Barak Valley cannot be thought of without a mention of the position of betel leaf in the psyche of the people. Benaras is famous for its exquisite betel items to be chewed but in Barak Valley betel transcends this particular function and assumes a higher order cultural function. It assumes a symbolical significance for the people so that there are dedicated rituals with betel leaf like Pano khili which is observed before the marriage and annaprasana ceremony ( the ritual of rice taking for the infants). Betel symbolises fertility, longevity, freshness , growth and energy for the people of Barak Valley.Betel leaf and nut is offered to a visitor as a token of welcome in Barak Valley.
Anthropologists can excavate more layers of cultural meaning and significance in these betel leaf or paan rituals of Barak Valley.
Incredible India , Incredible Barak Valley !