Origin of Bamboo Day Festival
The World Bamboo Day had been declared by the Thai Royal Forest Department on 18th September 2009. It was an initiative undertaken by the World Bamboo Organization (WBO) during the 8th World Bamboo Congress. Subsequently the following World Bamboo Day celebration was held in Kohima, Nagaland.
Bamboo Day Festival in North Eastern States
Nagaland is the state where the Bamboo day Festival is celebrated with fervour. Stalls are set up for displaying bamboo and its allied products in the festival. In Manipur, the participants in the festival are served with varieties of bamboo-shoot dishes. They are also remunerated with a bamboo sapling during the celebration. Other north eastern states also follow the same tradition to celebrate the Bamboo Day festival.
Bamboo Crafts in Nagaland
Nagaland is the home of about 5 percent of India's growing stock of bamboo which is about 4, 48,000 hectares. About 46 species of the wonder grass have been identified in this state so far. The bamboo and cane crafts of Nagaland have excelled in the present epoch as they are affluent in the tradition of this craft. The ample supply of bamboo and cane has fastened the growth of the craft in Nagaland. It has been said that the Nagas start life "in a cradle of bamboo and ends in a coffin of bamboo".
The bamboo and cane crafts of Nagaland have earned a lot of admiration not only in India but also in abroad. Generally all Nagas make their own baskets and there are no professionals. The storage and carry baskets of Nagas, made by the women from fine strips of cane and bamboo, are well known and sought after due to their utility as well as aesthetic value.
Socio-Economic Potential of Bamboo Day Festival
The Bamboo Day festival is mainly celebrated for increasing the awareness on bamboo usage in everyday needs and in art. Apart from its utility as food and medicine, in minor tools, implements and daily utilities, bamboo is extensively used for handicrafts, furniture and even art. Its application has expanded to boards, ply and shuttering materials for use in buildings and construction. It has also been developed as an energy source in the form of charcoal, activated carbon and even to generate electricity through gasification. Realizing the immense socio-economic potential of bamboo, the Government of India has launched the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and the National Mission on Bamboo Application (NMBA) for its holistic development, cultivation and for developing the technologies and applications for bamboo based products.
Contribution of North Eastern States in the Development of Bamboo Application
The North Eastern states of India, with about 8% of the geographical area of the country, accounts for 66 percent of the bamboo resources of the country spread over an area of about 3.10 million hectares and housing over 89 species of bamboo. The north eastern states celebrate the World Bamboo Day each year to exhibit their art and craft in bamboo.
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