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Northeast traders hope to make a mark in this year’s int’l trade fair in Delhi

Exhibitors from northeast Indian states like Nagaland, Assam and Manipur hope to spread awareness about their homeland and expand business at the ongoing 35th edition of India International Trade Fair here.

Be it dry flowers made from corn, maize or mushroom, or tea and traditional outfits — the stalls of northeast India are offering all this and more at the fair, which will conclude on November 27 at Pragati Maidan.

“It’s my first time here. Dry flowers are very popular in Delhi, so my friends told me to participate in the fair,” flower designer Aren Jamir from Nagaland told IANS.

Another exhibitor from the state brought colourful dreamcatchers (a handmade object based on a hoop that is hung by the window or at the head of a bed for good luck) to the fair. Women can also buy earrings and neckpieces inspired by the dreamcatcher in colours like yellow, red and purple, to up the fashion quotient.

The Nagaland stall also has loin loom products, shawls with shells, bags, jackets and mobile phone pouches.

“We have fests and exhibitions in Nagaland too and we earn profit. Delhi is expensive, but we are here to find new customers and to promote our products,” said Asezo Khanyo, a weaver from Nagaland.

And of course, the dry king chilli, dry bamboo shoot and sticky rice also made it to the shelves of the stall.

One exhibitor from Assam hopes to make the most of the business days, which are on at the fair till November 18.

“I would love the public to buy as many products as possible from our stall, but even business days are important. There are so many business people from other parts of the country and abroad. So, I hope we are able to strike a deal with them,” said Kamal Deka, salesman of tea company J.M. Enterprise.

The Assam stall also has eri and muga silk products, handmade paper made from sugarcane and citronella plant for home decor, water hyacinth bags, bamboo spoons and knives.

The Manipur stall, offering traditional wares, also has lots of handloom products — muga silk, kurtas, dupattas, phanek and jackets.

“There are lots of Manipuri women in Delhi and since it’s festive season, we thought of bringing all these products. Women from North India can wear the saris, if not the phanek (wraparound outfit for women),” said S. Chaotombi from Manipur.

Tripura’s stall has mostly housed cane furniture, which aroused interest in a lot of consumers on the first day of the exposition.

Cane products like glass-holders, pen stands, cups and plates can also be bought from Meghalaya stall.

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