Guwahati, Jan 28 (ANI): With the decline of militancy in Assam, the people here are trying to revive the age-old ties with neighbouring countries, and one such initiative was the 'Indo-Bhutan Mela' organized here recently.
On the eve of Magh Bihu, Assam's Baksa District witnessed a huge influx of Bhutanese tourists and the traditional Magh mela held in the region, which was later renamed 'Indo-Bhutan Mela'.
Scores of tourists from Bhutan were present in Subankhata village to participate in the fair, which aimed to revive ties, promote peace and harmony and also boost the trade and commerce between the two nations.
The visitors were provided free lodging and transportation facilities.
"Since 1951, the people from Bhutan participate in huge numbers in Magh mela. But after the Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) started operating in the region this relationship was affected. We have taken this initiative to revive this age-old friendship," said Hem Narzary, Advisor, Subankhata Magh Mela.
"To promote trade and commerce between two countries we need to work hard and then strengthen our relationship. After that we can start working on promoting trade between both sides," added Bhutan-India Friendship Association (BIFA) Vice President Norbu Wangdi.
The cuisine and culture, which are the best ways to build bridges, played an important part in the Indo-Bhutan Mela. Stalls serving both Bhutanese and Assamese cuisine were set up for the visitors.
Traditional dances during the mela provided a window to the culture and traditions of both the countries.
A photo exhibition that showcased cordial relations that have existed between both nations was also held during the fair.
"We have come here for the first time. It is a great experience. We watch a lot of Hindi movies there and we are enjoying ourselves here," said Bhutia, a tourist.
"It's not only about Subankhata area but the entire Baksa district. We can sell rice, potatoes and many other things to the Bhutanese people and they can sell their products here in our market and both can benefit from it," added Binjoy Boro, a local. (ANI)