Arunachal Pradesh, the land of dawn lit mountains nestled in the eastern most tip of India is the land of evergreen wooded forest with streams; rivers meandering through mountains offer the unique tranquility and scenic beauty where every morning spreads its golden carpet first and foremost. On clear days when it is not raining, how habitual you might be, but you can’t sleep beyond 4.30 am (IST) as the golden sunrays of the early dawn coherent with the loud screams of Hoolocks from the nearby forest will wake you up …
Arunachal is a tribal dominated state and has a major population of 20 main and several sub tribes such as Adi, Apatani, Begun, Galo, Mishmi, Nyishi, Tagin ……… and so on. During my stay in the interior parts of Siang and Dibang valleys I had found that these people have a tremendous community sense which goes beyond parochial tribalism combined with profound sense of sagacity. I ‘d seen in villages like Kaying and Rotung of Siang Valley and Hunli, Aarzoo, Etalin of Dibang Valley and Hayliang in Lohit valley that each and every resident of a village contributes in house making and renovation activity of any individual. When the task is completed they will have a great party with Apung- the rice beer. The people live a very colorful and lively life and are known for their warm hearts, and are always ready to greet even a stranger with lot of love and affection.
Fairs and festival form an integral part of the life of the native people. The Lossar festival of the Mompas marks the onset of the New Year for the tribes. The Digaru Mishmis perform Tamladu festival of earth and water. Another festival that is also celebrated for peace and prosperity is the Reh festival associated with the Idu Mishmis. Even though I happened to celebrate this festival several times at Roing but the experience which I had at Mayliney village- last village towards China border in Upper Dibang valley was unforgettable. It was 1st Feb’2004, we were visiting Mayliney area and happen to reside in an army camp. It was our last day and return journey involved several kilometers of trekking but due to unexpected snowfall we had to stretch our stay and consequently we celebrated this festival with the local villagers on their invitation. The celebrations continued for whole night. As you will understand that festivals represents a meeting place for these tribals to form a jamboree and perform variety of dances, songs, stage pantomime and masked dances. Dances form a vital element in zest and joy of their living.
Nature has been exceedingly kind and has endowed this beautiful state with diverse forest and magnificent wildlife. The unparallel beauty of this land can be best described in the words of W.B .Keats – A thing of beauty is the joy forever, its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.