Language: Interview in Meitei-lon/Manipuri
Banana leaves are used in a number of occasions in various regions of India. In Manipur, these leaves are used during religious rituals as well as a form of invitation for certain traditional customs. This episode is dedicated to the significance of banana leaves in Manipur, a documentation of the art form that has been practiced since the time of Kings and Queens. Madam Saroj Nalini Ingudam presents very thorough information on this practice with the help of her M. Phil paper from 1987-88. Banana leaves are used in every major ritual in a person’s life; starting from birth ceremonies (Swasti Puja, Yupan Thaba), “Na Hutpa”, marriage ceremonies, and also during funeral rituals. There have been a few changes in the way the leaves are used during rituals, for example, the “Tang Yatpa” came into practice only after the arrival of Hindu religion in Manipur. However, the same old practices are still followed without any change in traditional Meitei festivals like “Lai Haraoba”.
Madam Saroj also talks about the different variety of banana leaves and their purposes; Leihou La, Leiyai La, Changbi La, Noney La to mention a few. The most commonly used is the Noney La, which is suitable for use in feasts because of its odorless quality. Madam Saroj also describes a little about how these leaves were so commonly used as invitations before the printed version of invitations came out. A description of how banana leaves are used as invitation for Shri Govindaji is shown towards the end of this episode.
Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.