Now that the harvest is almost over in most Tangkhul villages, people are getting ready for Chumpha Phanit. Chumpha Phanit is an important post harvest and agricultural festival that the Tangkhul community celebrates. Apart from this, there are two other agriculture related festivals: Luita Phanit and Mangkhap Phanit.
This festival is one of the most significant festivals of Tangkhul community, especially for married women as it marks a change of hands and exchange of responsibility from mothers-in-law to their daughters-in-law.
In the olden days, one day prior to the festival, the menfolk of the village would take out their bows, spears, knives, axes, etc., and keep in the open courtyard and go away to the jungle in search of crabs. The menfolk would collect crab and soft reddish clay and spend the night in the jungle. They would then return only the next day with the crabs and clay. The womenfolk would then take the live crabs -which are carefully moulded with clay -and put inside the granary.
The world is fast moving, marching towards the future where both men and women are joining hands together in building a better, prosperous and more peaceful and happy society. Resultantly in many parts of the world the gap between men and women is fast bridging. The sooner the better! The shift is most evident post Second World War in many western countries which gives birth to the concept like Women in Development (WID), Women and Development (WAD) and Gender and Development (GAD) among others. These kinds of concepts have occupied important stage in any country’s developmental programme policies. No doubt there is a debate on the pros and cons of all these approaches, including the natures of its origin. Many critiques have pointed out that the policies emanated out of the above concepts are mostly guided by the economic reason and not necessary to challenge the traditional social structure which is deeply rooted in patriarchal norms. Nevertheless, if we see the statistics of the world rich list one can see 172 women billionaires out of the total 1,645 billionaires in the world (2014 Forbes list). Likewise there is also a staggering rise in women CEOs in big enterprise across the globe. Not only in economy but also in politics there is an increasing number of women active participation, taking a lead role especially in developed countries. Women parliamentarian in some of the Scandinavian countries such as Sweden or Finland has almost proportionate representation from both the genders. In a nutshell it would not be wrong to say that gender equality is a sign of progressive society.