The Mei-Ramew festival held in Meghalaya in December every year is a festival that celebrates indigenous foods. The festivities begin with workshops and demonstrations with experts, taste workshops of indigenous food varieties and innovative dishes, and discussions on agrobiodiversity related issues and end with a food festival where indigenous dishes, forest-foraged and locally grown foods are displayed are displayed and sold indigenous communities of the northeast.
It was in 2010 when the Mei-Ramew fest took place by the sacred groves in Mawphlang; the place has been, ever since, the venue of the festival every year. The number participating in the festivities have grown from then to include as many as 150 community participators from Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, South India and Bhutan. In 2013, the event attracted as many as 8000 visitors from both urban and rural areas.
The highlight of the festival in 2013 was the Disco Soup, sponsored by the University of Technology and Management, Shillong, brought together around 150 youth members from more than a dozen communities to share the common joy of preparing a tasty soup while “discoing”. They all grooved together to one beat, no matter the difference in social, religious and professional backgrounds to relay one main message that “cooking local is cool.” The event drew the youth out from their shells and served as an opportunity to ensure their involvement through their common love for music, dance and food.
The event is organised by NESFAS in collaboration with the Government of Meghalaya, various partners including the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, Slow Food International and the participating communities.