Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday announced the state’s traditional Thoda dance would be included in the rural games.
“Competitions of Thoda would be held like kabaddi and kho-kho,” the chief minister said at the Rihali fair, dedicated to Mata Kamaksha at Samber in Theog in Shimla district.
Thoda, a game of archery where the target is a dancing human, is played between two teams called pasha and saatha who identify themselves as descendants of Pandavas and Kauravas.
Folklore says the Kauravas were 60, not 100 as believed. Thus, their descendants are termed saatha while five Pandavas are pasha.
The chief minister said fairs and festivals are inseparable part of the lives of Himachalis.
“We need to preserve our ancient culture, customs, art and language. Himachal Pradesh is adobe of god and goddesses and the entire life of the hill people revolve around their deities,” he said.
The chief minister also asked the youth to take over the cultivation of off-season vegetables and adopt floriculture as means of livelihood.
“Today many people in our state are growing off-season vegetables and are making good earnings. As the jobs in government sector are limited the youth should look for self-employment opportunities,” he added.
The Thodo dance was the main attraction at the fair in which the local teams participated and showcased various skills applied in the game.