Come February 26, 2011, Nyokum festival was celebrated across the state by Nyishi community in a big way. This reporter had set his focus on Mega Nyokum Celebration at Yazali and that of a village level Nyokum celebration at Talo village. They were contrasting yet impressive in their own different ways.
At Yazali the Nyokum celebration was indeed a mega event. The Hon’ble MLA of the area Mr. Likha Saaya was involved body and soul in making it big. Tagged as hi-fi Saaya, he ensured that the event was hi-fi, be it the list of VVIPs attended in the event to the arrangement of Bollywood singers and actors to entertain public. The celebration site was delight to watch-long Nyishi house having a hearth each for all Anchal ssegments of Ziro-II area in a single roof, beautifully constructed food stalls and a grand stage. It appeared like beautifully conceived amusement park. He sent a clear message to the world that he a youthful leader with new ideas and lot of energy.The event was costly but it worth when one intends to showcase culture and tradition of a community.
At Talo, the celebration was simple and participation was complete. Here also youth energy was palpable. This reporter was told that during the late 1990′s and early 2000, the Nyokum was not celebrated in the village for some years. Reason: about 90% of the population in the village got converted to Christianity. In year 2008 a group of young people just out from college did the soul searching on their root. They felt necessity of celebration of Nyokum to get reconnected to their root. They formed a team, and started campaining for the celebration of Nyokum and delinking religion from indigenous culture. Thanks to the effort of the Briyani Team, Nyokum celebration was re-instated in the village and has never looked backed ever since.