Jharkhand is not only known in India but across the globe for its rich tribal culture and heritage. The very fact that tribal culture and traditions stay alive in the state even today is appreciable. Whether it is in festivities, local cuisine or language and dialects a hint of glorious tribal heritage is present everywhere.
The simplicity and innocence of Jharkhand’s people in the present day and age is a consequence of their tribal roots. The Tribal Culture Center in Mango, Jamshedpur is an excellent step towards not only conservation but development of tribal cultures and traditions in the state of Jharkhand and Orissa. The center has been established by Tata group and is another philanthropic venture of this nationalistic enterprise.
I decided to visit the cultural center because to me a trip to the state of Jharkhand could not be complete without a glimpse of the beautiful languages, cuisine and traditions of native tribes. The Ho, Oraon and Santhali Tribes have prospered in the region for thousands of years and probably more.
The TCC or the Tata Steel’s Tribal Culture Center is an innovative approach towards preservation of not only the scripts of these tribes but also the associated traditions, art forms and cuisine. Native children are being trained and developed into scholars of these languages so that this rich culture remains with the world for coming generations.
It was a privilege to visit the TCC for me. I got the unique opportunity to witness and experience tribal traditions of the state closely. As a professional chef and a genuine food enthusiast I was more than interested in learning about the traditional cooking techniques of these tribes. I also learnt a great deal about the ingredients and spices grown locally by these tribes and how cooking with spices and fresh herbs had developed into the proportions of a fine art in the region.
I must say that this was the most vivid experience I had in my visit to Jharkhand. Tribal heritage is the true essence and flavour of Jharkhand and the state owes its unique identity to this rich culture. I went back to my hotel with a bagful of recipes and a heart full of memories.