Rituals of Parsem Kut
God Tarpa is offered prayers by the 'Ochai' or village priest, who prays for the prosperity and well-being of the entire village. Hen is sacrificed and rice beer is offered respectfully before the God and the ground of sacrifice is known as 'Boljol' or 'Doithojol' according to the Khelma language. Following the prayer, the Ochai proceeds to the home of celebration or 'Parsem Kut Tunkung', wherein the rice beer is also offered to the young boys which is sprinkled by the priest as a holy blessing.
The young boys march towards the jungle for fresh flowers which they would gift the young girls only after obtaining prior permission from the village priest or Ochai. However, there are certain rules which must be followed by them while they collect the flowers, violation of which would attract severe penalty. The young boys must not destroy the branches or the trees from which they pluck the flowers and if they do so against the rules, the girls and the village elders would seize their shirt or turbans. If the young boys wanted to reclaim his belongings, he would have to offer them some rice beer. Therefore, great care must be taken while gathering flowers and the flowers should be placed inside a casket or 'partolai' till they reach the traditional gate or 'Suangkung'. Then, the boys would have to transfer the flowers into a basket or 'tabong' and carry them to Parsem Kut Tunkung or the main home of celebration with utmost care. The flowers are then taken outside by the young boys for being delivered to every house which contains girls.
During the day of Parsem Kut, teenage girls are welcomed into adulthood through the offering of flowers. A newly wedded lady can also be given flowers as per the rites, till two years from the day of her marriage. However, after this period, a ritual must be performed by her called 'ruolmak' as on this very day she bids farewell to her youth, which is termed as 'leaving her friend'. She can offer rice beer to her friends, but after this day she will no longer be considered young.
A wooden seat or 'lukham' must be kept close to the door of every household which possesses young girls and three flowers should be offered to every girl, placed on the seat by the boys. If there exist three girls in a particular house, their parents would have to keep three lukham for each of their daughters. Thereafter, the girls walk towards the celebration house with one flower tucked behind each ear and one on their hairs carefully. However, even if one of the flowers are lost or dropped on their way to the venue, the girls would be penalized by the young boys who would capture their necklace or belt. The young girls must offer rice beer to the young boys in order to get the article back.
Finally, Parsem Kut festival concludes after the dawn of the following day, through the singing of the 'Ka Chin' song or 'Ka Chin Ala' and cheerful dancing. This traditional song is sung by three distinct sub-categories which comprise the youth, the married man or 'minmangngei' and the old man or 'tarpui'. One after the other, the three groups must perform this song and by chance if any errors are made by anybody of any group, that very group is fined and must offer rice beer to the other groups who sang the song appropriately.
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