Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tongba- A Brief Introduction

Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic beverage found in the far eastern mounatinous region of Nepal and the neighbouring Darjeeling and Sikkim districts of India. It is the traditional and indigenous drink of the Limbu people of eastern Nepal.To the Limbus, Tongba is like what Sake is to Japanese, Vodka to Russian and Wine to French.Tongba is culturally and religiously important to the Limbu people of far eastern Nepal.  (Courtesy-Wikipedia)
But what is this big monument of a Tongba doing in the busy bus-park of Hile? The Tongba was built about a year ago coinciding with the Government's Visit Nepal Year 2011. It is a publicity ploy to attract more tourists to this area. Hile has always been a transit point for places like Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Terhathum and Taplejung. Tourists visit this place because of its richness in scenic beauty, Pakhribas to the west boasts of the largest number of tourists and Sidhuwa and Basantapur to the North-East are visited during the snowfall .
               So Tongba has become an icon for the hoteliers around. It's really good to sit by the fire sipping the warm liquid from the bamboo pipe! Though some variations to the structure of Tongba are found in the hotels, the ingredients are always the same. The pots have emerged into metal and the pipes too are mostly made of aluminium but the taste remains the same. I guess there is no house hold around Hile, Pakhribas, Sidhuwa and Basantapur, which doesn't have a Tongba pot to welcome the guests with.
               Unlike other beverages, Tongba is a leisurely drink. Pour hot some water into the pot, let grains absorb the water and when the water turns milky , then you can sip through the pipe gently. Obviously you are not done with it, once you finish sipping, you can add water upto three times more. Let the water be alcoholised........wait need patience to enjoy this drink......... then sip in like a gentleman..........then you will realise why this thing is so famous............and that was why the Tongba was built in the middle of the road at Hile.............................

No comments:

You may also like