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The Identity Of Traditional Dishes Disappears

The festival like Makar Sankranth which is symbolizes the harvest and prosperity is celebrated all over India. Like any other festival, it also reminds us some special delicious food items which we distribute among our kith and kins. The festival will be incomplete if we do not follow the custom of food distribution.

Makar Sankranth is a special festival which celebrates the harvest and hence so many mouth watering dishes prepared with the new rice will be are made and served for this festival. The most famous one among such traditional dishes is a home made cake called Pitha. It is mostly prepared in the eastern parts of India, especially during the festival of Makar Sankrath.

Winter is always taken for the best time to prepare pithas, though a variety of other pithas are prepared during the whole year. The molasses of date palm is available during the winter season. The powder of the raw rice, coconut, banana and oil are the other ingredients necessary to make pithas, other than date palm molasses. The process is a little detailed and time consuming. But pithas are easy to prepare.

Some other types of pitha include vapa pitha, chitoi, patishapta pitha, puli pitha, malpoa, etc.

The female folks of rural areas used to make pithas of different shapes and designs for different ceremonies. It was one among their customs and those pithas were called Nakshi Pitha.

But the practices of today's urban women have changed a lot from that of those days. Today there is less faith and time for those old customs and practices. These include the preparation of those palatable food items too.

India is a country which is always proud of the its homogeneity, where the citizens from different backgrounds and religions live together. India is one among those few countries whose citizens are ready to share the happiness of their festivals each other and also like to share the traditional food distributed to celebrate the occasions.

Indians always used to look forward for the traditional ceremonious food, which will be the specialty of a festival they enjoy. Those seasonal items helped the other communities to discover and enjoy the delicacies of others too. It also helped the citizens to relax and enjoy the festival with out any discrimination. So those traditional delicacies always acted as the culmination for the joys brought by the festivals.

Now the numbers of members in the families also has lessened and this makes the people to buy the ready-made items from the shops instead of making them at home. But this fails to give the younger generations the enjoyment which the elder people had enjoyed, says the tradition food maker, Bani Battacharjee.

Now the younger generations have much business to do with like the children's education, extracurricular activities, other entertainment activities etc. At least the elder people are there at present to prepare and serve those items. But after some decades, those items will be totally lost for ever. As the fast food is getting more and more accepted these days, the traditional foods will vanish completely in the coming days, thinks Tapashi Bhattacharjee, another traditional food maker.

The rush in the traditional food shops opened for different fairs in the cities prove that the youngsters also like those items. They think that they will get those items at least from the shops though that is also occassional, says a traditional food admirer Romario Debbarma.

Story first published: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 11:36 [IST]
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