Friday, July 27, 2012

Peci Putu

Making a round of the seven original Apatani villages used to be tantamount to making a round of the world. That was the impression during Penw ceremony of Muruñ festival. When such arduous tasks were undertaken, there had to be resting places. One such place was the Peci Putu at Bwrw.
It was here that the participants in the Penw took rest for some minutes and young men organized high jump competition among themselves. The place is a part of the Supuñ Bwrw where all the Apatanis are said to have settled down upon migration before scattering to their respective villages. Today, the place remains one of the few open spaces owned by the communities. 
Except for litters of plastic bottles and wrappers at places discarded by irresponsible picnickers, Peci Putu still presents what one imagines of Ziro, the place. It serves as the grazing ground for cattles and flock of birds can be seen flying around. Colorful butterflies are in their playful best around the groves of trees and by the nearby yorlus.
Peci Putu is, truly the centre of the Apatani valley. At a short distance can be seen the Hong village (above) and the Hapoli town (below). A little more than a kilometer to the north will take you to Hari via the legendary Dobi where a school has come up.
The play of sun and shade can be enjoyed in all its glory in the paddy fields surrounding it in three sides. Look across towards the main road, and one can have the magnificent view of the Pequ.
This September, a festival of music is planned at Ziro. Appropriately, Peci Putu is the selected venue for the festival. There will be music, food, culture and many things more to enjoy. This, then, is an occasion to visit this beautiful place.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How Bwhañ Tabu lost its Poison

Abotani was returning home. On the way, he saw the deadly Bwhañ Tabu jumping in joy.
"What is the occasion, my friend?" Abotani asked.

"I have done it!" the reptile shouted. "I have killed him with my poison!"

"Whom did you kill?"

"Someone with black hair on his head," Bwhañ Tabu told.

Abotani recalled all the creatures who have black hair on their heads. Suddenly, it dawned on him that it is the humans who have such features. He became worried. If this goes on, the future of mankind was bleak. He had to do something.
"Oh, I am sorry but you are celebrating in vain," Abotani told the tabu. "The one you bit is sitting in the sun with beautiful cloths and his hair neatly combed. I have come that way and saw him myself."

Bwhañ Tabu was shocked. He was disappointed with himself.

"What use is my poison," he thought, "if it cannot kill a creature!"

So saying, he spat out all of the poison he had at Supuñ Lañta. It was from that day onwards that the once-poisonous Bwhañ is harmless today.

Other small creatures like the bee, ants, etc. helped themselves with the poison that the tabu had spat out. That is how they got the poisons they have!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Towards a Zero-Waste Ziro

In the last one year or two, lots of activities to promote tourism are being carried out at Ziro. There has been summer festivals since three years now, initially to coincide with the Independence Day celebration, but this year with the Dree festival of the Apatanis. A number of resorts and home stays have come up. Then there has been a series of workshop exploring the tourism potential in the area. A notable issue in all these discussions has been the growing menace of garbage in the town. As a response to this concern, the District Administration organized a workshop on integrated solid waste management in collaboration with Ngunu Ziro, a non-governmental organization. A proposal to introduce the concept of zero-waste was mooted and is being carried forward now.

The District Administration has acquired a plot of land in the south-eastern corner of the town, measuring 20,000 sq. m for Burial-cum-Cremation Ground and 1,000 sq. m for Resource Recovery Park. 
The 2 km approach road to the Burial-cum-Cremation Ground has already been completed. The Resource Recovery Park (RRP) is proposed midway to the site at 1.1 km from the Swro-Manwpolyañ road. It will initially have facilities for secondary segregation of non-biodegradable discards and recycling of paper wastes. Basic recycling of plastic waste also is proposed as far as feasible locally, but most bulk will be shredded and sent to bigger recycling centers for further processing.
It is hoped that this project will have the desired effect and help maintain Ziro as it is till now. Look out for further update on the project as it develops.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Establishment of Hapoli

Some years are more eventful than others. The year 1960 was such a year. The most important event of the year was shifting of the headquarters from present Old Ziro to Hapoli. We saw in a previous post that the headquarters of Subansiri Division was shifted from Kimin to Ziro eight years back when it was inaugurated by Shri R.G. Menzies on 24th March, 1952. It was B. S. Duggal, Political Officer, who established the Hapoli township which became the official headquarters. However, the name Ziro was retained. Hence, Ziro today is understood to comprise of Old Ziro and Hapoli.
The year also saw the most devastating fire accidents ever recorded in the Apatani villages – not one but three villages were almost completely burnt down. Three hundred houses and forty granaries in Hija village on May 1, 1960 were burnt down immediately followed by another one in Dutta village on May 12. A little more than two months later, fifty seven houses in Tajang village was burnt down on August 3, 1960. As an offshoot of such frequent accidents, a number of new villages sprung up – Lempia out of Tajang village, Diko Pwta (Swro) out of Hong, Swbe out of Bamin-Michi.
On a positive note, B. S. Duggal led team to Talley Valley for the first time in May, 1960. The team identified more than half a dozen species of rhododendron in the valley. They also noted that orchids and medicinal plants are plentiful.