KHUISHOK LAA

O! Falingnao, Homshai shangnao,
Homshaisa homungulo!
O! Masapa, hosi hora
O! Aphungwo
O! longnaola
O! Thingkanshai
WO! Longnaola
O! Hisisa
WO! Hithasa”

This is a song sung during Longra festival. Long is a unique Institutionof Community life and Centre of Learning tribal ways of life and culture for the unmarried youngmen.  The Long members perform ceremonial dance at a place called “Wonyaithing” which is a wooden plateform erected for the dead.  The spirits of the dead are supposed to come to this platform to partake of the food and drinks which are kept for them.

The youngmen there after go in procession from house to house, singingKhuishok laa, (mentioned above). Women of every household keep something ready before-hand to be given to the procession of youngmen. Christians sing similar ‘Khuishok-ulo’ laa during Christmas and collect donations in kind or cash from house to house.  This Longra laa describes the traditional community life of sharing and concern for the “dead; which undoubtedly, are the traits of ancient civilisation and our proud heritage.

The combination of traditional Longra and Christians in the form of celebrations should encourage us to foresee the emerging Christian Society of “Tomorrow”. This harmonising influence is the key to our identity.

Even in Europe with the coming of Christianity, such traditional customshave survived.  Instead of abolishing the tribal customs, people tried to introduce ideas which were Christian in outlook and forms and attempts were made to Christianise the tribal customs.  Ancient Celtic tribes of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England observed 31 October as Harvest festival.  Animals were burnt to please their tribal Gods (same as the Tangkhul concept of spirits called Kame). Some European customs display their belief in spirits and supernatural beings. Halloween is a festival
for the dead and owes its origin to the faith in a life after death like the Tangkhul festival of Longra, Wonyaithing and Thisham.

Halloween continues to be an important part of European culture eventoday.

The Red Indians like the Tangkhuls also keep food, drinks, etc. on woodenplatforms specially erected for the spirit of the dead members. In modern times, ALL SOULS DAY is observed on 2-November every year by all Christians.
Prayers are held at the cemetery for the dead. Relatives of the dead wash their graves, place flowers on them and burn candles and incense.