Seng Kut Snem in Meghalaya Date in the current year: November 23, 2022

Seng Kut Snem in Meghalaya Seng Kut Snem is an annual holiday observed in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It celebrates the history, culture and tradition of the Khasi people who make up a significant portion of the state’s population.

The Khasi people are an indigenous ethnic group living in the state of Meghalaya, in the bordering state of Assam, and in certain parts of Bangladesh. They are the largest ethnic community in Meghalaya. The Khasis are classified as a scheduled tribe according to the Constitution of India.

The Khasis are one of the few South Asian peoples that speak an Austroasiatic language (Austroasiatic languages are mostly spoken in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia). The Khasi language belongs to the Khasi-Palaungic branch of the Austroasiatic language family.

The Khasi people have inhabited the territory of present-day Meghalaya since ancient times. They can be divided into seven groups according to the region they inhabit, which are collectively known as the “Children of the Seven Huts” (Ki Khun U Hynñiewtrep). It is a reference to an Khasi myth explaining the origin of the Khasi people. However, these subgroups are not tribes in the traditional sense of the word.

The Khasis first came into contact with British colonizers the 1820s, after the latter had captured the Ahom kingdom (Assam). Following their defeat in the Anglo-Khasi War of 1829–1833, the Khasi Hill States were forced to sign a treaty with the British. They entered into a subsidiary alliance with Great Britain and their native region became part of the Assam Province.

Today, the total Khasi population is approximately 1.5 million people. Most of them live in the eastern part of Meghalaya, although around 34,500 Khasis live in the neighboring state of Assam and slightly over 85,000 Khasis live in Bangladesh. Interestingly, most Khasis are Christians (Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians), although some still follow their traditional religion.

Since the Khasis lived in relative isolation for a long time, they managed to preserve much of their culture and traditions including traditional clothes, music, dances, songs, calendar, and, of course, holidays.

Seng Kut Snem is a Khasi holiday celebrated on November 23, which is the day before Khasi New Year. It started as New Year’s Eve and a thanksgiving festival but has also become a day when the Khasis celebrate their rich culture and heritage. By the way, the holiday was given its current name in honor of the Seng Khasi, a cultural and religious organization formed in 1899 to protect the language, culture and indigenous religion of the Khasi people.

Seng Kut Snem is a public holiday in Meghalaya. It is marked by colorful processions, cultural festivals, folk dances, traditional games, displays of handmade products, and other events celebrating Khasi culture that are held throughout the state. The Khasis don their best clothes and invite Meghalayans from other ethnic groups to participate in the festivities.

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Category

Cultural Observances

Country

India

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Seng Kut Snem in Meghalaya, holidays in Meghalaya, holidays in India, cultural holidays, Khasi people