MANGALURU: Despite modernization, LPG connections and ample availability of food, age old traditions of stocking wood and food for the rainy season is still alive in some villages of Dakshina Kannada . The activities preparing for bountiful monsoon ahead commences in summer, especially in April and May.
It’s a common sight in remote villages where men are busy collecting firewood and leaves, while women and children are seen preparing pickles, papad and other eatables for the onslaught of monsoon, which may arrive at any time.
Praveenraj from Koila said storing wood and food is mandatory for monsoon season. Food includes rice, papad, varieties of pickle, jackfruit seeds, salted jackfruit or other vegetables and delicacy made from sweet potato. Among the vegetables, selected pumpkins, local cucumber or Mangaluru cucumbers are tied carefully with a rope to ceiling and preserved until rainy season ends. Some also store dry fish, since fresh sea fish is a rarity during the season. “Out of these stored items, varieties of delicacies are prepared; some of them are unique to monsoon,” he explained, adding that the items are stored as people find it difficult to venture out on rainy days.
Apart from food items, villagers who have livestock store dry grass or paddy. Dry leaves are used to keep livestock warm in cowsheds, later converted into organic manure. “Despite shortage of labour, collecting and storing firewood and leaves is prevalent in these villages,” Praveenraj said.
Dayanand Poojary, a resident of Karkala, says as modernisation crept in and many things improved, such scenario of villages preparing for monsoon is a rare sight.
“A few years ago, when there were not many facilities, villagers irrespective of their social status stocked food items for monsoon. Currently, markets make all food products and grains available at all times of the year, so fewer people stock up on these things,” Dayanand added.