Councilor Mmhonlumo Kikon with officials during the inaugural program of the two-day book exhibition and book sale in Kohima on April 27. (Morung Photo)
Book exhibition and sale of books by local authors and publishers in progress
News Morung Express
Kohima | April 27
Emphasizing that “we should rise above and beyond our own state and help each other”, Mmhonlumo Kikon, Advisor, NRE, IT&C and Sc&Tech remarked today that the culture of writing in d ‘other parts of the world have grown, and they are thriving because they have promoted each other. “Either way, they liked each other and active literary criticism progressed considerably because there was an attempt to understand each other,” he said.
He was speaking at the inaugural program of the two-day exhibition and book sale of local authors and publishers organized by the Department of Art and Culture after a hiatus of around 20 years. The event is supported by the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation. Stating that this is an event for us to reflect on as authors, he said that “our stories can be more interesting if we present them from our own narrative”.
Sometimes we are overdosed with lots of books written by foreigners; he observed but noted, however, that “this culture is changing with more local authors writing about us”.
Need to promote local authors
Highlighting the publishing scenario in Nagaland, he said that so many authors are publishing from our state by our own local publishers is now a statement of how things have evolved in the state. But affirming the need to have a very large population of readers, he called for the need to value our local authors as much as possible.
Stating that the use of social media is very powerful today, he urged the gathering to use it in a positive way to engage and encourage each other. He further expressed the need to ensure that our books reach every corner and in this regard said that “we should not be timid, timid or afraid to go out and present productions at events literary”.
To that end, “The more we promote our culture and our stories, people will appreciate the differences and the similarities that we have,” he commented in regards to promoting local books out of state. “It’s only when we share that people can appreciate,” he argued.
The adviser has also published a book called “Archaeology of the Mimi Caves”, a ministerial publication.
“No shortage of stories in our state”
Talking about her editing experience in Nagaland, Vishü Rita Krocha talked about her grandmother who lived to be 104 years old and instilled in her the love for stories from her childhood, which eventually led her to editing. “Publishing came to me in much the same way as journalism – both, for the love of stories,” she said while outlining PenThrill Publication House’s journey over the past eight years since its creation in November 2013.
Despite the many challenges over the years, she said, “there were many opportunities because I knew with a firm belief that there is no shortage of stories in our state – every element of our culture, be it our traditional clothing, the way we farm, or our way of life has a fascinating story behind it.
Earlier, while reading part of her short story titled ‘A Grandmother’s Tale’ which appeared in the Delhi-based anthology Zubaan, she also added, ‘My grandmother is no more, but she lives in the pages of a book. In that sense, as writers, we have the ability to preserve memories and ideas. In fact, I think books are one of the most important aspects of preserving anything that has value for a society or a community.
She further thanked the Department of Art and Culture for taking the initiative to promote local authors and publishers. “We really need more such platforms and I sincerely hope that the department will continue to engage book lovers on different exciting platforms even in the days to come,” she added.
Dr. Theyiesinuo Keditsu, Asst. Professor, Kohima College Kohima also read excerpts from his book – “Wake”. Other highlights of the inaugural program included the welcome speech by Athel O. Lotha, IAS, Secretary of the Art and Culture Department, the folk song by Angam Konyak Khong, Kohima and the vote of thanks by Adela Moa, Director , Arts and culture.
Hundreds of books are up for sale at the ongoing book exhibition, including books written by several local authors. Besides the authors, three local publishing houses, namely Heritage Publishing House, Dimapur, Woods Publishers, Kohima and PenThrill Publication House, are participating in the exhibition.