EMA Annual Social Gathering, 21st August to 23rd August 2009
– PR from European Manipuri Association –
UK / September 14, 2009
The EMA Annual Social Gathering, 2009, was held at the serene and idyllic village of Ingleton, Lancashire, UK from 21st August to 23rd August 2009. The gathering commenced with the general body meeting which was conducted smoothly on the morning of 22nd August. Following Manipuri traditions the meeting commenced with prayers for a peaceful and prosperous Manipur. New EMA members were introduced and were warmly welcomed by the committee.
A minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect in memory of late Dr. Saroj Nalini Arambam Parratt who passed away on December 2008. She was a true Manipuri patriot of international repute who had made us all proud through her enormous contributions towards a better Manipur. She had taken EMA to an entirely new level while serving as the Chairperson of EMA. She will continue to act as beacon for all of us whenever we are in need of direction and guidance. May her soul rest in peace.
The meeting progressed with the outgoing Chairperson, General Secretary, Treasurer and Webmaster announcing the achievements and activities EMA as an organization in addition to the individual contributions from EMA members. A heart warming farewell was given to the outgoing committee, which was followed by election of new committee members.
The members present in the meeting unanimously elected the new office bearers as below:
1) Chair Person: Dr. Samurailatpam Krishnananda Sharma
2) General Secretary: Santosh Sougrakpam
3) Treasurer: Yaiphabi Thoudam
4) Information Secretary: Shanjoy Mairembam
This year’s gathering was a memorable one, as special emphasis was given on outdoor activities and healthy lifestyle. After a sumptuous lunch, young and old alike went for a three and half hours trekking through the woods of Ingleton, Lancashire. During the trekking everyone relished the tantalizing views of 16 amazing waterfalls in addition to numerous caves and the greeneries of the surrounding forest. The most encouraging and inspiring aspect of the trekking was the spirit of our elderly members (in their 60s and 70s) completing the trekking with vigour and enthusiasm, practically exemplifying healthy living habits to the youngsters.
The excitement grew even more in the evening with a football tournament held in the hostel premise. The exhausted yet excited members were later given refreshments of authentic Manipuri Bora, Cha and Kelichana followed by an English barbeque. As dusk faded, the place was filled with joy and laughter as everyone enjoyed the nostalgic game of ‘Housie‘ until the early hours of the night.
Members were reminded of ‘Home’ as authentic and mouth watering Manipuri dishes were laid out on the table. The menu consisted of Sareng- thongba, Ooti-thongba, Iromba, Rou-thongba, Nga-ataoba, Thambou-shingju and many more. The amusement continued throughout the night as members basked in the warmth of the bonfire complemented perfectly with exquisite Fagi- Jogai.
Another inspiring aspect of the gathering was the initiation of the concept “Be Manipuri Grow Manipuri” where EMA members shared rare indigenous herbs and plants (toningkhok, Shougri, Maroinapakpi, Komprek, Peruk, Tulsi…). Members had painstakingly brought these herbs and plants from various sources in the UK and have grown them with love and care in their own gardens, thereby keeping the spirit of creating “A Home away from Home”
We sincerely hope that gatherings in the years to come would be as exciting and memorable as this one. We also hope that the homely atmosphere nurtured in EMA, would encourage more Manipuri from all over Europe to come together and be a part of the beautiful family of EMA.
on behalf of European Manipuri Association Committee