When it comes to famous landmarks in the city, Bohri Bazaar is perhaps an area all are expected to be familiar with as its known as the go-to market for almost everything. The two-day ‘Bohra Bazaar Fun Festival 2017’, held at the Frere Hall, was an extension of the idea of the same market.
Kicking off on Saturday, the event organised by the Bohra community saw over a 100 stalls of various kinds, with most set up by Bohri women to promote their small businesses. “We have taken this step to promote small-scale entrepreneurs and help boost their businesses. We have had such fairs in the past but they were limited to our community only. This time round, however, we have opened up to people from across the city,” said the event’s organiser Shabbir Najmi.
“We want to let the city dwellers get acquainted with our culture which is known for its rich traditions including crafts and variety of food items. This is our first such attempt, but considering the response, we hope to continue it in future as well,” he added.
The ticket, priced at Rs100, was available at the entrance and young men belonging to the community were busy looking after the security arrangements.
Once inside the venue, it was easy to demarcate the stalls selling specialised items alongside an area dedicated to food items.
Explaining about Khaman Dhokla, a savoury item, a visitor said that it was a light sponge which is made is their houses only.
“There are many fried items which ranged from chicken with egg, mince samosas and the ever famous Khaosuey,” said Zainab, who was attending with her family.
Selling Bohra Kachori, Sakina Nasir explained that the Papar (Papadum) was fried while the bhajee (vegetable mix) was placed on top of it to give it flavour.
At the centre point, band members in blue and white, of different age groups played various tunes which drowned the contemporary songs played by a radio station.
Razia Zakir, who had a jewellery stall, sold charm bracelets with precious stones which came all the way from Egypt.
Experimenting with the idea of exchange, Alifyah Talib’s stall pulled many parents and children who seemed interested in buying educational toys for their children.
“We are selling imported puzzles and other such toys at a cheaper rate but most importantly we are up for trading toys too. If people have old toys they can give them to us and buy new ones too,” she said. However, one visitor felt that the place was quite pricey for the items sold.
“I think it’s because they have limited supply and the buyers are of different backgrounds too. We have similar fairs all the time, rather they are bigger. The one we have at Nadil Burhani ground near Pak Colony can host more people but then it’s reserved for community only,” said Zainab Murtaza.