Things that make me proud…
Fine Arts: During the reign of king Bhagya Chandra, towards the 18th century, Vaishnavism became very popular in Manipur. As a result Vaishnav Palakirtan with Mridanga and Kartalaa became the most prominent factor in Bishnupriya manipuri fine arts. Rasleela is the most important aspect of their culture. Here in Ras-dance the philosophy of the manipuris is the basis on which the philosophy of the Vaisnavism is the body and plot of the dances with the essence of the Bhagavata philosophy.
Festivals: To Bishnupriya Manipuris, festivals are the symbols of their cultural, social and religious aspirations which, besides removing the monotony of life by providing physical diversions, mental recreation and emotional outlet, help them lead a better and fuller life. Bishu, Rathyatra or Kang-Festival, Kartika festival, Maharas Purnima, Phaguwa or yaosang festival etc. are their major festivals.
Marriage: Marriage in society is based on the Hindu pattern and mostly Aryan and non-Aryan elements having certain traditional customs. Marriage is restricted within the sub-clans or gutros in BPM community.
Food: Rice, vegetable and fish are principle foodstuffs of both the Bishnupriyas and Meiteis. Meat and Drinking is strictly prohibited in the society. In religious and social feats even, fish is never used.
Dress and Ornaments: Traditional dress used by the men is called Pachhati – about five feet long cloth manufactured by themselves which worn round the waist. Women usually wear blouses with traditional Lahing/Fanek or Chakshabi (a coarse cloth with lengthwise stripes and embroidered on both sides lengthwise) with an Enaphi (Single or multicolor coarse cloth with laces on both ends) and an Angei or blouse.
Religion and observances: Mass propagation of Hindu customs and traditions in the society is the indicator of their reverence towards the Hindu deities and temples. In addition to the Hindu deities the Bishnupriyas have their own Gods, Deities, Rites and Rituals. The traditional ancestral god Apokpa and other lais like Pahangpa, Sanamahi, Soralel, Githaipung, Panthoibi, Wangbaren, Koubru etc are worshipped along with the Hindu deities. Worship of the deities by the help of music and dance to ensure the community welfare is part of their belief.