The Flavours of Mei – Ramew, one of the first of series of pre-events of the Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 was hosted by Bah Phrang Roy, Chairman-NESFAS and the Chief Secretary, Bah P.B.O. Wajri. The evening brought together all stakeholders from the Government and communities to highlight two essential elements of the ITM 2015– Food and Music. The Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma was the Chief Guest for an evening that saw the release of the ITM 2015 Theme song ‘Ko Mei-Ramew’ (O Mother Earth) which will is now being heard across radio waves and venues around the city.
Centered on the theme of ITM 2015, “The future we want: Indigenous perspectives and actions”, the song sings of Mother Earth and the connection that the Indigenous peoples have with Her. The rhythms, tunes and traditional shouts in the song are all borrowed from not just the tribes of Meghalaya but from other parts of the North-Eastern region of India and are stitched together beautifully to reflect the collaboration. The song speaks of land, agriculture, harvest, food, traditions and celebrations. Voiced in several languages including Khasi, Garo, Pnar and English, this unique composition is by Kit Shangpliang and team, a Shillong based musical company, who painstakingly collaborated with the organizers over many sessions to come up with this song. The soulful music and catchy chorus line will make it the tune on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s hearts, come the 3rd of November. Said Mukul Sangma: “The music was a shared reflection of the dedication and determination that came from the team that came together in this wonderful theme song that truly reflects the wide diversity of our culture.”
Post the release of the song NESFAS Cooks’ Alliance presented the first tasting of the ITM 2015 indigenous menus to the CM. Alongside, the members of the press were also present to witness first-hand the dishes developed by the rural and urban cooks. Kong Plantina Mujai from Khweng, Ri-Bhoi District was one of the voices of the 15 cooks who said “I have used (Slow Food) Ark of Taste products which are disappearing from our region, like lapong marit (lemon basil) and paddy-field water fish with pickled bamboo shoot to give a taste of what we have developed over generations.” The Cooks’ Alliance had Chef Basumatri of Nagaland and Kong Gunme from Garo Hills adding value to the Meghalaya buffet table. The CM shared his appreciation by saying: “It is important to know the ingredients, their source and benefits; this overall thought when cooking not just satisfies the taste buds but also leads to good health and well-being. And in this lies the success of the ITM menus to be experienced at the Mei-Ramew Food festival in Mawphlang.”