Beyond preserving tradition, this festival has evolved into a celebration of community, where the rural essence takes center stage. It encapsulates the very spirit of village life, providing a genuine and unfiltered experience for both residents and visitors alike. Moreover, it has become a vibrant platform for showcasing rare cultural and folk art forms, breathing life into the rich tapestry of regional heritage.
This event not only offers visitors a chance to actively participate in and immerse themselves in authentic village culture but also empowers the residents of Parengtar to safeguard the essence of their cultural heritage. Ultimately, it is a celebration that not only looks back at tradition but also forward to a future where community, culture, and collaboration flourish harmoniously.
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, perched 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).
Key Objectives/ Why we are doing this
To promote and preserve traditional culture and pass it to new generations
To spread awareness about the importance of agriculture and farming practices in the hills and ensure it's continuity
To create new livelihood opportunities for villages in the form of community-based tourism
Promote cultural exchanges
To create a platform for various folk art practitioners to display their art forms
To create a model of zero waste event that completely is based on local natural resources.
Promote sustainable rural tourism in remote villages of Kalimpong.
Foster long-term partnerships with different stakeholders
Showcase of cultural heritage, rural tourism and music in a community-centric model is what makes this festival stand out from all other festivals.
Arts and Culture
The festival aims to give a greater platform for practitioners of dying folk cultures of the area like Maruni dance, Silli Dance, Tamang Selo, Palam Geet and all sorts of unique folk forms of various communities of the hills.
The festival is aimed to curate a definitive folk and contemporary music line-up consisting of artists from Nepal,Sikkim,Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and various parts of the northeast.
Rural Tourism and Agro Tourism
The festival is a great example of an authentic rural tourism model, where the whole village of Parengtar becomes a common ground to showcase the unique features of a rural lifestyle. The core concept of the festival itself is derived from the agricultural practices of Parengtar which is aimed to motivate the farmers and the farming culture.
Celebration of the cultural heritage of our hills with all generations is at the heart of our festival. Engaging in traditional rites, customs and skills, offers a platform to pass knowledge and experience on to the next generation. Every villager here is a storyteller, collectively weaving memories and experiences creating a tapestry of the village’s heritage and history. Interacting with the villagers will allow the visitors a deeper perspective of the village while allowing them to observe their roots.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
A greater part of the festival also goes into training the locals of the area in various skills which opens up newer avenues in livelihood. The festival becomes a training ground for the locals in tourism, handicrafts, event management, waste management, marketing, etc. The local home-stays, stalls, guides, craftsmen and women, and artists all get the opportunity to earn livelihood during the event and also beyond it. Special art-based workshops are also curated for the local youth and children to motivate their creative expression.
Two editions have been successfully done till now starting from 2021
The last edition saw the participation of more than 3000 visitors
Almost 35 folk and contemporary artists performed in the last edition
7 workshops for the community and the participators
Only 3.5 kgs of plastic waste generated from the entire event
Kholeydai festival has transformed Parengtar into a sought-after tourist destination, attracting a steady flow of visitors.
It has sparked the establishment of 25 charming homestays, offering tourists an authentic local experience.
The festival's success led to Parengtar's prestigious nomination as a model tourism village in Kalimpong, showcasing its unique appeal.
Cultural events like Asar Pandhra have garnered widespread interest, drawing tourists to witness and participate in these traditional celebrations.
Kholeydai's zero-waste model has inspired neighboring villages to adopt eco-friendly practices during their own events and festivals.
Local villagers thrived economically, with stallholders earning nearly 2 lakhs during the festival, contributing to the community's prosperity.
How can you help us?
In order fulfill our dream and to organize this festival again this year we need you support.
Your contributions will enable us to
1) Bring local folk artists from Kalimpong and Darjeeling and also renowned folk artists from Northeast and Nepal.
2) Create a complete eco-friendly and zero-waste event by using local natural resources. From the stage to the whole event setup, everything will serve as a role model in terms of a sustainable event.
Every contribution of yours will bring us one step closer to our dream, the dream of giving our heritage the place it deserves and a way forward for the community of Parengtar.
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