Mawphlang (Meghalaya), May 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited Khasi Heritage Village here in Meghalaya to get first hand knowledge about the rich cultural and traditional heritage of the Khasi-Jaintia tribe and also played the traditional Khasi drum.
Before his visit to Mawphlang village, adjacent to the sacred groves, the prime minister also visited the Elephant Falls, one of the major tourist destinations in Shillong.
Mawphlang village is in East Khasi Hills district, 25 km from state capital Shillong.
At the Khasi Heritage Village, Modi, who scripted history by becoming the first prime minister to visit Mawphlang, interacted with young men and women who were in traditional attire with instruments to showcase the cultural fabric of the tribal Khasi and Jaintia.
The prime minister also tried his hand at some of the musical instruments and even asked one of the men to teach him how to play the traditional drum beats to match with the dance steps.
“It is heartening to see our prime minister setting foot in our village. He was keen to learn about our culture and the art of beating Ka bom (traditional drum),” Sarah Wankhar, an inhabitant of Mawphlang village, told IANS .
“Earlier, he had sent his minister (Ram Kripal Yadav) to inspect our village with regard to our drinking water and sanitation and today he (Modi) is here himself,” an elated Wankhar said.
Not only beating the traditional drums, Modi also visited huts representing the traditional Khasi states and spent some time looking at the blacksmiths who were showcasing their traditional artistic skills.
“This short visit of the prime minister to our village will be ever remembered by our people,” traditional chief of Hima Mawphlang N.K. Lyngdoh said.
“Although, he did not enter inside the sacred grove, but he praised the people who were able to maintain the sacred forest for generations,” Lyngdoh said.
Modi who arrived in Meghalaya on Friday addressed the 65th Plenary Session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) attended by governors and chief ministers of the eight northeastern states in Shillong.
He also flagged off three new trains and laid the foundation stone of Ampati stadium via video conferencing at a public function at Polo Ground in Shillong.