For promoting rural tourism, the district administration in collaboration with the Sonali Prabhat NGO organised the Jokai tourism festival, 15-km from here in Jokai area on Sunday.
The day-long community-based tourism festival showcased the rich culture and tradition of six communities of the area namely the Ahom, Sonowal Kachari, Kumar, Tea tribe and Nepali.
“The motto of the festival was “do, learn, feel and share” and visitors were seen immersing themselves in the rural setting for a day, enjoying the village culture,” said Hironmoni Borgohain, secretary of Sonali Prabhat NGO. Borgohain said for the first time they are organising the festival to boost the tourism industry of Dibrugarh.
“Visitors were accorded a traditional welcome on their arrival. They had the opportunity to have first-hand experience of the process of preparing jolpan (traditional breakfast) from the grain to the breakfast bowl, pitha (rice cake) making, traditional drink preparation, life cycle of silk worm, local handloom works, indigenous fishing techniques, local herbs with medicinal benefits, preparation of ethnic cuisine and local beverages,” she said.
Bamboo, cane and wooden crafts were also displayed at the festival. An ethnic cultural show was the attraction of the event where the six local communities showcased their culture, said Borgohain.
Meanwhile, people from Dibrugarh town thronged the festival to taste the traditional delicacies. Many stalls were put up in the festival which were mostly given by the local people of Jokai.
Jokai reserve forest is one of the rich biodiversity hotspot in Dibrugarh. The NGO has been working for the conservation of the rich ecology.
Narayan Das, one of the organiser said, “The response of the people is quite encouraging. From every districts of upper Assam people have come to participate in the festival.”
“Through this event we aim to promote sustainable tourism in Dibrugarh district by involving the local population. Rural tourism has a big potential for employment generation particularly for youths living in the rural areas. We have been imparting training to youths so that they are well prepared for such opportunities,” Das said.
He further said that for past four months they have been working to develop the area.