Pitha is the common name used in Assam for rice cake. The Boro pitha is traditionally prepared during the harvest festival. In earlier times indigenous varieties of rice were used for making pitha. Each household has its own way of making pitha/ rice cakes and it is generally women who engage in such activities. Now-a-days with indigenous rice varieties slowly disappearing, hybrid rice varieties are used for making pitha; and pitha is no longer related with festivities alone.
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Kaushalya has been selling laces in the Saturday weekly street market in Shadipur, West Delhi, for over 10 years. She is one of the very few women street vendors who make a living by selling various products across weekly markets in Delhi. In Shadipur Shani Bazaar, of the 350 plus street vendors only 10-12 of them are women.
Story from an Intercommunity Dialogue on Rice Cultures and Cultivation
Ag lainai, the ritual of cutting the first fruits of paddy
Bruno to vendor: Are you a Moor?
Vendor: “I am a Pulaar (ethnic group from Senegal) sir, and I am from Lao Air. You can't read? It's nevertheless well written on my beautiful stove! - - aere lao cité baratal fouta toro. ... I know this way of preparing meat better than the Moors. It is a job, like any other, that does not belong to any ethnic group."
For some vendors the entire preparation chain is a very serious matter, and therefore personal, especially for reasons related to Muslim (halal) precepts:
Pipariya, as pointed by a number of early settlers of the town, shares its’ initial history with a section of railway line that was laid out during the colonial rule to connect the cities of Bombay (present-day Mumbai) and Calcutta (present-day Kolkata).
A farmer threshes his harvested crop in the village of Paliya Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh. In the age of combine harvesters, small scale farmers still rely on traditional methods such as bullock treading (seen in the picture) for threshing of crops, followed by winnowing. A common practice in many parts of the world, this particular method involves a herd of cattle tied to a wooden pole, made to tread in circles on the threshing floor where the dried crop is spread out.
In the remote Naga hills , beyond the capital city of Kohima, stands the beautiful and historic village of Khonoma. Traditionally a site of resistance, having pushed back British rule in the region from the 1830s to 1880, Khonoma continues to be a space striving towards safeguarding the rights of women while strengthening Naga unity through organisations like the Khonoma Women Union, in whose honour this obelisk stands marking its 25 years in 2013.
Suman Bai Goojar is a resident of Puraani Basti, one of the oldest settlements in the town of Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh. Hailing from the semi-nomadic pastoral Goojar community, hers is a narrative where fields are connected to pastures and communities to spaces. A snippet from our recorded conversation:
One of the items on display at most of the local Autonomous Council sponsored/organized exhibitions at BTC areas of Assam is different varieties of rice seeds, including indigous and hybrid ones. The main target is to create awareness of hybrid varieties of rice but what it does is also make aundience realize the invisibility of indigenous varieties.
"We used to pack food while wearing gloves but some customers would ask us to take them off and then pack with bare hands," one of the vednor's response to us when we asked her why she didn't wear gloves while packing food.
We were puzzled by this response. Why did the customers ask the vendors to remove their gloves? How did the customers perceive gloves? Is there lack of awareness over hygiene? Do people - vendors and customers- view hygiene differently?
Tea cultivation is one of the main rural livelihoods seen in Kyaukme Township, Northern Shan State. It can be seen in the many hills around the area. In Kyaukme Township, tea plants have been cultivated naturally for many years. Botanically speaking, tea belongs to the genus Camellia, species Thea and family Theaceae. Tea is a perennial crop. Most tea plants are not allowed to grow more than 3 feet high. This is because tea cultivators prefer to keep the plant low as it is difficult to pick tea leaves when the tree is tall.
The feast of Aîd El Kébir or tabaski is a Muslim feast. It involves prayers and the slaughter of animals (preferably sheep). This year, it coincided with the Covid 19 pandemic and its consequences. This explained the soaring prices of sheep in the market. The animals were exposed in the parks and on the streets to customers. The prices varied between sixty thousand (60,000 F cfa) to four hundred thousand (400,000 F cfa and up). Because of the high price of sheep, within twenty-four hours (24 hours) of the event, some Muslims could not have the sheep of their choice.
The first activity on the feast day tabaski is group prayer in the public squares. Otherwise it will led in the mosques by the Imams who will be the first to slaughter their animals. After the immolation of the Imams from each zone, the rest of the community starts to slaughter their animal. Following the mechanical skinning of the animals, the meat is distributed at three levels: firstly, the share of the disadvantaged first, then the next of kin and the third part is for the family. This meat is consumed in different dishes, at least within the families.
“In the past, we would pack the trash in a big bag and threw it into the lake at night. When the flood would come, all of the trash would come back out with the water,” she said laughing.
We asked her then, “Did any of the elders (your parents, the governor of the quarter, etc.) say anything about it?"
She answered, “at that time, all people in the village did like that. We didn’t really care as other people did the same thing that I did.”
Some people were not clear how the plastic bucket was to be used. Actually, this bucket is for wet waste and the plastic bag should be put in it first before putting trash in.
They used the bucket in wrong way as shown in the photos. We reminded them again, “the basket made with palm raffia is for dry waste and the bucket is for wet." We encouraged them to use it the correct way.
In this picture, we can see that a person understood how to correctly the bucket. Most people did not have any problem in using the basket for dry waste. They understood that clearly. But we were facing problems in making people understand how to use the bucket for wet waste correctly. I was glad that this person had a clearer the idea what we had said. Fortunately many others also understood the right way to use the bucket eventually.
Famous Traditional PaOh Soybean Cury
This one of the most famous traditonal foods in our country, Myanmar, especially in Southern Shan State.
The PaOh ethnic group has been used to this kind of food since their ancestors. Soybean cury and the PaOh ethnic people are inseparable from their society.
They always use every ingredient (soybean, chilli, salt, tomato, peanut oil) in these foods from their local resources without buying from outsides.
This is a choir from the Chedema Baptist Church singing on the occassion of the 69th Naga Plebiscite Day.
It talks of a creator, Christ in heaven, who be praised and who blesses the congregation to stay together as one.
The Naga nation is that one holy congregation which seeks to remain as one, together in its mission to spread the word of God.