Tuingam Louzhi | Instagram
Tuingam Louzhi | Instagram
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New Delhi: Perilla seeds have always been a staple at Tuingam Louzhi’s home, in Manipur’s hilly Ukhrul district. They are used in chutneys, snacks and curries. But every winter, her grandmother would pound these seeds into a paste and squeeze out a few drops of oil to be applied on young Louzhi’s chapped cheeks.

That was 20 years ago. Louzhi, now 24, is using the same edible seeds for her own skincare brand called Secret Cosmetics.

“Usually, our family would pound perilla seeds into paste, which we would then eat with our meals. During winters, however, my grandmother would put these seeds on a wooden mortar, crush them, make a paste and roll that into a ball in our palm. She would take the oil extracted from this ball and apply it on our cracked cheeks during the winter,” Louzhi told The Better India.

Launched in 2019, Secrets Cosmetics is based out of Ukhrul and all her products are cold pressed. Following the success of her face oil, Louzhi — who follows the philosophy of ‘apply what you can eat’ — has launched many other skincare products too.

Also read: Pink Floyd muse Evelyn ‘Iggy’ Rose had Mizo roots — 4 yrs after her death, the families connect

Nagaland’s own ‘Amazon’ offers wild mango wine, Naga rice & Axone

Seven people from Nagaland have come together to open an e-commerce site that is slowly gaining ground among people across the state, and giving competition to bigger firms such as Amazon and Flipkart.

Called YeteKinibi (meaning ‘buy from here’ in Nagamese), the site is especially popular for the wide range of local products on offer such as Umungthi (wild mango) wine, Naga rice, potato organic soap and axone (fermented soybean).

The eight-month-old company is not funded by public or private investors.

“One of our core goals is to provide employment to the local youth for marketing, data entry and customer support,” Mughato Swu, one of the founding members, has been quoted as saying by the Mint Lounge.

YeteKinibi has both a web page and an app, and it has so far seen over 8,000 downloads. It also has a dedicated link for local entrepreneurs who want to sell their products via the site.

Vaccinated ‘chanawala’ shows the way in Meghalaya

The photograph of a street vendor in Meghalaya with a ‘vaccinated tag’ written on his box containing food items has gone viral on social media.

The man selling ‘chana chat’ has since been earning praises from people and the administration.

Sharing the image on Instagram, the DC Office of East Khasi Hills wrote, “Our favourite snack, and a responsible street vendor showing us the way forward.”

Many other shopkeepers and hawkers have also been displaying similar tags across the state to let their customers know that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and also to encourage people to get their shots.

The Meghalaya and Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and Street Vendors Association, along with the National Health Mission, have also been raising awareness about vaccinations among its members and training them on all necessary Covid-19 protocols.

Nagaland’s ‘Sunshine Orchestra’ gets A.R. Rahman vibe

There is a special orchestra in Nagaland’s capital Kohima, one that consists of 20 children from the Kohima Orphanage and Destitute Home, and it has recently completed one year of training under the Chennai-based A.R. Rahman Foundation.

“Twenty children from Nagaland…being taught and mentored by an Oscar and Grammy winner (A.R. Rahman) all out of his goodwill is priceless,” Abu Metha, advisor to the chief minister of Nagaland, was quoted as saying by The Morung Express at an event on 12 July to mark one year of the orchestra’s birth.

Most of the children in the orchestra had little or no knowledge of violins when they started.

Theja Meru, advisor to the Task Force for Music and Arts in Nagaland, said it was a “very special music project” for Nagaland, the state’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Rahman, “under whose guidance the children are being taught by violinist Nourhe Khate”.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

Also read: Kuki identity at the heart of a music revival project in Manipur


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