TODAY -

Flavour of the week
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: November 25 2011 -



The Manipur Sangai Festival 2011 which opened with much fanfare on November 21 has been a huge success till date. It is has been drawing quite a sizable crowd each day since its opening, one see people lining up to get into the Festival venue with a eagerness writ large on their faces.

For the locals of this state, the participation of foreign national are a huge draw, their stalls are the most crowded and understandably their sale proceeds the maximum. One of the most popular stalls at Hafta Kangjeibung, ‘Africa Kenya’ run by a Kenyan woman and her Phillipino husband, has been selling all its items at a brisk pace, with the cowboy hats which are sold at Rs 500 being the most popular.

This could be explained as part curiosity, part hospitality to our guests and as also the desire to make the best use of a rare opportunity. It’s not everyday that a Kenyan woman will travel down all the way to Manipur and open shop.

Likewise, the foreign cuisines which include some of the most popular and sought after worldwide like Italian, Chinese, Thai and Afghani, have also turned out to be quite a hit with the visiting public at the Festival.

This again should not surprise us in the least as it is rare for many people of this state to get a chance to taste authentic dishes of these countries prepared by their own chefs and naturally they will not let go of this chance easily.

And even among these foreign food stalls, Thai food has turned out to be the most popular, in keeping with the current trend of the rising popularity of Thai cuisines among those who is willing to experiment with their taste buds.

Chinese dishes after its huge success across the world has now reached a sort of plateau, it has become too commonplace for the more adventurous. Local food stalls also had their share of glory with many visitors checking out various dishes. All in all the food court has been a huge success.

This goes well with the stated aim of the festival as cuisines or food habits of any people any area is unique which is a product of the soil, its history and has evolved over the years and this is one of the major attractions for the tourists.

But we need to attract more people from the rest of the country as well as foreigners to sample our offerings initially to spread the word.

The festival is also doing a good job of highlighting the culture and tradition of the land as manifested in its dances and music, this will also prove to be a big attraction for the tourists, but care should be taken that none of these forms are tinkered with or diluted with the sole purpose of making it more accessible to the tourists.

This will prove counter productive in every sense. Another mainstay of the festival is the adventure and eco tourism manned and managed by the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association.

Adventure tourism has huge scope in the country and should rightly be an area of focus. Besides, such type of tourists will come here for genuine love of adventure and for the sheer thrill of experiencing a new environment a new topography and not for other inappropriate activities which we should be always on guard even as we welcome the tourists.

The Sangai Festival 2011 while promoting tourism has also come as a huge relief for the economic blockade wary people of the state by providing wholesome healthy break through its various offerings.

But there are also some voices of complaint against the collection of entry fee as the festival is meant to popularise tourism.

A valid point, the organizers in the midst of their mindboggling workload should pause a second and ponder on.





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