Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Third Mei Ram-ew festival from Dec 14

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: To develop and revive a habit of appreciating indigenous food, the North East Slow Food and Agro-biodiversity Society (NESFAS) is looking forward to involve youths by training them to cook the ethnic cuisines with a hope to revolutionize new generation’s perception towards indigenous food.

The training programme will be part of the 3rd Mei Ram-ew festival to be held in Mawphlang on December 14 and 15 which will also witness traditional cuisines prepared by the indigenous people of the state besides others.

“We will involve students from various schools with an aim to train them not only how to cook ethnic cuisines, but to re-orient them of their cultural and traditional roots through the appreciation of traditional food”, NESFAS chairman Phrang Roy said here on Monday.

The Mei-Ram-ew festival has been celebrated in Mawphlang since 2010 which has added the voice of indigenous people from the North East to the global slow food network.

Roy informed that approximately 24 local communities from different parts of the world will travel to Mawphlang to share their stories and to invite the public to taste their unique cuisines and witness the diversity of locally sourced ingredients that make up the culinary traditions.

He said that tribes from Thailand, Nilgiri Hills Nagaland, Manipur, North Cachar Hills and others would take part in the festival which would allow them to discuss common issues such as shifting cultivation, bee keeping and the revival of local food crops, as well as outcomes from this year’s Terra Madre gathering in Turin, Italy. “Communities will share their own stories of agro-biodiversity through songs, folklore and traditional dresses”, he added.

Furthermore, the festival will not only focus on food items but will also showcase the diversity of food crops and the importance of food security and sovereignty of indigenous people.

It was further informed that NESFAS will also host the second Indigenous Terra Madre 2014 in Meghalaya. (The first, held in Jokkmokk, Sweden, in June 2011 brought together 360 participants from 60 indigenous groups.)

“The idea is to strengthen knowledge networks, establish food sovereignty areas and encourage increased participation of indigenous advocates in decision making at both national and international levels”, Roy added.

Local communities would act as hosts in the 2014 event and youths would also play their crucial part wherein around 180 of them would be trained as volunteers to the event and Home stays would also be promoted during the event wherein guests would be lodged in people’s homes, not hotels.

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