities. I am very easy to provoke you see, thats my weakness:)

    However pl do sign in with any particular pseudonym everytime, so we can have a meaningful interaction..

  • Anonymous

    Hey Buru,
    I was busy all these days with my works and my schedules are tight for another week. I'll definitely get in touch with you once I am done with this particular work with which I am completely messed up now. Oh! by the way very few people know that in their weakness lies their strength & I'm glad you found that. Good luck.
    Bye for now.

  • aileen

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Post a Comment