Assam’s Dimasa people’s Judima rice wine finally gets a GI tag

The home-made rice wine Judima makes use of a number of rice cultivated solely by the Dimasa tribe

On Sunday, judima of the Dimasa tribe from the Dimasa Hasao district of Assam gained the GI tag. A neighborhood fermented drink made with rice, Judima derives its identify from ju which suggests wine and Dima means ‘belonging to the Dimasa’. It is a pale yellow or reddish (relying on the color of rice) drink that’s barely cloudy in look, has a mellow perfume and is nice to style. It is created from three several types of saul (rice): purple or white bora (the glutinous sticky selection), non-bora (the on a regular basis non-sticky selection) and finally the bairing rice, a distinctive selection cultivated in Jhum fashion (terrace farming) solely by the Dimasa individuals. Bairing rice is cultivated solely for getting ready Judima.

For the Dimasa individuals, judima is a vital a part of their custom, for use in ceremonies that remember delivery and mourn demise. Of late, the drink can also be supplied to visitors or just loved at residence to name it a day. It is loved by itself or accompanied by delicate non-vegetarian dishes, which can be principally non-fried.

The credit score for the GI tag ought to go to Uttam Bathari, managing trustee of Youth Association for Development and Empowerment (YADEM), who initiated the GI proposal in 2018. “Following suggestions that it would be better to apply through a women’s group (since judima is traditionally made by women), we formed a group called Dimajik Hosom (Dimasa women’s organisation) and reapplied for the tag in 2019 along with YADEM,” explains Uttam.

Dibarai village council, Dibarai mahila samiti and Assam Agriculture University additionally performed an vital function in supporting the GI tag proposal.

The rice yeast truffles referred to as pitha used as starter package to arrange judima

Judima symbolises conventional data. Elaborating on the method of getting ready judima, Uttam says, “It is prepared in the same method as all rice wines in the Northeast like xaaj, apong, chhang etc and requires a starter kit (a white dry disc-shaped cake, slightly bigger than a lemon). What makes it unique is the use of a wild herb named thembra, and the rice combination along with bairing. Bairing is not a fine variety of rice. So it not consumed as food. To be used for the wine, it is husked and polished at home in the traditional dheki (leg-operated manual rice pounder) or ural (wooden hand pounder).”

A significant contributor to the style of judima, the indigenous Dhemera herb will be discovered as a climber and as a shrub. The pores and skin of the plant has a distinct sweetness to it. Uttam provides, “Sometimes, the drink is also made by mixing the three rice varieties in different proportions, the measurement of which is known only to the Dimasa ladies.”

Uttam sees a large potential to advertise tourism by the drink, for this tiny district, the place individuals are largely depending on farming. “If tourism booms, these people can look at options to increase their earnings. The place is well-connected by road and can be easily accessed by the newly-launched vistadome rail. Dimasa is the only tribe in the world that cultivates a particular variety of rice to be used in the preparation of wine,” he provides.

The drink is so vital to the Dimasa people who they maintain a Judima competition within the third week of December. “There is no reason to choose that time of the year for the festival, other than schools and colleges shutting for winter and the families taking a break from their fields.”

2021-09-28 18:30:55

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