Shillong, March 10 : The three days Monolith Festival, hosted by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in collaboration with the Government of Meghalaya came to a close on the 9th of March 2024.

Chief Guest, Conrad K Sangma, attended the Closing Ceremony along with the Tourism and Arts & Culture  Minister, Paul Lyngdoh, Chief Executive Member of the Autonomous District Council, Pyniaid Sing Syiem and besides other Executive Members including PN Syiem and Teibor Pathaw and many other Government officials and other Dignitaries.

Speaking on the occasion and citing two young boys who are chana (gram) sellers at the festival Conrad K Sangma Said, “It is encouraging to see that there is a convergence of multiple exchanges where like these two boys, I am proud to see them earning their livelihood. This convergence brings out the unique aspects of the Khasi Culture in various forms whether it is in the form of music, textiles, cuisine, dance and many other unique cultural aspects.”

In encouragement to the location in which the event was held, he said that the venue should not just hold the Monolith Festival but urged the stakeholders involved to ensure to hold daily markets at the 8 acre venue shocasing food, local indigenous vegetables and fruits, textiles and also performances showcasing the unique and rich culture and heritage.

The Chief Minister also assured of support of the Government. He also lauded the various District Councils in the State in their new journey as they delve into the field of research where the State Government, starting from this year has given a research fund of Rs. 50 lakh to each District Councils.

In relation to the research funding, Chief Minister further said, “This fund will increase annually so that the various District Councils can start their research  in various formats in written, video and many other means to document the unique cultural aspects of the different tribes in the state of Meghalaya.”

CM also announced the rolling out of the CM’s Research Scholarship Program which is spearheaded by the Arts & Culture Minister, Paul Lyngdoh where the Government will support close to 50 researchers up to 3 lakh rupees per researcher/scholar annually to conduct research on the Culture and other historical aspects of the State. The selection process will go through a formed committee for screening of deserving candidates.

Guest of Honour, Paul Lyngdoh, in his speech said, “ It is in events like the Monolith Festival that brings not just the Khasi community together but also converges, unites and highlights the unique identity of the Khasi people along with the rest of the world. I congratulate the efforts taken to make this festival happen and would like to support the vision of the KHADC to promote the Khasi Culture for it is Land, Language and Lineage which are the three cornerstones of our community of which we can pass it down strong and proud to our descendants.”

In his speech Chief Executive Member, Pyniaid Sing Syiem thanked everyone for their contributions in making the Festival a huge success. He further mentioned that the KHADC is the custodian that protects the identity of the Tribal people in any state and this event is a celebration to showcase to the rest of the world the united and unique Identity of the Khasi People. He thanked the Karbi Anglong Autonomous district council for providing land in Diphu in the Karbi Anglong area for construction of a Guest house of the KHADC and urged the state government to support this initiative.