6th Saichen Folk Festival held in Nubra, Ladakh
June 5, 2022, on Sunday, the historical Stapolo Ground in Chamshen Nubra played host to the 6th Saichen Folk Festival, which Chamshen Chamskyong Tsogspa and the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) jointly organized. Following the corona pandemic, it was the first significant event to be hosted in Nubra Valley. The event’s chief guest, Deputy CEC Shri Tsering Angchuk, commended the organisers for planning the gathering with the intention of preserving and promoting Ladakh’s cultural legacy. According to him, advertising for this festival should focus on both bringing tourists to the Nubra Valley and teaching the local populace about the value of culture and heritage. Additionally, he announced the upcoming Traditional Archery CEC Cup to be held soon.
“The festival is being organized to make the people aware about the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh, especially Nubra and to celebrate the historical silk route trade as Nubra used to be one of the important centres and halting places of traders during silk route trade,” Dr. Sonam Wangchok, founder of HCHF, said while outlining the festival’s goals and objectives. According to him, the event encourages Ladakhi people, particularly young people, to be interested in and value their cultural legacy.
Tegar-Sumoor councilor, Rigzin Lhundup expressed appreciation to the organizers and pledged to continue supporting them wholeheartedly. Shri Tsering Dorjey, President of the Traditional Archery Society of Ladakh, attended the event as a guest of honour.
The festival’s main attractions included cultural programmes, an archery competition, traditional food stands in willow wattle shelters (tsele), and a lottery drawing. To raise awareness, especially among the younger generation, and to bring back the centuries-old Ladakh sport of archery, separate competitions for traditional and contemporary bows and arrows were held. The HCHF provided financial support for traditional archery. The Taksha Archery team won the traditional archery competition, and the Wari-La team won the contemporary archery competition.
Cultural groups from Chamshen, Udmaru, Dashugs Ladakh, and schoolchildren performed vibrant folk dances and music.