The Lady with Golden Heart, cultivates the Golden Spice
On our first trip to Jaintia Hills we were greeted by vast breath-taking views of virgin forests, misty winds and rough terrains dotted with small towns and villages.
Finding turmeric this good, this rare and from a farmer enriched with traditional wisdom took some work, but at last we found it. Kong Pynhun waited at the corner of her beautiful home perched on the top of a grassy hill to greet us. We were so touched by the warm welcome we received from her family.
Kong Pynhun shared her memories of her going to the field and helping her parents cultivate this indigenous variety of turmeric over a cup of local black tea, farm fresh steamed sweet potatoes and few other local treats. Kong Pynhun is the 5th generation (or more) to be cultivating Lakadong Turmeric. The Turmeric Rhizomes are a family heirloom, they are cultivated and preserved using traditional methods. She proudly showed us the difference between other turmeric varieties and Lakadong Turmeric cultivated at her farm. Later, Kong took us to her farm. She gracefully walked up to her farm with so much ease (and we panted while we climbed up). She took her shovel and dug out beautiful Lakadong turmeric (it truly looked like gold). We also tried digging out turmeric (only to realize it is not as easy as she made it seem). It truly is hard work to grow this beautiful spice, and no one could argue that they deserve ever bit rather more than what they earned. Sowing, cultivating, and harvesting without a single machine is not a job for the faint hearted.
Meeting Kong Trinity Saioo
We were pleasantly surprised to meet Kong Trinity as we were not expecting to meet someone so humble especially after receiving 2 Padma Awards and numerous other awards for her remarkable work for cultivation & promotion of Lakadong Turmeric.
We were awestruck by her knowledge and inspired by the work she had put in and the person she is. She truly is a woman who wears multiple hats. She is a teacher, a farmer, an educator, a social activist and a true catholic at heart.
Kong Trinity’s journey of encouraging farmers in the nearby areas to cultivate Lakadong Turmeric to today spearheading the Lakadong Mission and managing cultivation, farmer training, marketing and distribution has left us astounded.
We are truly grateful to have met Kong Trinity and are honoured to have an opportunity to work alongside with someone of her stature and we are looking forward to execute our well laid out plans to benefit the farmers and assist her in marketing and distribution of Lakadong Turmeric Powder.