Raij Tuber Behdieñkhlam : A Festival of Homcoming
Many a times when one speaks of Behdieñkhlam, people would only think of Jowai and the Behdieñkhlam of the Sein Raij Jowai. Not only that other Sen Raij too celebrate Behdieñkhlam, the largest of all the Behdieñkhlam is celebrate not in Jowai but in Tuber Kmaichnong.
The Behdieñkhlam Tuber as it is known in the District is the largest in terms of numbers of “Rots” carry by the faithful of the Niamtre to the aitnar at Tuber Kmaichnong. According to J. Sana altogether 25 villages from different parts of the district will bring their “rots” to Tuber Kmaichnong today the 23. The 25 village crisscross the district from Jalaphet in the Elaka Sutnga to Mupyut in the Elaka Amwi and Mihmyntdu and Khliehtyrchi in Elaka Jowai.
Behdieñkhlam is also like a homecoming of the people to Tuber; the place of their origin. Since time immemorial people originally from Tuber migrated to different parts of the district in search of livelihood. Once a year these people would join their brethrens on the last day of the Behdieñkhlam which culminate at Tuber Kmaichnong.
Therefore the other significance of the Behdieñkhlam festival is that it is a time for homecoming for the people who originated from the Raij and migrated to other parts of the District. In the Behdieñkhlam of the Raij Jowai, people of Jowai origin living in Shillong and Ummulong joined in the last day of the festival and bring their rots as a mark of respect. Khon ka Niamtre from the Wahiajer who originally hails from Ialong also took part in the Behdieñkhlam at Ialong and brings their rots to the aitnar. Khon ka Niamtre from Iongnoh join their counterpart in Chyrmang for the last day of the Behdieñkhlam. So also the khon ka Niamtre from different parts of the district unites with their brethrens at Tuber Kmaichnong once a year.
The Behdieñkhlam of Raij Tuber is the biggest Behdieñkhlam of all, last year more than 60 rots were brought from every nook and corner of the District, not only that, the rots at Tuber are of various shapes and sizes and are also made of all the colours of rainbow.
Behdieñkhlam festival is therefore not exclusive fest of the people of Raij Jowai only; others Sein Raij which celebrate Behdieñkhlam are Raij Chyrmang, Raij Tuber, Raij Ialong, Raij Mukhla and Raij Muthlong. The 6 Behdieñkhlam are celebrated at different time of the year by these Raijs, but of all the Behdieñkhlam festival, the Behdieñkhlam of the Raij Tuber at Tuber Kmaichnong is the largest in terms of numbers of people participation.