16Jul

How Mango Embodies the Festive Spirit of India

Did you know that “Amra-Phal” is one of the earliest known names given to mango? Vedic literature mentions it as “Rasala’‘ and “Sahakara”. Upon reaching South India, it came to be known by the names “Aam-Kay” and “Maamkaay” in Tamil, and as “Maanga” in Malayali. Later, it was the Portuguese who called the fruit Mango. 

Mango, lovingly referred to as the King of Fruits, is an inseparable part of Indian culture and festive traditions. India accounts for half of the world’s mango production: we produce an average of 22 million metric tonnes of mangoes per year and export to about 80 countries. The fruit is an integral part of Indian cuisine, featuring chutneys, achaar, sabzi, daal, and several other foods and drinks. It is the subject of famous poems like “amer manjori” by Rabindranath Tagore. 

Since 1987, the International Mango Festival has celebrated this pulpy, fragrant, and sumptuous fruit. Held in Delhi around July annually, the festival gathers North India’s mango growers, who showcase their wide varieties of mangoes, agro and food businesses that display everything from jams to fruit juice, and food enthusiasts taking in the vibrant experience. Children and adults also get to participate in mango-themed quizzes, competitions, and cultural programmes. 

[Sources: National Horticultural Department, Delhi Tourism, BBC News, The Better India]

For more content on traditional Indian knowledge systems for teenagers, check out The Plus magazine.

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