Tehrathum — The region’s biggest Ranke Mela has started on Tuesday at Seema Chitre Bazar of Dhankuta and Tehrathum. There is a large presence of youth from the eastern hilly district in this fair, which will be conducted for three days.
Mela coordinator Purnajung Rai said that youth from Dhankuta, Dharan, Itahari, Jhapa, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum and Darjeeling in India participated. All the hotels in the market are full of people who have come to fill the fair. Home Rayamazhi, a local, said that this is the oldest fair in the eastern hill district, which starts once a year on July 2.
According to local elders, this fair started in Chitre Bazar two hundred years ago. The main attraction of the fair is the paddy dance of the Limbu community, but it has been disappearing lately. 36 percent of Limbu community resides in Tehrathum. After learning from this community, young people from other communities also hold hands and exchange love.
But leader Thanahang Subba said that the tradition of paddy dancing is diminishing among Limbu youth of the latest generation. Some young people even get married after meeting at the fair. That’s why elders call the fair as ‘pairing fair’. Chitre market management committee former chairman Narad Katuwal said that there is a high trade in fruits such as mango, lychee, kathar produced in Aul region in this fair held in Lekali region. This fair
Indramani Parajuli, a member of the state assembly representing Dhankuta, said that the residents of Aul and Lekali areas take it as an important opportunity to meet and get to know each other.
The people of Aul region, who came to the fair with fruits, return with potatoes produced in Lekali region. The people of Lekali area exchange fruits such as mangoes and katahar produced in Aul with potatoes. Even the farmers who have done planting have a good presence in the fair. Yugesh Rai, who came from Sahidbhoomi Rural Municipality-5 Dhankuta, who came to fill the fair and trade, said.
From the previous day, old people have also come to the fair from the villages. The road from Basantpur to Chitre Bazar in Tehrathum has become congested due to the youth coming from outside districts. The police have tightened the security arrangements at the fair ground and nearby market areas. Inspector Hemraj Oli said that the Basantpur area police office has increased night patrols in these areas. Until a few years ago, a fair was held for a week at Chitre in the afternoon and at night in Basantpur Bazar. But now it only takes three days at most.