IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


27th February, 2023 Culture

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Context:  Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush attended the colourful Siang Unying Festival - which is an important festival of the Adi community at Boleng, Arunachal Pradesh.


About the festival:

  • The festival of Unying is celebrated to herald the season of cultivation, beginning of the Adi community’s new year, arrival of spring seasons as well as a great way to strengthen the bond among the community.
  • The Adi tribes celebrate a number of festivals, but Unying Aaran is the prime festival for them.
  • Unying Aran is one of the oldest festivals of the Adi community commemorating the arrival of spring season.
  • Unying Aran is basically a hunting festival followed by the Adi tribesmen. It is the first festival of the Adi ‘new year’.
  • It is the festival which unites all the members of the community and they all pray for the bumper harvest.
  • In this festival, it is tradition for all male members of a family to go on a hunting and stays in the jungles for a week.
  • The majority of Adi traditionally follow the tribal Donyi-Polo religion. Worship of gods and goddesses like Kine Nane, Doying Bote, Gumin Soyin and Pedong Nane, etc.
  • It is traditionally celebrated with ‘Bari’ songs sung by male elders and ‘Yakjong’ dance performed by youths (boys and girls) in villages. Through these performances, they narrate stories of the origin of the festival. Villagers also pray for the well-being of their tribesmen.

About the tribe:

  • The Adi people are one of the most populous groups of indigenous peoples in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • A few thousand are also found in the Tibet Autonomous Region, where they are called the Lhoba together with some of the Nishi people, Na people, Mishmi people and Tagin people.
  • They live in a region of the Southern Himalayas which falls within the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Mainling, Lhunze, Zayu, Medog, and Nyingchi counties in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China.
  • All the ethnic groups recognizing themselves as "Adi" are believed to be descendants of the Abutani/Abotani. The older term Abor is an exonym from Assamese and its literal meaning is "independent". The literal meaning of adi is "hill" or "mountain top".


Q) Which of the following statements are correct with reference to Siang Unying Festival?

a. It is one of the oldest festivals of the Adi community commemorating the arrival of autumn season.

b. Adi people belong to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

        I.    Only a

       II.    Only b

      III.    Both a and b

       IV.    Neither a not b

Answer: Option II