The association of Manipuri Diasporas in Europe, the European Manipuri Association (EMA), has celebrated the much coveted festival ‘Ningol Chakkouba’ in London at St. Georges ChurchHall Burford Road, East Ham, London, E63NB with around 50 people (including children) attending the festival. 19 among them were ‘Ningols’, a Manipuri word for female siblings. This was by far the biggest ever Ningol Chakkouba EMA has ever organised in Europe.
The celebration was adorn more beautifully with the ‘Ningols’ attending in their traditional Meitei /ethnic attires, special ladies dresses, mapan naiba phanek and various kind of innafis , and children in their colourful dresses.
The special focus of attention was drawn much into the various traditional delicacies (mathels) prepared by hardworking ‘pibas’, a Manipuri word for male siblings since a night before. The mathels prepared were nga thongba (fried fish with gravy), sareng thongba (mashed fish curry), ooti (yellow peas cooked with soda), chagem pomba(mixed vegetable with fermented soyabeans), yongchak iromba (boiled parkia mashed with potato), thambou singju (spicy lotus root salad), chamfut (boiled vegatables), kanghou(fried vegetables) and kheer (sweetened rice).
Festivals such as this are the key social and cultural events that keep Manipuri expats in Europe binding with each other. Culturally it reaffirms strong family ties when the occasion enkindles the love and affection between them. Holding such events in Europe also signifies the commitment of the European Manipuri Association to pass on Manipuri’s tradition and cultural heritage to the Manipuri posterity in Europe..
The celebration was attended by Manipuris from other communities and from other parts of Europe with their families and spouses some of who were Europeans. The special occasion came to an end with the exchanges of gifts and blessings between pibas and ningols.