Donyi-Polo

Donyi-Polo (also Donyi-Poloism)[note 1] is the designation given to the indigenous religion, of animistic and shamanic type, of the Tani and other Tibeto-Burman peoples[8] of Arunachal Pradesh, in north-eastern India.[9][10] The name "Donyi-Polo" means "Sun-Moon", and was chosen for the religion in the process of its revitalisation and institutionalisation started in the 1970s in response to inroads made by Christianity and the possibility of absorption into Hinduism.[11]

The religion has developed a congregational system, hymns to be sung composed in the Tani ritual language of shamans, a formalised philosophy-theology and iconography of the gods[12] and temples.[13] The pioneer of the revival was Talom Rukbo.[14] Donyi-Polo is related to the Hemphu-Mukrang religion of the Karbi and the Nyezi-No of the Hruso.

Flag of Donyi-Polo
The flag of the Donyi-Polo religion.
Donyi Polo flag
Donyi-Polo flag. Seen over a house in Itanagar, indicates that its inhabitants follow the religion.

Theology and cosmology

Sedi and Keyum

In the Donyi-Polo belief, the fountain god that begets the universe (God or the Godhead) is referred to as Sedi by the Minyong and Padam, Jimi by the Galo.[15][16] All things and beings are parts of the body of Sedi:[17][18] in creation, the hair of Sedi becomes the plants of the earth, his tears become rain and water, his bones become rocks and stones, and his two eyes become Donyi (the Sun) and Polo (the Moon).[19][20] Sedi, after creation, is a deus otiosus but continues to observe creation through his eyes, his double aspect veiling-unveiling-revealing himself.[21][22]

In Galo beliefs, Jimi manifests as Melo (Sky) and Sidi (Earth), out of the interaction of which all things and beings are born, including Donyi and Polo.[23] There are other myths explaining the meaning of the duality Donyi and Polo.[24][25]

According to Talom Rukbo's theology, all celestial bodies including Earth, all things, originate from one source, Keyum (nothingness or the vacuum).[26] Donyi-Polo is the polar force that generates all stars; the physical Sun and Moon (respectively, Bomong and Boo) near the Earth and humanity, are bodily manifestations of the universal unseen power Donyi-Polo, with Bomong carrying out the centralising power of Donyi, and Boo the Polo power of life-giving.[27]

Donyi and Polo

Donyi (Sun) and Polo (Moon)—which are, respectively, female and male in the Tibeto-Burman tradition; called Ane Donyi ("Mother Sun") and Abo Polo ("Father Moon")[28]—constitute a notion similar to the yin and yang of Chinese culture. It is the analogy through which the Divinity (Sedi) can be described,[29][30] representing the way in which the divine principle manifests itself, that is: eternally veiling, unveiling and then revealing himself in nature; providing harmony and balance to the universe, for example in the alternation of light and darkness, heat and cool, or unity (analogically, the Sun of the daily sky) and multiplicity (analogically, the stars of the night sky).[31]

The practical expression of the faith in Donyi-Polo can be found in the daily life and actions of people: they call themselves "Donyi O, Polo Ome", meaning "children of the sun and the moon".[32] When a believer is distressed he invokes "Donyi-Polo".[33] If a man is falsely accused of lying he invokes "Donyi-e!", "oh Sun!".[34] All these are expressions of faith in Donyi-Polo upholding providently the world, rewarding the righteous and punishing wrong-doers.[35] The divine pair is revered as the highest holy figure governing fate.[36]

"Donyi-Polo" is also used in the sense of "truth" in sacral speech.[37] "Donyi-Polo" is an epitome for wisdom, enlightenment, right conscience, truthfulness, and selflessness.[38] Aware people are called "Donyi-Polo Ome", which means "children of truth".[39] Elders are regarded as "Donyi-Polo Abu", "representatives of the truth".[40]

Gods

The followers of Donyi-Poloism worship a variety of gods and goddesses that enliven nature.[41] These gods are believed to partake in the universal balance of Donyi and Polo, and to be multiple manifestations or identities of SediDonyi-Polo, each with specific functions and roles.[42] It is believed that they take care of the earth and humanity.[43] The main deities in Donyi-Polo are Donyi and Polo, Kine Nane, Doying Bote, Pedong Nane and Guumin Soyin.[44]

Abotani

Tani-speaking peoples (Apatani, Galo, Nishi, Tagin, Na, Mishing; Adi-Lhoba) share a myth telling of their descendance from the progenitor Abotani.[45] Other Tibeto-Burman peoples of Arunachal Pradesh who share the Donyi-Polo faith don't subscribe to the descendance from Abotani.[46]

Abotani is thought to represent the evolution of the human being from the source Donyi, Sedi,[47] the eye of the universe as important to man as the eye of the body.[48] The Divinity has projected man showing him the right way to go.[49]

Conscience and ethics

Donyi-Poloists describe the "Donyi-Polo" nature of the universe as the eyes of human conscience.[50] Happiness is given through right action, and right action is that which follows the order of nature (Donyi-Polo).[51]

Oshang Ering, a philosopher of the religion, has written that as the two objects in the sky (Bomong and Boo) focus light to enable us to see what is what, Donyi-Polo makes us aware of what is wrong and right.[52] Right conscience naturally prevails.[53] When a person does wrong things (acts against the natural order) and tries to hide it, or masks it as good, then the force of conscience (Donyi-Polo) imposes a psychological pression, and the wrong doer loses happiness.[54]

Right conscience naturally guides man.[55] According to the traditional belief, love, compassion, equality and selflessness are naturally ordained by Donyi-Polo; they are inscribed in nature.[56] The ethical dimension of Donyi-Polo also means purity, beauty, simplicity, and frankness.[57]

Institution

On 28 August 1968, a meeting of Adi intellectuals was held in Along, West Siang, to discuss countermeasures to be taken against the gradual erosion of indigenous identity and traditions attributed to India's policy of integration of Arunachal Pradesh, and particularly the spread of Christianity in the area since the 1950s which has caused an enduring crisis in the cultural mosaic of the north-eastern state.[58] The meeting's aim was also that of uniting the Tibeto-Burman folks under a collective identity and values for a good life.[59][60]

Talom Rukbo emerged as the father of Donyi-Poloism, a term that was coined for the institutionalisation of the Tibeto-Burman folk religion.[61] According to Rukbo, the main reason of the easy erosion of the traditional culture was that it lacked a written literature.[62] So, with the aim of recovering the endangered rituals, prayers and hymns, within 1986 three major cultural organisations were founded: the Tani Jagriti Foundation, the Donyi-Polo Youth Federation and the Donyi-Polo Yelam Kebang.[63]

Rukbo expressed the need for institutionalisation of the traditional faith in these terms:[64]

«Tradition means the way of living of a society practicing its socio-religious culture, economic life, the way of preserving history, literature and all other norms of social life inherited from time immemorial which may be called social character and identity».

Many Adi and Tani intellectuals reflected Rukbo's ideas, and these gradually spread across the tribes and even beyond the Tani people.[65] The 31 December, the day of establishment of the Donyi-Polo Yelam Kebang in 1986, has been made the "Donyi-Polo Day" celebrated each year.[66]

Since then, templar areas (gangging) have been consecrated, religious literature and prayer hymns have been collected and published.[67] To meet the growing number of adherents in the revival, the Donyi-Polo Yelam Kebang established orientation courses—which take place twice a year—and trained groups of youth to send back with books and icons to their home village, to encourage people to construct temples and conduct prayers.[68] During the last two decades the spiritual revival has spread all over Arunachal Pradesh.[69]

Supporters of the revival have coined the slogan «Loss of culture is loss of identity» which has become very popular. The indirect implication is that those who convert to Christianity lose their culture and hence their identity.[70]

Gangging

A gangging is a general name for a prayer place of the Donyi-Poloist faith, and especially in the Adi areas.[71] The gangging as a sacred enclosure is a concept popularised by the Donyi-Polo Yelam Kebang since 1996.[72]

According to Talom Rukbo, the word gangging is derived from Gangging Siring, the concept of a land or holy tree that mediates between the spiritual and the natural worlds,[73] and from which any thing, living or non-living, comes into existence.[74]

Gangging congregants have to follow certain rules: for example, male members must sit on the left in rows, and female members on the right, cross-legged.[75] Within the prayer place, there should not be any noise during prayer except the sound of the hymns.[76] Prayers are organized in the prayer place on Sundays, and all of the gangging branches established in each of the villages under the Siang district are centrally regulated by the Donyi-Polo Yelam Kebang.[77] Through the prayer place, codified rituals and practices, and iconographies of the Gods and Goddesses have been introduced.[78]

Ethnic variations

In Galo areas, the prayer place and community halls (dere) have come up under the patronage of the Donyi-Polo Welfare Association and they are being built since the 2000s.[79] Priests (nyibu) conduct prayers in the prayer place on Sundays.[80] In Apatani areas, the religion is called "Danyi-Piilo" and prayer place are called meder nello ("purified place"), the first of which was built in 2004[81] Songs and prayers are collected in a prayer book called Lyambope.[82] Donyi-Poloist prayer place in Nishi areas are called nyedar namlo ("pure place"), and also among them the movement has been started only in the early 2000s.[83]

More recently, the success of Donyi-Polo has crossed the Tani cultural borders inspiring the rise of Rangfraism among the Tangsa, and of Intayaism among the Mishmi, respectively in Changlang and Dibang Valley.[84]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Other taxonomies used are:
    • Danyi-Piilo, the Apatani variation.[1]
    • Sedism, from the Adi name of God, Sedi.[2]
    • Tanism, for all Tani peoples, tracing their mythical ancestry to Abotani.[3]
    • Rangfraism, from the Tangsa name of God, Rangfrah.[4][5]
    • Intayaism, from the Mishmi name of the Goddess, Intaya.[6][7]

References

  1. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 271
  2. ^ Rikam, 2005. pp. 120-121
  3. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 130
  4. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 261
  5. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. pp. 274-275
  6. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 261
  7. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. pp. 274-275
  8. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 118
  9. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 117
  10. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 47
  11. ^ Dalmia, Sadana, 2012. pp. 44-45
  12. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 261
  13. ^ Dalmia, Sadana, 2012. pp. 44-45
  14. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 263
  15. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 117
  16. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. pp. 47-48
  17. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 119
  18. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. pp. 47-48
  19. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 119
  20. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. pp. 47-48
  21. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 119
  22. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. pp. 47-48
  23. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 119
  24. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 119
  25. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. pp. 47-48
  26. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 120
  27. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 120
  28. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 48
  29. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 264
  30. ^ Rikam, 2005. pp. 118-119
  31. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 264
  32. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 50
  33. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 50
  34. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 50
  35. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 50
  36. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 50
  37. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 51
  38. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 51
  39. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 51
  40. ^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 51
  41. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  42. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 270
  43. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  44. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 270
  45. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 118
  46. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 118
  47. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 126
  48. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 126
  49. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 126
  50. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  51. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  52. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  53. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  54. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  55. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  56. ^ Rikam, 2005. p. 127
  57. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 264
  58. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 261
  59. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 263
  60. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 270
  61. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. pp. 263-264
  62. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 263
  63. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 264
  64. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 264
  65. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 264
  66. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  67. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 267
  68. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 268
  69. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 269
  70. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 274
  71. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  72. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  73. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  74. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 265
  75. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 267
  76. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 267
  77. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 267
  78. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 267
  79. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 270
  80. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 270
  81. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 271
  82. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 271
  83. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. p. 271
  84. ^ Chaudhuri, 2013. pp. 274-275

Sources

  • Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri. The Institutionalization of Tribal Religion. Recasting the Donyi-Polo Movement in Arunachal Pradesh. In: Asian Ethnology, Volume 72, Number 2, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture • 2013, 259–277
  • Vasudha Dalmia, Rashmi Sadana. The Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture. Cambridge University Press, 2012. ISBN 0521736188
  • Tamo Mibang, Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri. Understanding Tribal Religion. Mittal Publications, 2004.
  • Nabam Tadar Rikam. Emerging Religious Identities of Arunachal Pradesh. A Study of Nyishi Tribe. Mittal Publication, 2005. ISBN 8183240321
  • Jogendar Nath, The Cultural Heritage of a Tribal Society, Volume 1 "The Adis", Omsons Publications, 2000.

External links

Abotani

Abotani, or Abu Tani, is considered the primal ancestor of the Tani (tribes) group of people in Arunachal Pradesh, such as the Apatani, the Nyishi, The Adi, The Galos and Tagin. They follow the Donyi-Polo religion and consider Abotani as the one who firstly introduced the technique of rice cultivation.

The following story is told orally through priests (Miri) among the Adi people:In older time Abo Tani (Abo or Abu: father, Tani: human) has wandered in forest for want of food. Once he went to Takar-Taji's place (Tatar-Taji) marriage ceremony where a bos frontalis (sebbe) was sacrificed. Due to a trick of Aabhu Thanyi, Takar-Taji could sacrifice only one gaur, which was meagre for distribution to the guest. Aabhu Tani's dog (Kipung) and the deer (Dumpo) shared a packet of rotten soya seeds (staple food in olden days, as the use of rice millet and maize was unknown in those days). This led to quarrel between Kipung and Dumpo. Dumpo the deer kicked the soya seed packet and ran away. Angry, Kipung the dog chased the deer. Abotani had to follow both them. After many days Dumpu the deer landed in the world of Digo Ane ("Keeper of Land"; digo "land", Ane "mother") where people were scattering the rice powder set on sun for drying. Duumpoo the deer was caught by these people; Kiipu the dog followed and was caught; Abotani followed them and was also caught by the peoples of Digo Ane. The three were imprisoned. After many days Abotani played a trick: he put a dead mole rat in his armpit and acted as if he were dying. This worried the Digo Ane people, lest the act may anger the Takar-Taji people, and they freed Abotani and granted him the gift of rice, millet and maize seed.

Many other legends between the Tanii people speak about Abotani's stories: a woman in the Digo Ane region told him how to cultivate the rice seeds; Aabhu Thanyi had a lot of success in his rice cultivation thanks to his wise wife Aio Diiliang Diibiu; however, he divorced from her to marry another woman, and this brought disgrace to his wealth because the new wife was too much after leisures; when Abotani realized this, he left also the second wife and continued the cultivation on his own, but still he had to ask for the help of his sister to be saved from the danger of falling from the top of a high tree where he had climbed (https://web.archive.org/web/20110721155414/http://arunachalipr.gov.in/StateFestival_Dree.htm). Events in the legendary life of Aabhu Tani and in his quest for rice are part of the traditions of the Tani people and are celebrated in different periods of the year (following the rice cultivation season). Aabhu Tani is a symbol of the struggle of humankind for food and prosperity though in difficult situations, and of the need for harmony between man and woman to bring wealth to the family.

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh (, "the land of dawn-lit mountains") is one of the 29 states of India and is the northeastern-most state of the country. Arunachal Pradesh borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east and is separated from China in the north by the McMahon Line. Itanagar is the capital of the state.

A major part of the state is claimed by the People's Republic of China, who refers to it as "South Tibet". During the 1962 Sino-Indian war, Chinese forces temporarily crossed the McMahon line, the border line between the state and China.Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains is the sobriquet for the state in Sanskrit; it is also known as the Orchid State of India or the Paradise of the Botanists. Geographically, it is the largest of the Seven Sister States of Northeast India.

Basar, Arunachal Pradesh

Basar is a census town in Lepa-Rada district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Basar is the abode of Galo people. Basar is subdivided into 2 Zila Segments. Basar is the Headquarter of Leparada District.It is also famous for GRK-Bascon,ICAR.Basar is blessed with three rivers namely Kidi, Hii and Hiile.

Bugun

The Buguns (formerly Khowa) are one of the earliest recognized schedule tribe of India, majority of them, inhabiting the Singchung Sub-Division of West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. Their total population is approximately 3000. The notable features of Buguns are reflected in their simple life and warm hospitality. Buguns live in several exogamous clans. Traditionally, the predominant occupation was agriculture, supported with other allied activities like fishing and hunting, cattle rearing etc. Buguns have their own folklores, songs, dances, music and rituals. A rare bird, the Bugun liocichla, was named after the tribe.

They live mainly in the subtropical Singchung Administrative Sub-Division of West Kameng district with its, almost whole, native population under 6-Thrizino-Buragaon ST Assembly Constituency of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. According to the native legend, they believed that they are the descendants of a single forefather Achinphumphulua.

Demographics of Arunachal Pradesh

The Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh has a total population of roughly 1.4 million (as of 2011) on an area of 84,000 km2, amounting to a population density of about 17 pop./km2 (far below the Indian average of 370 pop./km2 but significantly higher than similarly mountainous Ladakh).

Much of Arunachal Pradesh is forested. The "indigenous groups" account for about two thirds of population, while immigrants, mostly of Bengali/Hindi belt origin, account for a third.

As one of the Seven Sister States of eight if including Sikkim in India's remote north-east, it is culturally at least as much part of Southeast Asia as it is of South Asia; ethnolinguistically, it is divided between a Tibeto-Burman and Abotani/Singpho/Tangsa areas bordering Burma area bordering Bhutan to the west, the Tani and Mishmi areas in the center and the Naga area to the south, bordering both Burma and Nagaland. It shares a large part of its border with the state of Assam.In between there are transition zones, such as the Bugun/Aka/Hruso/Miji/Sherdukpen area, which form cultural "buffers" between the Tibetic Buddhist tribes and the awesomw Tani hill tribes. In addition, there are isolated peoples scattered throughout the state.

Khamba people

The Khamba, also spelled Khemba, are a people who inhabit the Yang-Sang-Chu valley in the westernmost part of Arunachal Pradesh, near the borders with Tibet and Bhutan. Within the valley, they live in the villages Yorton, Lango, Tashigong, Nyukong and Mangkota.

Wheat and maize are principal crops cultivated by the Khamba. Their houses, which are made from stone and wood, are based on a structure that strongly resembles the Monpa.

The Khamba are adherents of Tibetan Buddhism and use Hingna, their own script, which is based on the Tibetan script. However, due to relative isolation from Tibet and occasional contacts with the Adi tribes, they are also somewhat influenced by the Donyi-Polo faith in their beliefs. In every village there will be a Buddhist Lama. Festivals that are celebrated are parallel with the Memba, which includes Losar, the Tibetan New Year.

Mara (Tagin)

Mara (also known as Mura) refers to a tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. The Mara are ethnically Tagin although they claim to be a separate group, just like the Nga to the north, but they acknowledge a common ancestry. Like the Nga, the Mara also engage in barter trade with the Tibetans in the north prior to the closure of the Indo-Tibetan border in view of the 1962 Sino-Indian War. They traded ornaments, Tibetan dao from the Tibetans in the north and Mithun, tribal masks, animal hides and dyes of plants from the Nishi and Sulung on the south.The Mara inhabit in Limeking in Upper Subansiri, just south of Taksing which is inhabited by the Nga. The Mara believed that they were descended from two brothers, Kangra and Mara, who came from Nyime (Tibet) and settled in the region. Like other Tagins, the Mara subscribe to the Donyi Polo faith but have come under considerable Tibetan Buddhist influence as a result of centuries of interactions with the Tibetans in the north.

Miji people

The Miji, also known by the names of Sajolang and Damai, inhabit the districts of West Kameng, East Kameng and a minuscule region of Kurung Kumey in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Their population of 37,000 are found near the lower parts of the sub-Himalayan hills bordering Assam; they speak the Sajalong language. The word Miji is derived from two distinct words 1) Mai means fire and 2) ji meaning Giver. The word/name came into being after the Aka ( Hrusso) community regarded the Sajolang/Dammai people for their gracious help during the past ( pre-historic period).

Milang tribe

The Milang tribe (alternately Millang, Malaa, or Holon) are a tribe of the Adi people of Arunachal Pradesh and nearby Jonai, in Assam, India.

Millang

The Milang tribe (alternately Millang, Malaa, or Holon) are a sub-group of the Adi people found in Arunachal Pradesh and nearby Rigbi, Jonai,in Assam, India.

Minyong people

The Minyong are a sub-group of the Adi people, a tribal people living in Arunachal Pradesh, India. The Minyong are found in East Siang, Upper Siang and West Siang district. They have originated from Riga Village. Their villages are mostly found on the right and left bank of river Siang (Brahmaputra), starting from Tuting-Gelling to plains of Assam, Jonai. They consider Donyi-Polo as their religion but recently there has been conversion to Christianity. Minyong people are known for their bravery as they have fought war against British Expedition to the hilly region in late 19th century. They were the strongest sub tribe of The Adis and considered as the most fearsome warriors of the hills. Like any other tribes of ADI they celebrate Solung, Aran and Etor as their festivals.

Minyong like other Tani group name their offspring with prefix 'Ta' for male and 'Ya' for female, e.g. Tapang for baby boy and Yaman for baby girl earlier;However, this practice has been abandoned & changed recently.

Mopin

The Mopin Festival is an agricultural festival celebrated by the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India in particular of the Galo group of tribes which resides in East Siang and West Siang districts. It is a celebration of the harvesting season held in the Galo months of "Lumi" and "Luki", corresponding to March–April and the new year for the Galo tribe. The Galo tribe follow an animist religion called Donyi-Polo.

Officially the date of the Mopin Festival is fixed on April 5, but the commencement of the preparation for celebration starts from 2 April and thus, after the main event (i.e. 5 April) it concludes on 7–8 April after the visiting of Paddy field which is known as RIGA ALO. In villages, the celebration starts a month prior.

The Mopin Festival is believed to bring wealth and prosperity to all households and to the whole community. The rituals associated with celebrating the Mopin festival drive away evil shadows and bringing blessings, peace and prosperity for all mankind.The main Goddess worshiped during the festival is called Mopin Ane. She is as important to the Galos and is believed to bring in fertility and prosperity.

Galo people dress up in their finest white traditional clothing for the festival. A local drink called Apung/Poka (an alcoholic beverage popular in the state prepared by fermentation of rice) is generally distributed among the participants in a bamboo cup and a variety of meals are served, made of rice which is known as Aamin which contains meat and bamboo shoot.Revelers apply Ette, a rice flour, to fellow revelers' faces. Since rice is the main staple food of the Galo people this is considered a holy ritual that symbolizes social unity, purity and love.Participants perform a local traditional dance called Popir at this event. The main focal point of the Mopin celebration is the sacrifice of the Mithun (also known as Gayal), a bovine creature that is only found in North East India and Burma. After the sacrifice the blood of the mithun is taken back to the homes and villages as a blessing.

Since 1966 a committee has organized a Mopin festival event in the town of Along (as known as Aalo) in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh which brings thousands of people together to celebrate and preserve the tribal culture. Mopin was held on April 5 in 2016. 2016 was the Golden Anniversary of this community Mopin celebration.admin. "Aalo celebrates 50th year of central Mopin with grandeur | The Arunachal Times". www.arunachaltimes.in. Retrieved 2016-07-12. Naharlagun - Guwahati Donyi Polo Express

The 15617 / 15618 Naharlagun - Guwahati Donyi Polo Express previously known as Naharlagun - Guwahati Intercity Express is a daily Intercity Express of the Indian Railways, which runs between Guwahati in Assam and Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh.

Nyishi people

The Nyishi community is the largest ethnic group in Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India. In Nishi, their traditional language, Nyi refers to "a human" and the word shi denotes "a being", which combined together refers to a human being. They are spread across eight districts of Arunachal Pradesh: Kra Daadi, Kurung Kumey, East Kameng, West Kameng, Papum Pare, parts of Lower Subansiri, Kamle and Pakke Kesang district. The most populous being the Akang and Leil community of Papum Pare districts. They also live in the Sonitpur and North Lakhimpur districts of Assam.

Their population of around 300,000 makes them the most populous tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, closely followed by the tribes of the Adi according to 2001 census. The Nyishi language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family, however, the origin is disputed.

Polygyny is prevalent among the Nyishi. It signifies one's social status and economical stability and also proves handy during hard times like clan wars or social huntings and various other social activities. This practice, however is diminishing especially with the modernization and also with the spread of Christianity. They trace their descent patrilineally and are divided into several clans.

Rajiv Gandhi University

Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) (Hindi: राजीव गांधी विश्वविद्यालय) (formerly Arunachal University) is the oldest university in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is located in the Rono Hills of Doimukh village, about nine miles from the state capital, Itanagar. The foundation stone for the university was laid in 1984 by then-Prime Minister of India Late Smt. Indira Gandhi. The university was renamed as Rajiv Gandhi University in 2005 when UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was on a visit to the state.

Religion in Arunachal Pradesh

Owing to its ethnic and cultural diversity, religion in Arunachal Pradesh has been a spot for the syncretism of different traditional religions. Much of the native Tani populations follow an indigenous belief which has been systematised under the banner "Donyi-Polo" (Sun-Moon) since the spread of Christianity in the region by Christian missionaries in the second half of the 20th century. The province is also home to a substantial Tibetan Buddhist population in the north and northwest who follow Tibetan Buddhism, of ethnic groups who subscribe to Hinduism, and other religious populations. Christianity is followed by over 30% of the population, mostly by natives.

Si-Donyi Festival

Si-Donyi is the major festival celebrated among the Tagin tribe of Arunachal Pradesh in North-eastern India. It is celebrated majorly in district headquarter Daporijo and adjoining town Dumporijo, also in state capital Itanagar, while in other places also it's being celebrated by Tagin community present there.

Tagin people

The Tagin is one of the major tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, a member of the larger designation of Tani Tribes, the descendants of Abu Tani. Mostly Tagins are in Upper Subansiri district but are also found to be dispersed among the adjoining districts especially in West Siang and Papum Pare.

Talom Rukbo

Talom Rukbo was the father of Donyi-Polo, a revivalist religious movement based in Arunachal Pradesh which attempts to reconstruct Tani (Adi) animist spirituality.

He has criticized Christian missionaries for fraudulent conversion practices in the Northeast of India.Because of his contribution to the Adivasi way of life, Rukbo has been named one of the inspirations for the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram project run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

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