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International Food festival begins in Manipur

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, April 24 � Manipur�s delicious cuisines besides mouth-watering dishes from four Asian countries are catering to the palates of the visitors to Innovative Youth Society (IYS)�s 10-day Chinjak international food festival here since its launch on Friday.

Food lovers like to go for the typical Manipuri cuisine of the current season including nga/khajing bora (fish/shrimp fritter), oaksha makok-mana thongba (a typical pork curry), pork mushroom fermented meat, meat pickles, varieties of pork fry and pork curries, ngaprum singju (spicy eel-salad), etc.

While the younger ones hang around to taste Korean kimchi, kimbap, Thailand�s mouth-watering �tomyam�, Tibet�s Lambhi and Chinese Jab Chai and much more in the first-ever Chinjak (food) festival international which was inauguarted by the Manipur Tourism Minister TN Haokip at the Iboyaima Shumang Leela complex here on Friday.

�We can spent months outside the State or the country but one thing which we always missing is our typical cuisine�, Minister Haokip speaking on the occasion said. �One will always missed morokmetpa (chilly smashed with small fermented fish).�

Its hard to explain different tastes of typical Manipuri cuisine because of its peculiar taste, he said. Such typical cuisine are interestingly differs from one season to another.

So lets prepare our local cuisine to upgrade to introduce in the International platforms, he appealed. Lets support further research and development activities in these arena in this era of globalisation.

According to Khuraijam Athouba, Secretary of the IYS which is collaborating with the State Tourism department in organising the festival, the idea of initiating the festival is to exchange the food culture of the Asian countries besides making a platform to introduce Manipuri cuisine to the international market.

�We are requesting the concerned authorities to include the food festival in the tourism calendar from next year onwards�, Athouba said. �Besides we are also planning to organise a similar festival at Shillong in the near future�. After successful Chinjak festival in Manipur�s Thoubal district headquarters in November last year, the IYS is back with a broader vision to move forward the fest which is scheduled to conclude on May 1 next.

The Korean participant who had been in the country since the last six months was quite surprised when young ones asked for Kimchi in Korean language at his stall during the opening day of the fest. Thailand�s Krittika (55) and her daughter Joy (42) and other local participants of the 35 stalls looked happy as the visitors like their cuisine.

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