A food festival is a long-established celebration at Keystone and a great community event to bring local people together.
Keystone Foundation, along with its sister organisations celebrated Terra Madre (a Slow Food event celebrating local food globally) on 3rd and 4th January 2020, with the Indigenous people, local communities and people from the town area of the Nilgiris.
An array of local dishes – Avarai Kolambu, Thenai Ladoo, Samai Biriyani (Little Millet) & Samai curd rice, Amaranthus grains with honey, Ragi Kali (Ragi balls), Sammai Payasam and traditional fish curry were served at the festival.
Simultaneously, with all the surplus vegetables – a soup was prepared (globally known as disco soup) – a movement to inspire action against food waste.
In addition, there were stalls set up showcasing local food grains with which savouries were made for people to taste.
An exhibition showcasing pictures of indigenous cultures, traditions and food systems from the Archives of Keystone were set up for visitors and guests.
At the festival, communities cooked, shared and cherished local traditional recipes. Moreover it provided the scope to discuss and inform people about the importance of eating locally grown food and its benefits.
Close to 300 people (Indigenous and local communities and people from town area) partook in the festival.
Entertainment is an offer as usual at such festivals. Irula music band from Aracode and Pillur played their traditional tunes to which all attendees danced to.
The festival as envisaged, reminded communities of the fabulous diverse range of local grown food and inspired them to revive practices that are slowly fading away.