The first ever competition on Paa-Saa making was held at 7th KM Resort in Chowkham on December 19.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that Paa-Saa is one of the most sought-after traditional dishes of Tai Khamti. It literally means minced fish. It is a soup made of fresh river fish mixed with various herbs and condiments and the preparation of this special dish is an art itself, he informed.
While citing that traditional cuisines form an integral part of the tribal culture, he said that the preparation of such exotic dishes needs to be preserved and promoted amongst the younger generation otherwise it will be forgotten. He lauded the organizer for holding such a unique competition for the first time. He added that such competition will not only help to keep alive the age old practice and the art of making this traditional dish but will also help to protect and preserve the rare species of fish needed to make this dish.
He called upon the district administrations to banned all kinds of illegal fishing and also appeal to the local Community Based Organizations to come forward in protecting and preserving the nature and its flora & fauna. He said that Namsai and the adjacent districts are blessed with rich forest and perennial streams which need to be conserved while adding that we have to live with nature.
Citing the vast tourism potential of the area, Mein said that Namsai/Tengapani-Parashuramkund-Anjaw/Mayudia-Roing/Dambuk-Anini in the eastern sector has the potential to become the most attractive tourist destination. The area has important religious sites like Golden Pagoda, Parashuramkund, Malinithan and snow clad mountains like Mayudia, Kibithoo, Dong where the sun first rises in India and the lone evergreen tropical rain forest, Manabhoom and Namdhapa tiger reserves. He also said that works will start soon to develop Glaw Lake into a tourist destination and will be completed within 2 years.
Citing Tourism as the biggest industry of the State, Mein expressed his delight on coming up of such many eco-tourist resorts in the district and said that such a venture will give more employment to local youths. He also informed that Golden Pagoda at Tengapani (Noychenam) have the highest numbers of tourist footfall in a year with 2 lakhs tourists, a heritage site will also be developed in Tengapani to facilitate the youths/villagers to sell their handlooms and handicrafts products besides facilities for elephant ride in the evergreen tropical rain forest and boat rides.
He also said that the State Govt under the leadership of young & dynamic Chief Minister, Pema Khandu is giving emphasis on the development of infrastructures and connectivity. It also promotes and encourages educated youths to take up entrepreneurship activities under various schemes like Deen Dhayal Upadhyay Swalambhan Yojana by providing subsidized loans and asked the youths to avail such schemes.
Chau Sujata Mansai, whose five children have started the 7th KM Resort in a joint venture in his welcome speech informed that the Paa-Saa Competition has been conducted to preserve one of our best exotic dishes as the art of preparing the dish is fast eroding amongst the younger generation. He said that the Paa-Saa competition is introduced with two main objectives, one is to facilitate the art of Paa-Saa preparation amongst the youths and secondly, to set a bench mark for the best tasting dish by awarding the best cooks.
He also informed that the 7th KM Resort, which is a joint venture of his five children is eco-friendly, besides fooding and lodging, the resort provides facilities for ATV, elephant and boat rides, playing park and swimming for the children.
On the occasion, the Deputy Chief Minister released a Tai Khamti Music Video Album, Sao Haak and also gave away the prizes to the winners of Paa-Saa competition.
Among others, MLA Namsai, Chau Zingnu Namchoom, MLA Lekang, Jummum Ete Deori, Former MLA Nang Sati Mein and Public Leaders were present on the occasion.