On the Adivasi Food Festival-2017 that took place in Bhissamcuttuck, Odisha
A day before the Adivasi Food Festival, there was a lot of humdrum in the village of Kandhadakuluguda. On one side of the village is a stream that cuts through the fields and one can clearly see mountains at some distance. Khajur (date palm) and Naariyal (coconut) trees (the only ones I can identify) dot the landscape and are hugely outnumbered by the eucalyptus plantations that cover huge swathes of landscape. On reaching Kandhadakuluguda, we could see young men putting huge tent together. Older women sat together making bowls and plates from leaves. A huge crowd was expected from a number of villages. The Food Festival was organised to celebrate the diversity of food, cultivated and uncultivated, present in the diets of the Kondh Adivasis. A number of us, at Muniguda, had tried to pitch in in our own small capacity by preparing the labels of the food that were to be displayed the next morning. A bunch of city people we were and it showed in how we exclaimed at the vast number of wild greens, millets and pigeon pea labels in the collection, ourselves oblivious of these many varieties.
Watch a video on the festival