LG lauds revival of Mamani Festival in Kargil

LG at Mamani Festival in Kargil on Thursday. — Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi
LG at Mamani Festival in Kargil on Thursday. — Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi

Excelsior Correspondent

LEH, Jan 20: Cultural activist from Goma Kargil, Anayat Ali Shotopa organised a special event to mark Kargil’s ethnic food festival of Mamani for the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur.

The Lt Governor was accompanied by the Chief Executive Councillor of LAHDC, Kargil, Feroz Ahmad Khan and Deputy Commissioner, Kargil Santosh Sukhdeve at Circuit House in Kargil.
Anayat Ali Shotopa has been instrumental in the revival of Mamani in Kargil over the last decade. The special Mamani event included 18 unique dishes from the local Ladakhi and Purgi cuisine. It included dishes such as Thugpa, Hrsabkhur, Poli (buckwheat pancake), Kisir (fermented buckwheat), Markhur, Azug, Zerchung, Bales, Prapo, Hsku, Gangtur and apricot cream, which is Anayat Ali Shotopa’s personal recipe.
During the event, Anayat spoke about the importance of the initiative to revive Mamani, which he has been hosting since 2016. The Mamani Festival has helped revitalise 35 ethnic dishes from Ladakh.
During the event, Anayat requested the LG of Ladakh to introduce local food items in all Angarwadi Centres across Ladakh instead of rice and lentils. “This will ensure that the students receive a healthy diet while also supporting local producers and entrepreneurs and reducing the greenhouse gases that are emitted in transporting non-local produce to Ladakh. In the long-term, everyone will benefit and it will ensure the people of Ladakh and healthy and fit,” he said.
The LG appreciated Anayat Ali’s initiative to promote local foods. He said, “This is the need of the hour. We must promote and prioritise local produce over food items that have been transported from outside. Such food festivals educate local communities about the importance of reviving their traditional practices and food production. This will play a key role in reviving traditional values, lifestyles and cuisines,” he added.
He also appreciated the idea of introducing local food items in Anganwadi Centres.
Anayat Ali is a Correspondent with All India Radio, Kargil. He started celebrating Mamani Festival to revive traditional Ladakh foods. Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation has been supporting and organising the Mamani Festival in different parts of Kargil since 2019.