मिथिला में आपका स्वागत है | Short story on Mithila's cultural heritage
by Kalpana Jha on Oct 31, 2022
When you're in Mithila, you may hear a few sentences the elders in Mithila use to describe their home.
पग-पग पोखर माछ मखान
सरस बोल मुस्की मुख पान
इ थीक मिथिलाक पहचान ||
Where there are ponds, fishes and foxnuts at every step,where people speak tasteful language, wear a smile and chew betel leavesthat is the identity of Mithila.
When you purchased the sample pack from JhaJi Store, you’ve brought home pickles from a place, that is deep rooted in culture, faith and traditions.
You see, Mithila is the region that includes areas of northern Bihar, and parts of Nepal.
Importantly, Darbhanga – the town we are in, is the heart of Mithila.
Like any other small town, Darbhanga has its legends.
The name DAR-BHANGA itself comes from two words DWAR & BANGA.
Before 1912, when Bihar was made into a state, Darbhanga was a part of the Bengal region.
And Darbhanga a town, known as the gateway to Bengal and it’s culture.
Naturally, the local Maithili culture, and the larger Bengali culture have a lot of similarities, in food, language, songs, art, festivals, and so on.
Thankfully, Darbhanga has remains of its’ pre-colonial times well in-tact, with the palaces of Darbhanga Maharaj still charming the city dwellers.
Central to Darbhanga & its culture are its ponds.
You’ll see hundreds of these large & small ponds spread across the town, and outside.
And because we’ve had so many ponds around us, we love eating fresh water fish.
That’s again something that unites the people of Mithila, and Bengal at large – our shared love for cooking and eating fish.
Well to be frank, the people of Mithila love to eat well. Always had.
Even our legends have stories of food.
Local folklores talk of the 56 Bhog meal that was served to Lord Rama, at the time he came to marry Sita, a daughter of Mithila.
The meal had every delicacy that the people of Mithila love, they serve the prince who soon is to wed their daughter.
We recently served this meal to Sanjay, for leading the business through the very busy Mango Season in 2022.
By the way, if you're wondering, there are indeed a couple of local pickle preparations among these 56 delicacies.
A meal without pickles, is no meal at all – if you ask me, and most of the lovely ladies who work with me.
Both Uma & I had the good fortune of learning pickle making from our mothers, and mothers-in-law. And began making pickles for friends and families over 3 decades ago. Like most of our team-members.
Through our pickles, we intend to pack the authentic culture & taste of Mithila in these jars.
Chief Pickle Maker, JhaJi Store,
In Laherisarai, Darbhanga
"पग-पग पोखर माछ मखान
सरस बोल मुस्की मुख पान
इ थीक मिथिलाक पहचान"