War Can Create a Market: Incredible Barak Valley!

Wars are a curse that cause devastation to life and property.Wars need to be denounced at all cost. The story of a war is always one of death and destruction, but some creative things take place during wars. One such creation is the famous market in Silchar of Barak Valley: Fatak Bazar. It is really incredible that this market came into being during the Second World War when the allied forces were marching towards the North East frontiers to take on the axis forces led by Germany.
The Allied army men put up near this market place in barracks made of makeshift tents called ” Fatak” in urdu. As the army stationed in this place, traders gathered nearby to provide necessary products to the army men. Transaction started and even after the army moved out of the place , the market remained there getting the name ” Fatak Bazar”. It is a mega market, providing all types of goods in wholesale as well as retail. The daily transaction in the bazar is in crores. Shopping in Fatak Bazar is a phenomenological experience.

Incredible India, Incredible Barak Valley!

Barak Valleyintine Day: Incredible Celebration of Love !

Call it cultural invasion or cultural assimilation, the internationally celebrated Valentine Day is celebrated with fervour in the valley of peace and love. Love radiates from everybody. There is a tradition of celebrating love in this valley for which it has been easy for the youth of the valley to adopt or assimilate the celebration of Valentine Day. Interestingly, even places and habitats are named after the emotion of love. For example, there is a place called ” Prem Tola” in Silchar. ” Prem” means ” Love” and “Tola” means a point.
What is unique in Valentine Day celebration in the valley is that youths of the valley have given a different hue to it by fusing the celebration with local elements. Exchanging of Valentine cards in Bangla language is a case in point. The handmaid cards have motifs and designs which are influenced by the culture and tradition of the valley.
Compared to other places ,Valentine day is celebrated in the valley in a world class manner with a tinge of indigenous culture in it.

Incredible India, Incredible Barak Valley!

Nauka Daur: Incredible Spectacle!

Barak Valley has its own way of celebrating the joys of life. People in Barak Valley display enthusiasm and vigour in organising mega events which are incredible. Nauka Daur is one such event which is organised in different parts of the valley. This event centres around boats that waft on the river Barak and other tributaries of Barak like Kushiara, Singla, Jiri, Dholai and madura. Nauka Daur is a marathon race of Boats on the river. nauka means boat and daur means race in local language of the valley.Such marathon race of boats are organised as part of celebration of important national events like Republic Day, Independence day etc.

Boatmen congregate on the day of the race and after a short inaugural programme, the Nauka Daur is flagged off . The winner is awarded at the end of the race. People gather in large numbers to witness this kind of mega event in the valley. The nauka Daur or boat marathon race is really a unique event of the valley.

Incredible India, Incredible Barak!

Mahajaal : The Big Catch.

In Barak Valley, everyone eagerly waits for the Mahajaal, the big catch. Barak Valley is a valley of swift flowing perennial rivers. Rivers like Kushiara and Singla , Madura, and Dholai join as tributaries with the river Barak, the ganga of Barak Valley. These rivers are deep and are full of aquatic beings like fish, crabs and other marine animals.

Fishing has evolved in the region more as an art than purely economic activity. Many people practise fishing as a hobby and a leisurely activity in the region. People eagerly wait for the Mahajaal to take place. Mahajaal refers to the activity of putting fishing net across the river stretching the net from one end of the bank to the other. This leads to big catch of varieties of fish that swim towards the net. The fishermen are adept in fixing the net for a big catch.
The event of Mahajaal is never preplanned. It is done by the fishermen without much planning. The event is also not publicised in a very organised way but people come to know of this event almost spontaneously by word of mouth publicity. Fish lovers gather on the river beach to witness this mega event. Once there is a big catch , people instantly buy fish from the fishermen thereby bypassing the middlemen of the fish market. This event has been a part of the culture of the people of Barak Valley from time immemorial.

Incredible India, Incredible Barak Valley!

Barak Valley: The Valley of Laughter

Laughter is what the postmodern world needs and laughter is in plenty in Barak Valley. Much before the Kapil Sharma Show became popular in our country, there was a television program telecast from Silchar Doordarshan by the title of ” Hashte Mana” ( No laughing please). It was a comedy serial depicting the lighter and humorous aspect of the life of the people of Barak Valley. Comedy stage shows are a regular feature in the valley from time immemorial.

The print media is no less trailing. Humourous write ups are a regular feature in the newspapers and little magazines published from the valley. What is unique and appreciable in these laughter shows and write ups is the absence of vulgarity. Literary critics, media critics and others interested in the study of comedy will find this a very remarkable aspect in Barak Valley. This speaks a lot about the culture of the valley.

Incredible India, Incredible Barak Valley!

Bamboo of Barak Valley:The Wonder Material for Architects and Interior Designers

Architects and Interior designers across cross-cultural settings in the world are deeply concerned with issues of sustainability and eco- friendliness confronting the world. The architects and the interior design community as a whole have the unfailing agenda of providing alternative solutions to the global citizens in which sustainability and eco friendliness is the priority.
Accordingly, the architects and the interior designers are now focussing on materials which are renewable and eco-friendly. No wonder Barak Valley of Assam is the home of this wonder material which is provided by nature in bounty. This is the region where varieties of bamboo are found in plenty in the forests and semi-forested lands in the valley. Architects and interior designers will be delighted to know that the people of Barak Valley have been using bamboo in building their houses and craftsmen are using bamboo for producing variety of decorative items for adoring the surfaces of the interior of houses and offices in the valley. In fact, bamboo is an integral part of the culture of Barak Valley. The varieties like Muli and Bethua as they are called in local language are very much in use by the people of the valley.
Architects are now coming up with solutions using bamboo as a material in flooring, walling, cascading, roofing and what not. Bamboo is a wonder resource in that it is fast renewable unlike wood which is derived from trees. It takes about a decade to grow wood yielding trees whereas it takes few months to grow bamboos. Barak Valley is the home of many varieties of bamboo. Architects and designers will find this valley as their favourite destination to understand the features, characteristics and availability of different varieties of bamboo.
Interior designers will find bamboo material ideal for designing furniture and other accessories for both offices and household and public buildings thereby ensuring sustainability and eo-friendliness.

Incredible India, Incredible Barak Valley!

COMMUNICATION VIA MILK : INCREDIBLE BARAK VALLEY!

Anthropologists have long been interested in the ways a community communicate in different situations. They have been studying how symbols , words, gestures and colours are used to communicate cross-culturally.

In Barak Valley, other than words and visual symbols and colours, milk of cows is used to communicate in different situations. Strange and incredible!

Milk is turned into a molten paste like solution by boiling with sugar. This is called “Kheer” Then this kheer is used to craft decorative shapes called ” Sandesh” The molten solution of Kheer is put into moulds of different shapes which give them particular shapes. The shapes are varied like that of fish, fruits like lichi, mangoes, and what not. The moulds are usually made of black stone by the potters.

These milk products are called “Sandesh”, a sanskrit word meaning message. Infact, these milk products serve the purpose of sending messages. They are symbolical of many ideas like love, auspiciousness, friendship, fertility, adoration etc etc.

Sometimes , coconut pulp and coconut milk is also used to make sandesh. This has a unique flavour. During marriage ceremonies sandesh is exchanged between the families of the bride and the bridegroom . This is done to exchange the message of love, and bond and auspiciousness.

Anthropologists will find it interesting to study the motifs used in these milk products like fish, fruits, leaves etc. They will be able to explore the deeper significance of these motifs.

Sandesh are an integral part of the culture of Barak Valley. They are offered in marriage ceremonies , birthdays, and pujas or worship of god.

Incredible India , Incredible Barak Valley!