The 10 day Food and Craft Festival ended with a grand pomp and celebration on 17th Jan 2016. The festival drew more than 10000 people from across the city and was a huge display of ethnic craftsmanship that included pottery, wood work, metal work, ceramics, furniture to name a few.
The Craft Fair Prelude
The Craft Mela and the food festival is celebrated every year in January to promote the local art, culture,cuisine, food and handicraft industry as also to increase the awareness about the Indian culture. The festival this year lasted for 10 days and showcased more than 200 small and big stalls from across the city, selling more than 1000 Swadeshi products.
A huge crowd from across Nagpur formed a part of the exhibition that displayed handicrafts, pottery, glassware, metal ware, ceramics, bamboo and cane work, woolen and silk embroidered items, antiques to name a few. The event also organized a music festival in Marathi (the state language) to showcase the art and culture of Maharashtra.
The Honesty Quotient
The impressive part about the event was the way the citizens celebrated and participated in the event. The entry and exit had been well-marked and it was easier to pass through the gates without creating a bottle-neck anywhere. Despite the heavy crowd that seemed to pour in, it was passing through uninterrupted.
The event marked its success with that lesser heard announcement these days of ‘zero theft’ record. On the 8th and 9th day of the event, despite the fact that people had lost their items during the exhibition, the people who found them returned it to the organizers and eventually back to the owners. So, this city can proudly say that it has zero tolerance to theft and dishonesty.
The Events at the Food and Craft festival
The last day saw a cultural quiz contest that included open participation of visitors and had grilling questions on arts, culture, history, religion, festivals, personalities and languages. It was a virtual journey across India, as questions from all parts of the country were asked to not only check their knowledge on arts and culture but also increase their awareness.
Apart from the variety in design and style, the fair also bought out the hidden talents of Nagpur city by organizing events and judging the stalls based on various parameters such as the quality, innovation, simplicity and use of natural and eco-friendly concept for product manufacture and development. All products developed were in ‘Swadeshi’ style and promoted the value of adopting the Swadeshi way of living.
For instance, the lemon grass tea is a 100% caffeine free product that comes down to Nagpur, straight from the hills of Manipur, found at the Greenergy Enterprises outlet. The many benefits of herbal tea are undeniable and is slowly made its way into the Indian lifestyle as they are getting more and more aware of health issues.
*P.S. The Greenergy Enterprises can be connected on Facebook or reached at +91-9970168519/ +91-9822937515/ +91-8055660914
Another stall displayed more than 60 varieties of mouth fresheners made of 100% natural ingredients and spices. Their color and aroma was simply inviting and that was clear from the huge crowd gathered at the stall.
What drew my attention the most was the fruit stall with some delicious ‘Fruit Chat’ recipes. Imagine corn added to one of these salads and you are looking at a deliciously healthy combination. The vibrant colors of the fruit basket made it look more alluring and unavoidable.
The takeaway of this fair was a healthy mix of awareness, knowledge and most importantly communication. It was a great opportunity to know new things about the city, connect with new people, view more opportunities, and connect with the culture at a grass-root level.
Such events help people to know more closely about the cultural ethos of the country, by helping them with the simple ingredients of several cultures brought together. It not only showcases the unity among people, but it also reinforces the strength of the country, despite turbulent times.
I have many more reasons to visit this festival once again. Hope I find you somewhere in the crowd next time.