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Shops Without Shopkeepers

05-11-2017 08:30 AM | Aastha Dogra


Shops Without Shopkeepers | My Indian Dream

Food, in our own tradition, is something holy. It's not about nutrients and calories. It's about sharing. It's about honesty. It's about identity.

Incredible Northeast - Shops without Shopkeepers

The rest of India has a lot to learn from the farmers of Northeast. Sikkim was declared as India’s first organic state in January this year, which means that the farmers there are only following organic practices and principles. Similarly, the indigenous people of the Northeast, whose main occupation is agriculture, follow certain traditions that make everyone else in the country stand up and take notice. One of such tribal traditions in the state of Mizoram is that of unmanned highway shops selling agricultural produce! Yes you heard it right! These shops operate without any shopkeepers.

Nghah Lou Dawr…

Mizoram is a state blessed with immense natural beauty. Cascading waterfalls, lush green fields, dense forests, unique flora and fauna - all lend it an unparalleled charm. The people of Mizoram are known for their honesty, humbleness, kindness and peaceful temperament.

About 65 kilometers away from the capital Aizawl, small scale farmers keep their produce, such as vegetables, flowers, fruits, dried fish, freshwater snails etc. in the thatched bamboo huts, by the highway. They put up a board with the rate list and a container on the side, where the customers can put in money. In case the customers don’t have the exact change, they can pick up the change from the container, which says pawisa bawm or pawisa dahna. This is a longstanding tradition in Mizoram and the small farmers are continuing with it till today.

The small farmers, who might be earning peanuts, totally depend on the integrity and honesty of their faceless customers, to earn their living. They can’t afford to keep anyone in the shops because everyone is needed to work in the fields. These small farmers do not earn much, but still they are happy as they have never lost anything ever from their shops. Similarly, the customers too feel good that they are being trusted so much. By following this tradition, the community feeling in this region is enhanced and it further adds to the serenity and beauty of the region.

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It's not about nutrients and calories. It's about sharing. It's about honesty. It's about identity.” - Louise Fresco



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