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Korean ‘Flavor’ A Hit With Many At Chinjak Festival

Stalls displaying Chinese and Korean cuisines at the Chinjak Festival. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Mar 23: “Ye kamchi it eo ye?”, asked a Manipuri girl to Jeong Sook, Korean stall caretaker at Chijak Festival, currently underway at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen.

The stunned Korean lad freaked out, “Ye kamchi, sangsupal, kimpam it eo yo.”

The girl was asking whether he had kamchi, a popular fermented Korean food item in his menu.

“Apart from kamchi, my stall serves sangsupal and kimpam as well”, said Jeong Sook, who along with his friend Yong Wan is taking part in the ten-day food festival.

Although, the festival is being organized with the primary objective of popularizing the indigenous food items of the State, the second edition of Chinjak Festival International tries to give a global touch to the visitors as well.

In addition to different food stalls representing different parts of the State, Korean, Tibetan, Chinese and Thai stalls are also taking part in the festival to tickle the palates of the visitors.

A native gourmet, Angom Sanatomba at the Tibetan stall said, “I just love Tibetan food items.”

With Tibetan soothing track, Lama Che Che on the background, the 31-year-old IT professional, after having a mouthful of Tibetan foods lambhi and arambhi with his wife said, “The taste is even better than the one which I once had at the Tibetan market in New Delhi.”

When querying about the response of the visitors, stall owner Khyentse said, “Today is the first day of business, and my items were run out at around 6 pm itself.”

“I did business of around Rs 2000 today”, the young Tibetan said with a flashing smile.

He added, “People are enquiring a lot about momos, but we are sorry, we do not have momos this time in our menu.”

Ever since Hindi films and music were banned in Manipur, people of the State are seemingly more attracted towards the culture and fashion of South East Asian countries.

It was evident in the food festival as well. People were eager to taste the food items of Korea, Thailand and China.

“I am disappointed that I could not taste kamchi of Korea as the stock ran out early”, said Gaytri, a 19-year-old college student, who visited the festival with her friends.

When enquired how they know about kamchi, they responded, “From Korean films.”

The Korean stall serves sangsupal (pork slice) and kimpam (pork with veg toppings) as well.

At Thai stall, tomyan (chicken green curry) and kow pad (fish fried rice) are great hits. “Even though, smell is bit strong comparing with local food items, Thai foods are so yummy and melts like butter in mouth”, said Sanabam Sun-iti, a private school teacher.

Thai stall owner Krittika said that response here is very encouraging. She along with her daughter Swai is serving the State foodies in the fair.

Chinese chef Lang is attending the visitors with a local girl with an array of Chinese foods like planung (steamed fish), pat pren wan (sweet& sour), kap rro pra (soup) jub chai (mixed vegetables) etc.

Apart from all these foreign foods, mouth watering indigenous foods like tharoi thongba, singju, Bashikhong watin, Nambol bora, ok ataoba and san singju etc and other tribal foods items are also available in around 30 stalls in the festival. Being organized by Youths Innovative Society, the festival will wind up on May 1.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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