EMA 8TH Annual Get-Together, 17 – 19 July 2008, Lancashire, UK
– PR from European Manipuri Association –
UK / September 16, 2008
The 8th annual get-together of the European Manipuri Association (EMA) was held in Lancashire, United Kingdom from 17-19 July 2008. The chosen venue was a beautiful Edwardian country house positioned above the waters of Morecambe Bay with great views of the Lake District mountains.
People had been arriving on Friday evening from all over UK and some from as far as Poland and Ireland. The evening was spent catching up with everyone over a hearty ‘Bring and Share’ dinner. The next day started with the Annual General Body Meeting.
Dr Bisharda Angom, Chairperson extended a warm welcome to all especially to the new members and outlined the schedule for the 2 days. Dr Linthoi Akoijam, General Secretary provided a brief summary of the achievements of EMA over the past one-year.
These included the redesign of the new EMA website, contributions made to ‘Royal Riders of Manipur’ and ‘Linux Manipur’, celebration of Ningol Chakouba and the historic moment of celebrating Christmas and Eid together for the first time in the history of Manipuri Diaspora. She also mentioned the challenges EMA faced over the past one year which were later addressed at the group discussion.
Copies of the Annual Report 2007-2008 were circulated to the members. Mr Dinesh Huidrom, Treasurer presented a summary of the financial report and Dr Gagarine Yaikhom, Web Master shared with all the new design of the EMA website. The new website was highly appreciated by everyone.
The group discussion focused on encouraging more Manipuris living across Europe to join EMA and also on fostering effective communication and information sharing amongst members, which is vital for the successful functioning of an organization. Members actively participated in a healthy and constructive discussion on shaping the vision of EMA and ways of achieving the goals.
The day continued with various activities keeping everyone involved and entertained. Dr Krishnananda Sharma and Mr James Vaiphei were instrumental in overseeing the activities. All members who attended the gathering were divided into three teams who competed against each other in various games such as Ballon-Bursting, Chaphu Thugaibi, Thouri Chingbi and football.
The gathering can never be complete without the traditional ‘Thabal Chongba‘ led by Pabung Sinha and Auntie Sinha. There were various showcases of talents in the form of ‘Phagi-Jugai‘, songs and ‘Khulang Eshei‘. The place echoed with sounds of laughter and merriment. A variety of food was relished including many traditional Manipuri dishes, which formed a key aspect of the gathering.
The weather God was kind and blessed us with a beautiful sunny and dry weather, making the walk along the beach extremely enjoyable. The evening was spent playing numerous rounds of ‘Housie‘, which brought back memories of home.
The gathering was a very successful, enjoyable and memorable one. Every member was actively involved and there was a sense of collective responsibility and warm interaction among all those who were present.
The support rendered by those who were unable to attend was acknowledged. There was optimism that EMA can carry on the journey with everyone working together towards a shared vision. The weekend ended with a truly good feeling with everyone looking forward eagerly to the next gathering.
Dr Linthoi Akoijam
European Manipuri Association