Pubern Festival to be held from July 28Around the city — By The Desk on July 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Indian Express: During the four years that Piran Elavia worked for the Bodo community in Assam, he made an observation which contradicted the general perception. “People think that the Bodo community, or even other communities in the North-East are unfriendly and violent but I discovered that the people were very warm and friendly. Though there are signs of the insurgency and the revolution, they seemed to have moved on and don’t hold any animosity towards the Assamese,” says Elavia, a former IT professional, who left a lucrative job to work with the Bodos. He is the founder of Kipepeo, an environment protection enterprise in Mumbai.
Elavia is one of the few people who will be sharing his experiences about the stay in the North-East, at the two-day Pubern Festival that aims to raise awareness about the beauty as well as the problems of the region. To be held on July 28 and July 29, the festival ‘Pubern’ which means Eastern Sky in Assamese, will also showcase some short films on the communities, customs and wildlife in the region. The event is organised by Pune’s Grubshup restaurant, Mumbai’s Kipepeo and Black Swan, a Pune-based community travel company.
Having travelled extensively in Arunachal Pradesh and written several environment and travel adventure books, says author Deepak Dalal, “It is the only state in India with 80 per cent forest cover. Unexplored places in this area like Eagle’s Nest, is a great place to spot Himalayan birds like Finches, the Black Neck Crane and the Sibia. I can confidently say it is the most beautiful place in the country,” says Dalal.
In an attempt to add a flavour to the event- quite literally – Chef Digant Deka from Assam, has prepared a menu that offers authentic food from the North-East; covering Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. “Food is the best way to get to know any person or place and I have tried to offer popular dishes from the North-Eastern cuisine so people can understand the place better,” says Chef Deka. He mentions the specialties such as the Mizo Poora Mach, which is river fish cooked in a banana leaf over an open fire, and Manipuri Eromba, a hand-mashed vegetable chutney with pieces of fish, amongst other such dishes.