Manipur, which literally means ‘jewelled land’, is a lush green state, located in Northeast India, which attracts many tourists from around the world. If you are a nature lover seeking for breathtaking beauties, or you just want to soak in unique culture and traditions, the hilly Indian state has much to offer you.
Manipur is a land of vibrant festivals characterized by traditional dances, handcrafted clothes, and delicious and healthy food. 20% of the Manipuri population is constituted by tribes – such as Thadou, Mao, Tangkhul, Gangte, and many others – which contribute to the incredible cultural heritage of this state.
Here are 5 amazing facts about this charming culture!
1) Ima Keithel Women’s Market – ‘The mothers’ market’
This is a historical landmark of the Manipuri capital, Imphal. Hundreds of stalls run entirely by women where you can buy fashionable clothing, colorful fabrics, handmade jewellery, fruits, vegetables, spices, and plenty more. In Manipuri, the word ima means “mother” and keithel means “market”.
2) Manipuri Fashion
There are several traditional dresses that Manipuris can boast of. Traditional clothing for women includes Innaphi, Phanek, and Mayek Naibi. Innaphi is a shawl to wrap around your upper body. Phanek is a hand woven skirt, similar to the famous sarong. Mayek Naibi is a special kind of phanek, which comes in bright colors and has horizontal stripes.
3) Healthy and almost vegetarian cuisine
Manipuri recipes are simply and yet, tasty.
The staple diet of Mapuris is made of rice, fish, and seasonal vegetables (of both aquatic and terrestrial) – many of them can be found only in and around the region. They make a large use of spices and herbs such as hooker chives, mint, coriander, curcuma, and pepper chili, avoiding the use of oil. One of the most popular dishes is Chamthong, a delicious vegetable stew. Sign up below for free, and you can receive your own Manipuri recipe!
4) Manipuri Indigenous Games
Manipur has numerous indigenous games such as Yubi lakpi, a type of contact sport, similar to rugby, played by seven
barefoot players using a coconut; the famous Polo, which originated in Manipur; Oolaobi, played only by females divided in Raiders and Avoiders; Hiyang Tannaba, a distinctive boat rowing race. Moreover, Manipur has its forms of wrestling (Mukna) and hockey (Khong Kangjei).
5) Festivals All The Year Round
Dol Yatra (March), New Year Day (April), Rath Yatra (June-July), Durga Puja (September-October), and Ningol Chakouba (November) are just some of Manipuri festivals.
In all their merriments and dances, festivals help people forget all their worries and celebrate life.
Would you like to know more about Manipur and its culture? Now, you can learn Gangte with us, with a Gangte native! Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more or simply sign up to the course!