'Kholey Dai ' is the community's annual rice harvest & music festival of Parengtar.
The purpose is to revive and re-establish the age-old tradition of the community’s culture
conducive to rice-grain harvesting, generally known as 'Dai' in Nepali. This festival is organized by the Parengtar Nawlo Umanga Welfare Society in association with Muhaan, Backwoods Adventure Camp and Cafe Kalimpong. With time such traditions have faded, such that the ‘Kholey Dai' is an initiative to re-engage the community in activities which will reaffirm the values of our culture as a whole. This event is therefore an excellent opportunity for the visitors to participate and immerse themselves in our authentic village culture, while undeniably being a wonderful prospect for the residents of Parengtar to preserve their cultural essence.
ENJOY THE RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE OF PARENGTAR
Parengtar is a small village located at the Indo-Bhutan border in Patangodak Gram Panchayat under Gorubathan Block, Kalimpong, West Bengal. The village is easily distinguishable, situated in a unique location, on a plateau adorned by green paddy fields. Though Parengtar is still largely unknown, the village has a strong and ambitious community. The community is determined to bring Parengtar to the forefront as a clean model village with strong cultural roots. It is believed that the village came into being in the late 19th century by clearing a Pareng forest (a certain type of bamboo).
What makes the festival stand out is the active participation of the rural communities right from the conceptualization to organization of the festival. The festival is a key element of the community tourism model that is being developed in Parengtar by the organizing team and the community members of the village which aims to integrate every possible aspect of the community. Promoting a cyclic economy the event is based on effective utilization of local resources from the community itself. As part of community tourism even the local houses of the village are encouraged to provide accommodation as homestays for the visitors of the festivals. Part of the revenue from the festival is also contributed for the welfare of the society of Parengtar.
"Kholey Dai" is an annual rice harvest ceremony in Parengtar celebrated with fervour. Rice is a mainstay of Himalayan cuisine and an integral part of our daily meals. At The Kholey Dai Festival, visitors will be allowed to directly engage with the rural community and understand via participation the evolution of rice from the field to the plate.
As a visitor, you will live with the villagers of this riverine settlement on the Indo-Bhutan border and get a glimpse into the daily life here. Your stay will include an indulgent exploration of the traditional cuisine cooked with local ingredients. Besides enjoying performances of folk music and culture by artists from all over India, You will also be able to engage with Parengtar's ancient art and craft forms for a holistic understanding of the village and its residents.
Daytime activities include swimming, fishing, local sightseeing, and hikes across Parengtar’s stunning landscape. Visitors can also participate in the local games passed down and preserved through generations. During the night, we huddle over a cozy bonfire to listen to folklore narrated by village elders. This zero-waste home-grown event is steeped in community participation, authenticity, and the culture of the village and its people.