99-year-old Thanga Darlong, the last tribal musician to play Rosem-a bamboo-made flute-like music instrument has finally been recognised as he is among 94 Padma Shri Awardees this year.
The veteran was conferred the award in the centenarian category for his contribution to music.
The state chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted and congratulated the veteran: “Heartiest greetings to Shri Thanga Darlong ji on being conferred the Padma Shri Award.
An exceptional musical genius from Tripura, Shri Darlong has made exemplary efforts for nurturing the indigenous culture of the NorthEast especially the art of playing Rosem musical instrument.”
Born on July 20, 1920, at Muruai village in Tripura, he received his initial training in folk music from his father Kavunga Darlong and was later nourished by traditional music maestro Darthuama Darlong.
Since childhood, he performed in numerous traditional festivals of his community and as far as Rosem, he is considered the most accomplished performers.
The penetration of modern music trend in the villages, the traditional art slowly took a backseat and now has come on the verge of extinction.