New Delhi, A unique fair is organized in Assam every year. In which you can go without wallet, debit card or credit card. Yes, read that right. This is the only fair in the world where transactions are not done in rupees.
Here people deal with barter system. An object is taken instead of an object. In the age of crypto currency, it is possible to buy things without money only in India. It is a business event of sorts, where the world’s oldest trading system is still being carried on. BJP MLA from Morigaon Ramakanta Devari says, ‘I took about 12 kilograms of hill pepper.
I have been coming to this fair since childhood. Today this fair has become more developed and prosperous. Here you will find many rare products that you will not find anywhere else. The hill tribes bring lac and dhuna. I gave them a pitha and exchanged it.
It was named Jaen (moon) beel (lake) fair as it was held on the banks of a crescent moon-shaped lake. The fair was held in the 15th century under the auspices of the East Gobha kingdom with the participation of the Jaintia Raja of neighboring Meghalaya, a three-day event. The tribal Tiwa community of central Assam and Meghalaya has kept alive the world’s oldest trading system.
A few days before Makar Sankranti, the tribal people of Tiwa, Karbi, Khasi and Jaintia communities bring items from the surrounding hills. Ginger, bamboo, turmeric, pumpkin, herbs, dried fish and pitha (rice cakes) are sold in this fair.
In exchange for their goods, the tribals take salt, oil, clothes and other things that cannot be obtained from nature. This ignores all laws of business economics, including fair dealing in the fair. Rupali Bordoloi, a local from Morigaon, says, ‘I have been coming to this fair since childhood.
We substitute chira (flattened rice), dry fish, feathers and mountain items especially chillies, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper etc. It lasts all year round. We don’t fight for money. Everything here is based on trust and our friendship. No one deals with money here. For example, two pithas are taken for two parts of turmeric and 10 pithas are taken for 10 parts of turmeric.
Here earlier simple and hierarchical economics is used. The many Tibeto-Burman tribes found in Assam are divided according to their habitat. Tiwas living in the hilly areas and Tiwas living in the plains. Both the castes have different language and culture.SS1MS