Haliyeh: Helping a fellow villager

Each society has a way to help one another in farming. Chakma of Deban area have their own style.

They call it Maliyeh or Haori in local Assamese.

This is one whole day help in another person’s work (clearing jungles, weeding, harvest etc). In return the host will help those who helped him.

Once a person realized the work to be done will take a lot of time and he does not not have that amount of time. He will call for a Maliyeh.

He will fix a date. And will go around to seek help from other villagers, one day ahead of the Maliyeh. This invitation is called Sajokorich. (Daily wage earners are not called for this day.)

According to the nature of work, the host will invite men or women. For clearing jungle, only men will come. But anyone can come for weeding or harvest.

On the appointed day, the work begins early in the morning, at 6 or 7 am after breakfast at their own homes. The work will go on till 9 or 10 am. Then they break for a simple lunch the host has organized. The work will resume after lunch till 4 pm.

Then they will go home, take bath and dress well for the dinner.

The evening dinner is called Maliyeh bhat. Meat and good curries are provided. One person can bring one more person to join the party.

Last week when we visited a village, the person’s wife went to a Haliyeh event. She left quite early morning and then came back at lunch to her home. She dried her chillies. Then she went back again after that. In the evening her husband and two young kids went along. They said the host provided mutton, fish and lots of vegetables. Local liquor is an essential event.

It looks like this is a social event and a time of get together rather than business.


Chakma Words

Below are a few words I wrote down in my notebook. They are the Chakma language spoken in Deban area of Changlang District.

1. bekone echi We came together
2. gaigai echi I came alone
3. undur rat
4. ranimilei widow
5. ranamorat widower
6. nomonchok transgender
7. kaini meaning
8. rongalao pumkin
9. itche today
10. hilliya tomorrow, yesterday
11. porso day after tomorrow
12. torso day after porso
13. hongelo crab
14. pohor day
15. zon moon
  Spoken to bullocks while ploughing  
16. titi go right
17. ere go left
18. bowbow turn
19. boow stop