Goria and Traditional Food Festival kicks off in Tripura amid inclement weather

The Goria and Traditional Food Festival, which celebrates indigenous Tripuri cuisine and culture, was inaugurated in Agartala on Saturday. The tribal food festival, organised by the Pantwi Sporting Society, is supported by the government.

While Tribal Welfare Minister Bikash Debbarma, Tripura Tribal Council chief executive member Purna Chandra Jamatia and others were expected to attend the inaugural event, many of the VIPs could not make it owing to thundershowers.

Agartala mayor Dipak Majumder said the traditional food festival was organised along with several other festivals and religious events to mark the Garia Puja this year. “Baba Garia is known as a symbol of shakti, mangal and welfare of family, society and the country. This puja is observed with great sincerity and respect among the tribals, especially the Hindu tribals. This puja used to be a ritual of the tribals but now it has evolved to be a puja of everyone in Tripura. We hope tribal-non tribal unity will be further strengthened in the days to come with the blessings of Baba Garia,” he said.

Different individuals and organisations including the state-run Tripura Tribal Research and Cultural Institute have organised indigenous food festivals over the past few years.

Only seven-eight stalls were open during the inauguration as a gale blew bringing showers and thunders with it, but the organisers said more stalls would open in the days to come.

The organisations and self-help groups that have put up the stalls said modern life had taken people away from their roots. They hoped that government-supported traditional food festivals like these would help bring back people to their roots.

Godok, a boiled dish of assorted veggies mixed with fermented fish and a dash of hot chillies and onions, wahan mosdeng (pork bharta), tohan mosdeng (chicken bharta), asokja (roasted fish), chalta salad (elephant apple salad), pope mukhoi, chatang, chakhoi, chutoi mosdeng (turmeric and dry fish bharta) and wakh buthui (pork blood and rice dish), among other indigenous dishes, are available at the festival.

Since the BJP-IPFT government came to power in 2018, tribal culture and food have received special attention. The setting up of statues of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, the last reigning king of Tripura; renaming of the Agartala airport after the erstwhile king; establishment of a tribal folk music institute; promotion of Kokborok, the tribal lingua franca, in schools and colleges; and the organising of tribal food festivals have underscored this new focus.


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