An organic effort to restore heritage – The New Indian Express

“For 13 years, our organisation has been working to promote traditional food.
Published: 26th April 2022 06:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2022 11:40 AM   |  A+A-
Around 1,250 traditional paddy varieties were on display. (Photo | Neha Thomas, EPS)
CHENNAI: Lively Therukoothu performances and dynamic music created a serene mood as one entered the first edition of Manvasanai’s Village Festival (Graamiya Thiruvizha) on Sunday at Thakkarbaba Vidyalaya School, T Nagar. However, it was not the music or the performance that were the star of the show, but the food. 
The demand for organic food has risen largely post the pandemic. To help people choose the healthy option — that has always been available in our culture the Manvasanai Organization introduces traditional rice and cereal varieties to the masses. The village festival conducted this year displayed and sold nearly 1,250 traditional paddy varieties, 200 native varieties of vegetables and more than 100 herbs. You could find countless cereals, spices, snacks, pulp, palm leaf desserts, sorghum, palm jaggery, rice, desserts, and the star of the show — karuppu kavuni ice cream and mappillai samba rice. 

“For 13 years, our organisation has been working to promote traditional food. We’re planning to make this village festival a monthly event to reach a worldwide audience so that we can retrieve our forgotten legacy. As the festival provides commodities that are naturally produced with no preservatives, responses have been excellent,” said E Menaka, proprietor of Manvasanai. 
Sukanya, one of the visitors shared her opinion on the unique concept, “The village festival is interesting. As a mother, I’m happy that Manvasanai promotes organic food. Here, the vendors are the producers and certain bathing products are tested on their kids too. This makes their products trustworthy, unlike commercial stores where it’s difficult to get chemical-free and fully organic products nowadays. This is a great initiative and I’ll constantly shop at this festival if it’s conducted frequently.”   
Folk art at the festival
Apart from Theruko-othu, the festival also showcased folk art like Mulaippari and Kummiy-attam by village artists, giving its audience a glimpse of traditional art and culture. 
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