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Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had on Tuesday conveyed greetings to the people of the state on the occasion of Ningol Chakkouba.
"I convey my heartiest greetings and warm wishes to the people of Manipur, especially the Ningols, on the auspicious occasion of #NingolChakkouba. May this festival foster the true spirit of love, goodwill and compassion in our society," he tweeted.
Ningol Chakouba is one of the popular festivals celebrated by the people of Manipur. The word 'Ningol' means ‘married woman’ and Chakouba means ‘invitation for the feast’; so the festival is the one where the married women are invited to their parents’ home for a feast.
The invitation comes from the son(s) of the parental family of the ningols, generally a week in advance; it strengthens the bond of affections among brothers and sisters, daughters and parents of a family.
On this day, they go to the market to buy necessary things, especially food products for the preparation of the feast and clothes to be presented to their 'beloved' sisters and daughters.
The preparation on this day consists of a lot of tasty and healthy cuisines with much care and effort for the grand feast. The menu serves a variety of dishes like Nga-Thongba (Fish Curry) made from Sareng (an expensive fish), Rohu, etc, Nga-Agouba (a mixed fried item of potatoes and fish pieces), Eromba (Manipuri Chutney) are a must. Other food items include Laphu Eromba (a banana stem preparation), Chamfut (boiled vegetables), Soibam Thongba (a fermented bamboo shoot curry), Uti (classic Manipuri vegetarian dish) etc.
Every woman wears the finest traditional and ethnic clothes, bring fruits and sweets to be shared with the family and cherish the beautiful childhood memories that she once shared with her brothers, sisters and parents.
The history of Ningol Chakouba dates back to the time when King Nongda Lairen Pakhangba ruled in Manipur. The Queen Laisana used to invite her brother Poireiton to the King’s palace for a feast once in a year. So, it was known as Piba (brother/son) Chakouba rather than Ningol Chakouba.
During the time of King Chadrakirti Singh (1831-1886) in the 19th century, this tradition, however, changed. He invited his sisters for the feast as it was difficult for him to visit their places in one day. Thus, the tradition changed to Ningol Chakouba since then and continued to become an integral part of Manipur’s rich culture and heritage.