A 300-year-old traditional yogurt fair is being held at Tarash Helipad area on Saturday. This yogurt fair also known as ‘Doi Mela’ still reminds the people of Tarash of the history and tradition of Tarash.
Like every year, this time in Tarash, on the occasion of Swarasati Puja, sellers are sitting with the yoghurt in the fair. Although the yogurt fair carries the tradition of Chalan Beel, it has become a gathering place between Hindus and Muslims. About a hundred people from Ghosh community from local, different districts and upazilas brought yoghurt to the fair for sale. On the occasion of yoghurt fair, the price of milk has been increasing in the last 3 days in the surrounding markets including Tarash.
According to the local history, this yoghurt fair started from the time of Roy Bahadur Banamali, Zamindar of Tarash region. The yogurt fair, a tradition of almost 300 years since then, still exists in Tarash. During the zamindar period of that time, there was a great splendor of yoghurt fair. In this fair, zamindars and bureaucrats would set up boards to check the merits of the participants in the fair and award the best yoghurt. Muslims and Hindus from different places including Sherpur, Singra, Dahiya, Ashtamanisha of Chatmohar, Shahjadpur, Bera, Demra of Faridpur, Ghoshganti of Ullapara, Belkuchi, Dhangara of Raiganj, Ghurka and Gurudaspur came to this fair. When the zamindar system was abolished during the Pakistan period, most of the zamindar families settled in India. At that time the bureaucrats and employees left Tarash village. At one time the elite Hindu leaders in Tarash supervised the fair but could not maintain the award system. Earlier, the exclusive buyer of yoghurt was the Hindu community. But since the abolition of zamindar system, people of Muslim community are now buying more yoghurt than Hindus.
At present Hindus and Muslims are jointly supervising the fair. However, at present most of the buyers of yoghurt are Muslims. It is the Muslim community that has sustained the yoghurt fair. Among the Muslim Ghosh at Tarash Yoghurt Fair this time are Karim Miah Yoghurt, Fazr Ali Yoghurt, Chan Miah Yoghurt of Sripur, Kachikatar Yoghurt, Yoghurt of Sherpur of Bogura, Yoghurt of Saidabad of Sirajganj, Yoghurt of Chandaikona of Raiganj, Yoghurt of Ghurka Beltala, are popular in the fair
Good yogurt usually get finished quickly in this fair. Depending on the type of plate, 120 to 150 Tk, 180 Tk, 200 Tk and some yoghurt is being sold at 300 Tk. This time yoghurt has been imported more than other years. Some of the yoghurt sellers have brought yoghurt from 3 mounds to 15 mounds and some up to 20 mounds.
Yogurt sellers said that due to the high price of milk this year, many people had to collect milk from far and wide at risk. For the last few days, the price of milk for all the khans for the yoghurt fair has been higher than other days. Abdur Rashid, Borhan Uddin, Prashant Ghosh, Rajat Ghosh, Yaqub Ali, Nab Kumar, Ayub Ali and Abdul Barik, the curd buyers of Tarash Sadar, said that the quality of curd is not so good even though it is higher than last year. Named Sreepur Yoghurt was very bad last year.
Yar Ali, a yoghurt buyer, expressed his displeasure and said that he would refrain from buying yoghurt from Sreepur this time. Many buyers have purchased yogurt from 4-5 people to check the quality of yogurt. Apart from yoghurt, the fair also has other items including chira, murdi, moraki and baskets. However, more people have been seen to buy more curd and murki. Yoghurt will be sold from dawn to dusk, according to the Ghosh community. It is learned from the conversation with the shopkeepers that from morning till evening 500 to 600 mounds of yoghurt has been sold.