Tambul Paan of Assam
The Tambul or the Tambul paan is very popular in Assam. The raw betel nut (soaked in water) is called 'Tambul' in Assam and the paan is called Tambul paan. Only the betel leaf (generally a thick and hot one in taste) is put into the mouth, and then raw betelnut pieces (very smelly) is put into mouth one after another as requied. The Chunna (calcium carbonate, the white thing) is also ocassionally put into mouth. It is definitely more strong than a tobacco paan. The raw tambul makes you sweat a lot as you feel very warm. Your ears become heated up. I remember, when at school and college we went for badminton tournaments and had matches at night (cold winter), we chewed the tambul (only the raw betel nut) five minutes prior to the match to warm up. It worked wonders. The tambul has a geat role in all my trophies I must say. : )
The Tambul Paan is infact popular in the entire northeast. It helps people withstand the cold waves.
A very beautiful sight in Assam is pesented by its unique houses, very different from the modern day buildings in all other parts of the country. Since Assam is in the seismic zone and very prone to have earthquakes, the houses are built traditionally in a manner that they would be light in weight. The roofs are made of tins or asbestos and the walls are so called 'net plastered' which means cement plastering on thin iron net. The resultant walls are as thin as one and half to two inches. The pillars are wooden. Such houses can withstand the tremors of earthquakes very well and at the same time are very beautiful. This is one thing that still makes me so nostalgic.
Women's dresses - Mekhla Chador
The Mekhla Chador is a beautiful dress traditionally worn by Assamese women. It is similar to saree but much beautiful. The difference lies in that it is composed of two pieces of cloth unlike one in case of saree. One is worn as a Skirt or pettycoat and the other one is worn as the Anchal. The first part generally consists of a very thick border and the Anchal is lighter as it is to be carried on hand. The dress is very appealing and looks beautiful in the beautiful assamese ladies.
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