On 26th January, 2018, Rajpath will witness for the first time a traditional dance of the Mog tribe of Tripura, the land of plentiful myths and legends
For the first time, 150 tribal students selected from 25 schools of three districts of Tripura will perform the traditional ‘Sangrai dance’ in the ceremonious Republic Day parade.
‘Sangrai dance’ is performed by the Mog tribal community on the occasion of Sangrai festival during the month of Chaitra (in April) of the Bengali calendar year. The Mogs are one of the 19 tribes in Tripura.
According to the 2011 Census, Mog population in Tripura is 37,893. Indigenous communities form about 30 per cent of Tripura’s population.
Who are Mogs?
The Mog are Arakanese descendants who migrated to Tripura through Chittagong Hill Tracts. Their language is grouped under Tibeto-Chinese family which is also linked with Assam-Burmese section of language.
Almost all the people belonging to the Mog community are the followers of Buddhism. The Mog Buddhists have close affinity with Burmese Buddhism in all socio-cultural and religious aspects. Their major concentrations are at Sabroom and Belonia in South Tripura.
Mogs are dependent on Jhum Cultivation. They have administrative social council and the chief of this council is called Chowdhury. The Mog cremate their dead after observing rites and rituals. Mog community is by tradition famous for their folk medicine. Beside their normal economic activities some of them earn through practicing traditional treatment by using indigenous medicines.
What is Sangrai festival?
The people of the Mog community in general and the youth in particular celebrate the day to welcome the new year. Cakes are prepared at every home and people move from house to house to eat cakes, dancing and singing with branches of the pious ‘wish yielding tree’ (Kalpataru) on their head. On this day water is carried in auspicious pitchers and the elders are allowed to take bath with this water.
The young boys and girls indulge in aquatics and traditional ‘Khouyang’ is played on bet. Paste of fragrant sandalwood and water of green coconuts are sprinkled in every house. During the celebration, fragrant water is poured on the root of ‘Bodhi Briksha’. The festival continues for three days. The people of Mog community observe austerity from the full moon of Bengali month of ‘Ashadh’ down to the full moon Bengali month of ‘Ashwin’. Generally no auspicious occasion like marriage is celebrated during the period. Even the married women do not go to their parents’ house during this time.