The locals of Parengtar, a village on India-Bhutan border, are reviving the traditional observe of Kholey Dai

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Parengtar — a quaint hamlet on India-Bhutan border in West Bengal’s Kalimpong district
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Particular Association

Dotted with inexperienced timber, the grid-shaped, sienna-toned paddy fields of Parengtar — a quaint hamlet on the India-Bhutan border in West Bengal’s Kalimpong district — overlook the blue-grey mountains. The nip within the air and a sudden burst of exercise augurs the arrival of the harvest season. Villagers, principally comprising the Rai individuals, are making fabric banners, poplin-roof shacks, conventional meals and stacking up the harvest for the grain to be sifted from the chaff. The preparations for the third version of the community-driven, zero-waste Kholey Dai Harvest and Music Competition are in full swing.

Previous ahead

In December 2021, Parengtar Nawlo Umange Welfare Society, community tourism organisation Muhaan, Cafe Kalimpong and Backwoods Adventure Camp curated the festival’s first edition.

In December 2021, Parengtar Nawlo Umange Welfare Society, group tourism organisation Muhaan, Cafe Kalimpong and Backwoods Journey Camp curated the pageant’s first version.
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Particular Association

In December 2021, Parengtar Nawlo Umange Welfare Society, group tourism organisation Muhaan, Café Kalimpong and Backwoods Journey Camp curated the pageant’s first version. It noticed a day by day footfall of practically 400 guests. The quantity rose to 2,000, within the second version.

“Beforehand, by way of Parma, a sort of barter of labour, individuals would collect to work collectively in one another’s fields. Many travelled between India and Bhutan border through the harvest time. To separate the grain, they’d dance over the harvest. It’s believed that many, in these occasions, discovered their companions throughout such dances,” begins Roshan Rai, president of Parengtar Nawlo Umanga Welfare Society.

Farm labourers also make the cattle walk over the harvest while winnowing and threshing

Farm labourers additionally make the cattle stroll over the harvest whereas winnowing and threshing
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Particular Association

Nevertheless, the Gorkhaland motion of 1986 and ethnic tensions in Bhutan in 1991 impacted the lives of those that frequented the village as farm labourers. “This additionally decreased the manpower. And slowly, the custom began to fade. Within the ’90s, the elders of the village determined to restart the observe. They referred to as the village kids to play on the yield and served them porridge made with freshly sifted rice. Ultimately, this observe light too; however, it’s an inspiration for our pageant: etymologically, Kholey Dai comes from Kholey, which means porridge, and Dai, which refers back to the post-harvesting technique of rice,” he explains.

Girls dress up in traditional attire to perform the Rai Silli dance

Ladies gown up in conventional apparel to carry out the Rai Silli dance
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Particular Association

What’s in retailer?

Dance troupe performs Maruni dance at the Kholey Dai Festival

Dance troupe performs Maruni dance on the Kholey Dai Competition
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Particular Association

Whereas winnowing and threshing are the cynosure of the three-day pageant, it is usually full of folks music and dances rooted within the tradition of the area. This 12 months’s line-up contains practically 15 musicians, together with Bipul Chhetri and the Travelling Band, Mookhuri, Purna Rai, Ghugu Mugu and Shreedhaya Sisters. There will probably be eight folks dance performances too — Lepcha folks dance, Damai Naumati Baja, Maruni dance and Rai Silli dance, to call a number of.

Bipul Chhetri and the Travelling Band

Bipul Chhetri and the Travelling Band
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Particular Association

“Apart from, there are 24 meals stalls serving native delicacies of Kalimpong and Darjeeling, like wachipa (a standard meals of Kiratis fabricated from burnt hen feathers and rice), kukhura ko jhol (native hen soup), kodo ko roti (millet chapati), corn rice and sel roti. Don’t miss the native millet beer, tongba. These will probably be served in plates fabricated from leaves and containers fabricated from bamboo,” says Arunavh Dam, founding father of Muhaan.

Locals dish out traditional cuisine at the Kholey Dai Harvest and Music Festival

Locals dish out conventional delicacies on the Kholey Dai Harvest and Music Competition
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Particular Association

For nature lovers, the pageant provides hikes to close by rivers, like Jaldhaka, the place they might interact in fishing or birdwatching. “There will probably be about 15 stalls promoting conventional baggage, garments, crochet objects, work, bamboo merchandise, terracotta and handicrafts, second-hand books and native natural produce,” provides Arunavh. Whereas the funding for the pageant comes from crowdsourcing, Arunavh shares that the administration and small organisations too have began pitching in. “All of the earnings are pumped again into the pageant,” he states.

The festival offers hikes to nearby rivers, like Jaldhaka, where they could engage in fishing or birdwatching

The pageant provides hikes to close by rivers, like Jaldhaka, the place they might interact in fishing or birdwatching
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

Boarding and lodging

Bagdogra Worldwide Airport is about 11 kilometres from Siliguri, which is 112 kilometres (4 hours) from Parengtar. Toreach the village, you possibly can take a shared taxi from Siliguri between 1pm and 3pm. “There are 15 to 20 homestays run by locals of the village, beginning at ₹1,500 per day. Our pageant passes supply keep and entry tickets, which embody mattress and breakfast. You can additionally keep in tents, priced ₹1,500 per individual,” informs Arunavh.

Visitors rest in thatched-roof gazebos on the festival’s premises

Guests relaxation in thatched-roof gazebos on the pageant’s premises
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Particular Association

So, if you happen to wish to reside off the grid and have an urge for food for all issues folksy, Kholey Dai Harvest and Music Competition comes calling from Dec 15 (8am) to December 17 (11:50pm). Who is aware of, you would possibly even discover your future companion whereas dancing and threshing! Tickets begin at ₹1,025 on www.muhaan.in/eventpasses.

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