Shillong :Launched to counter the rise in fast food and fast life, “conscious consumption,” a movement that has gained currency across the world is now making its presence felt in India, with Meghalaya gearing up to host a slow food event in Shillong from November 3.
Organised by a network of food communities ‘Indigenous Terra Madre’(ITM)- 2015, a curtain raiser to the five day-long programme was hosted recently by Chief Minister of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma at the Meghalaya House here.
Terra Madre, which means ‘Mother Earth’, holds seminars focussing on topics such as opposing genetically modified foods, sustainability, water rights, and impact of globalisation on traditional food cultures.
“Big corporations are destroying our food community. This has to be changed. More than 500 million people from different communities are suffering because of this,” International Slow Food Movement founder, Carlo Petrini said.
The ITM-2015 is being organised in 41 partner villages of Meghalaya.
“Not many people in our own country know much about Meghalya and Shillong. This is why I say come and create your own stories here. Meghalya and North-East have so much to offer. Come witness it. Carlos gave us an inspiration that Meghalaya can host this very important festival. Now they will become our future ambassadors,” Sangma said.
In a tribute to ethnic tribes, the event has been re-christened by organisers as ‘International Mei-Ramew’, which means Mother Earth in Khasi language.
Emphasising the importance of small farmers and food communities, Petrini said “it’s time that we all listen to what they say.” He said, “It’s the local community that represent the real modernity.”
“We are coming to Meghalaya not to support, but to learn from these communities. Because it’s very important to search for specifics in this globalised world. Our meeting with them is more important than any other political meeting,” he added. Over 640 delegates are set to visit the villages and a confluence of 100 plus tribes from over 80 nations has been planned.