HAFLONG, Jan 21 - The preparations for the first ever �Judima Festival� at Haflong on January 23-24 organised by Youth Association for Development and empowerment (YADEM), Haflong, and Dibarai Mahila Samity, Haflong, are in full swing.
The �Judima Fest� is being organised for popularising Judima and attracting tourists along with other associated events like trekking, home stay, angling, cycling and sightseeing.
�Judima� is a traditional brewed rice wine of the Dimasas. Though rice wine is also produced by some tribes of the district like Zemes and Rangkhols, the tribes other than the Dimasas do not brew rice beer at present after they embraced Christianity. The Dimasas are Hindus and they are still practising the age-old customs, traditions and their own way of worship.
�Judima� along with animal sacrifices are required while performing the worship of the gods in order to be blessed by Him. Judima is also a mandatory item in any ritual of the Dimasas, like annaprasan of the baby, marriage ceremony, death ceremony, etc.
Almost every household in a Dimasa village brews rice wine or Judima. Two types of rice are specially grown for the purpose of brewing Judima. One is the sticky rice called Maiju (Bora chawal in Assamese) and the other variety is called Bairing in Dimasa language. The rice �Bairing� is exclusively grown for production of Judima. It is non-edible rice. It is said that the Bairing rice helps in producing more juice out of the combination and helps in preservation of the Judima after fermentation of the mixed rice by specially developed Humou (yeast cake).
Humou is extracted from the barks of the plant �Thembra� in Dimasa (Botanical name is Acacia Pennata).The process of producing Humau is still patent to the families of the Dimasa community.