By - Mandakini
MA Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
A house without tea is merely a home, yes this is true and one can’t deny the fact and the love for tea one has. It is therapeutic and rejuvenating. From the moment one wakes up the very first thing that strikes is having a cup of “Tea”. It gives an immense happiness and certain joy in that one sips’. “There is nothing quite like a freshly brewed pot of tea to get you going in the morning.” Today, as we celebrate the International Tea Day, we can’t agree more to this thoughts. For many of us, tea is like a morning ritual, for some a reason of bond and for some it’s life. While all tea lovers share a different bond with their favourite flavour, mug, timing and so on, additionally from hectic schedule in office till late night overtime, a tea remains one’s best friend and an honest companion.
May 21, is observed annually as International Tea Day according to the United Nations. The concerning resolution was adopted on December 21, 2019 and calls on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to lead the observance of the day.
International Tea Day aims to raise awareness of the long history and the deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world. The goal of the day is to promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.
In Manipur, culture of tea has always remained from hindered decade. Geographically one of the states producing tea in the country and adds quite a huge margin in state’s revenue. Workers process leaves plucked from wild full-grown tea trees growing in the forest of southern Manipur.
Sipping Saugri (Roselle Plant) , Lemongrass & Hei-mang(Wild Varnish Tree, I actually have to Google it;)), brings back childhood memories of growing up in Manipur. Traditional herbal healers in the state believe the fruits have antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and digestive properties. Another drink which takes me down memory lane is Nong-mang-kha (Basak plant). It is a herbal remedy, traditionally known for antiviral and antibacterial properties, a herbal treatment for cold, cough and more. So what all you get is using naturally and locally grown ingredients, and no added colour, flavour or preservatives and what more needed to be stay healthy in quarantine.
I also remember accompanying my Dad in work place during my stay in Imphal, as a goodwill gesture people used to give away some money as a cultural impression and they used statements like “Cha thaknabagi paisa ne” (its a money to accommodate a cup of tea, that metaphorically kind of a thanks giving!) See, the lives of tea everywhere. To be precise; to be a Teaholic is a meditation that not only keeps one super active but makes one connected to each other.
I still can’t resist myself accommodating few stock from online portal on Teas & edibles from Manipur which brings back old good memories and a touch of belonging.
I can’t end this writing without appreciating a youngster from Manipur Elizabeth Yambem (to name a few), I remember reading an article on entrepreneurship, Elizabeth has quit her cushy job in abroad and tries her hands on local tea chains. She sticks to her vision of a sustainable venture, as; Dweller Teas (a local tea chain) is not just health conscious, but also environment conscious. They use bamboo trays with banana leaves for service and paper products for takeaways. Also, they mostly employ homemakers to uplift and empower them. Her gamble on local produce has fared well, as her start-up today is shipping tea not just within the state, but also outside. She believes there’s a lot more to be done to expand their reach and achieve the right growth.
She is indeed stage setting new goals and examples for young entrepreneurs from Manipur to sustain and look forward and carrying the legacy and keeping the culture alive!
Saroj Saturday, 23 May 2020 17:38 Comment Link