Chu: The Holy wine of Garo society


In Garo society, when a baby is born, it is fed `Chu’. It is a wine made by the Garos. Very common to Garos. This wine is made one month before the birth of the baby.
The special name of ‘Chu’ made for children is ‘Chu Jangi’. The word ‘Jangi’ in Achik’s language means life. And ‘chu’ means ‘wine’. Then ‘Chu Jangi’ means wine for life. That means that alcohol gives a child real life.

Garo’s life begins with ‘Chu’. The wedding ceremony is celebrated by drinking ‘chu’. The festival planning cannot be imagined without ‘Chu’. Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. When someone in the Garo community dies, the survivors mourn by drinking ‘chu’.

Chu, Holly wine
Hemant Marak and Pranati Manda are showing the skills of making the Chu to Travelife. Photo: Anand Sarkar

They like to feed pigs to the guest. They greet the guest by serving chu. ‘Chu’ is part of the life of the Garos. The holy gift was given by the god Tatara Rabugar.

‘Chu’ is usually made by fermenting rice, in the fermentation process, just as wine is made in western countries. Wine and ‘chu’ are the same. But two different societies. Made in different ways, with different ingredients.

Another ingredient is used to make chu, which is very complex. This ingredient is made by mixing many things. There are also forest herbs.

Sometimes ‘chu’ is made by roasting rice in one day. Sometimes it lasts for three days or a week. Once again, the Garos kept the rotten rice in their mouths for a year.

When it open, the village of Garo is intoxicated by the intoxication of ‘Chu’.

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