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Title: Cultural significance and diversities of ethnic foods of Northeast India
Authors: Singh, Anamika
Singh, Ranjay K
Keywords: Cultural significance
Ethnic food
Traditional food
Fermentation
Indigenous knowledge
Tribal women
Women empowerment
Northeast India
Adi
Galo
Apatani
Sherdukpen
Ao
Sema
Mizo
Khasi
Bhutia
Gurung
Meitei
Barman
Issue Date: Jan-2007
Publisher: CSIR
IPC CodeInt. Cl.⁸: A61K36/00, A01G1/00, A01G17/00, A47G19/00, A23L1/00, A23L1/06, A23L2/02, A61P1/04, A61P15/00, A61P15/06, A61P15/14, A61P25/00
Abstract: The traditional foods processed and prepared by women of Northeastern region are intimately connected to their socio-cultural, ecological, spiritual life and health. The processing and preparation of ethnic foods not only demonstrate the creativity and treasure of food heritage of tribal women but also their incremental learning to sustain the life and ecosystem as a whole. Looking to the diversities in ethnic foods, an attempt has been made to explore the ethnic foods made of local soybean, bamboo shoot, tree bean, lai patta (leafy mustard) and rai (Brassica juncea (Linn.) Czern. & Coss.) from different selected tribes of Northeast India. Tribal women of Northeastern region have a wide range of variability in the ethnic foods made of soybean, bamboo shoot, lai patta, tree bean and rai. In each state, the processing method of these foods is somewhat different based on the culture, variability in the materials used in the food, climate and overall knowledge of the processing and preparation. The foods used in the dietary system were found to be nutritionally rich and culturally important in various festivals and ceremonies. Ethnic foods prepared and consumed by women can not be seen in the isolated mode, instead it is a complex dynamics in which nutrition, health, food security, culture, ethics, subsistence economy and ecological sustainability are integral components. A policy framework with clear directives on recognition of traditional foods and associated knowledge systems is urgently needed.
Page(s): 79-94
ISSN: 0972-5938
Source:IJTK Vol.06(1) [January 2007]

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