A visit to Jonbeel Mela under ISA by the students of SBGJ
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- 1. A Visit To Jonbeel Mela
- 2. CONTENTS Jonbeel Mela 2015 Introduction Location Barter System Barter System Continued Features of The Jonbeel Mela Rarest of the Rare Photo Gallery
- 3. Jonbeel mela 2015 The Jonbeel Mela was held on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of January. We the students of Sarala Birla Gyan Jyoti visited the Jonbeel Mela on the second day.The first day began with the Community Feast in the banks of Jon Beel symbolizing the ceremonial opening of the Mela, which was attended by the Gobha King. He is the customary king of the Gobha Kingdom which includes different communities falling under the districts of Nagaon, Marigaon and Kamrup. The last day of the fair was graced by the presence of the Governor of Meghalaya, Ranjit Shekhar Mushahari. The closing ceremony turned out to be more colorful because of the cultural function, where traditional dances were performed by the local tribes.
- 4. INTRODUCTION Joonbeel Mela is a three-day community fair held on the weekend of Magh Bihu at a historic place known as Dayang Belguri at Joonbeel. Joon and Beel are Assamese terms for the Moon and a wetland respectively .The Joonbeel is so called because a large natural water body is shaped like a crescent moon.
- 5. LOCATION It is 5 km from Jagiroad in Marigaon district of Assam and 32 km from Guwahati. The National Highway connecting the mela is NH 37.
- 6. BARTER SYSTEM A few days prior to the fair, tribal communities such as Jayantia, Tiwa, Khasi and Karbi belonging to the northeast India descend down the hills with their indigenous products and exchange their artefacts and basic articles of necessity with the local folks of the plains in a barter system. Herbs, spices, fruits, ginger etc are brought by the people of the hills to interchange them with rice, cakes and other food stuffs that cannot be grown on hills.
- 7. BARTER SYSTEM Cont. Numerous tribal villagers from the different parts of Assam arrive in this beautiful place to meet the folks of the plains for exchanging goods. During the three days of the festival temporary bamboo huts are created by these people where they cherish the festivity with great enthusiasm. It is referred to as a hi-tech age barter system and is possibly the only fair in the country where barter system is still active. In fact this is quite an uncommon practice in this civilized modern society.
- 8. Fire worship, also known as Agni Puja, is performed before the start of Jonbeel Mela to pray for the well being of the mankind. Community fishing in the Jonbeel wetland marks the beginning of the fair. Exquisite traditional dance and music can also be witnessed there, performed by the various tribes. Cock fights, group meals and exhibitions of varied artefacts form prime attractions for the visitors from all around the country. It is also visited by the Gova king, the King of Tiwa tribes, along with his courtiers for collecting taxes from his subjects. On the day before the fair, a community feast is arranged by the king with his officers on the bank of Jonbeel. Promoting the harmony and brotherhood among the various communities and tribes dwelling in the northeast India is the main focus of Jonbeel Mela. FEATURES OF JONBEEL MELA
- 9. Rarest of rare The Assam government has approached the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for declaring the historic Jonbeel Mela a heritage festival and a heritage site in Morigaon district. District Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kumar told PTI on Saturday that Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla has written to the Unesco to accord special status to the Mela. Mr. Kumar said the government had sought the special status as Jonbeel Mela was one of the rarest of the rarest festivals where both tribal people and non-tribal people of Assam and Meghalaya practice a barter system for exchanging agricultural produces in a festive manner at the end of the Assamese Magh Bihu period (Makara Sankranti).
- 10. Photo Gallery