The colorful festival of foods called Mamani, a traditional winter exhibition of ethnic foods, was observed at Wakha Dho in Kargil on Monday. The festival was participated by both Muslim and Buddhists communities. The festival was organised by Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) in collaboration with Youth Education and Sport Welfare Society Wakha. CEC, LAHDC, Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion, appreciated HCHF for initiating this festival and announced an amount of Rs 20,000 to the organisers and participants. Khan said Ladakhi food is delicious as well nutritious which should be preserved and promoted. He added that another feature of Ladakhi society and tradition, which every Ladakhi must be proud of, is the century’s old communal harmony and Mamani is a traditional festival observed by both communities in a very cordial way. Expressing his gratitude to HCHF, Feroz Khan said that one of LAHDC’s visions is to preserve and revive Ladakh’s own identity. While Councilor Shargole Mohd Ali Chandan also gave a cash prize of Rs 10,000 from his won pocket to the organizers. Speaking on the occasion, Founder-Secretary HCHF Dr Sonam Wangchok said that the organisation has committed to make this event an annual feature of Kargil with the involvement of different stakeholders of the district. The aim is to revive the traditions of Ladakh, which were characterized by public gatherings and bonding for cultural and communal harmony in society. “An annual Mamani festival will help revive and support the preparation and consumption of ethnic Ladakhi foods, whose nutritional value and social importance have been tested over centuries and by generations,” he said. Cultural activist Anayat Ali Shotopa, who has been involved in reviving tradition and cultural identity in Kargil, informed that for the last three years, he has been organizing this festival in Thathakhani Ltchangra Kargil on an individual innitatives and now taking it to the villages with the help of organisations like HCHF. The Festival of Food is observed in Kargil in harsh winter months and families prepare various traditional cuisines and serve them to all the villagers at specific place. During the festivals both communities make offerings to relatives or forefathers. Food prepared included Papa, Thukpa, Taki, Markur, Sabkur, Marzan, Meat, Tenten, and so on.

About Author: Sonam Wngchuk

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