What’s the common thread between Bengalis and Uttarakhandis living in Indirapuram? Both migrated from their native place and zealously guard the vestiges of their culture. While Bengalis have Durga Pujo, Pahadis of Uttarakhand organise a five-day annual mela, Maha Kauhthigv, to celebrate their identity — and the home they have left behind in the hills.
Parvati Sanskriti Sansthan organises the mela every year around Christmas. “We started in 2011, and this year, it’s our eighth edition,” said Rajendra Chauhan, convener of the mela.
“The mela is supported by generous donations of Uttarkhandis living in the area. Over 50 percent of the population belongs to Uttarakhand,” emphasised Jagat Rawat, a resident of Vaishali, and president of the organising committee.
This year, the mela started from Friday (December 21) and will conclude on Tuesday (December 25).
The performing stage depicts Jageswar temples, a group of over 100 Hindu temples dated between 7th and 12th century near Almora, in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
The entry has been kept free.
The artistes performing in the mela have been exclusively called from Uttarakhand — and no local artistes are to perform, confirmed Rawat.
Speaking on the relevance of this annual extravaganza, Rawat said, “We want to showcase the pahadi culture. People migrate from their native places in search of better lives and grow distant with their culture. This event is an effort to create awareness and a sense of belonging.”
And residents have one more reason to smile when the air is already so festive!
An elderly couple from Shipra Sun City visiting the mela gushed out, “In these five days, even being so far away, we feel at home. We have been coming here since its inception.”
Against the backdrop of thumping folk music of Uttarakhand, there are stalls serving traditional delicacies — in fact, one such stall, serving the traditional vegetarian thali, witnessed the highest footfall.
And if you are looking to buy sartorial elegance of the hills, there are stalls selling pahadi attires too.
Miss Uttarakhand 2018, Prabha Goswami, was honoured at the event for making the state proud. In her address to the audience, she highlighted several issues plaguing the state, such as lack of job opportunities. And she also emphasised on providing a support system to girls — to allow them to aspire. “I am from a village and achieving this status was a huge uphill task for me. I would like to ask all the parents to provide maximum support to their girls. They will make you proud one day,” she urged.
TAGS: Indirapuram / Uttarakhandis / Maha Kauhthigv / Parvati Sanskriti Sansthan / Vaishali