In Jharkhand, a village holds kissing contest for couples | india news | Hindustan Times
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In Jharkhand, a village holds kissing contest for couples

The organiser said the competition was an initiative to check growing cases of divorces and differences between couples in the tribal community .

india Updated: Dec 12, 2017 17:17 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Couples engaged in liplock at Dumaria village in Pakur district.
Couples engaged in liplock at Dumaria village in Pakur district.(HT Photo)

Kissing in public may be a taboo in Indian society, but in this tribal dominated hamlet of Pakur district in Jharkhand, it was cherished as a sport to celebrate love and romance between married couples.

Over 18-odd tribal couples locked their lips in the presence of thousands of people in Dumaria village, around 321 km from state capital Ranchi, in a never-seen-before competition.

Simon Marandi, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator who organised the competition, said it was an initiative to check growing cases of divorces and differences between couples in the tribal community here.

“Tribals are basically innocent and less educated. Due to which, the family system is weakening. To make them aware of our social structure and responsibility towards the family, the idea of a kissing competition was conceived,” said Marandi, who retained the Littipara assembly seat by defeating BJP’s Hemlal Murmu with 12,900 votes in April 2017 byelection.

He said such a competition would help strengthen the relationship between the husband and wife in the tribal community.

Marandi has been organising an annual fair, known as Dumaria Mela, in his native village for the last 37 years where hordes of events, including tribal dance, archery and running competitions are organised to entertain villagers. The two-day fair started on Friday and concluded on Saturday evening.

The kissing competition was added for the first time to the list of events. “Earlier, the village competition was organised in a smaller space but this year it was held in a football ground where thousands of people from other villagers also took part,” Marandi said.

A village of 72 families, Dumaria’s total population is 333 of which 169 are males and 164 are females as per the census report of 2011. The average sex ratio of the village is 970, which is higher than the Jharkhand average of 948.

Dumaria’s average literacy rate is only 25%, which is lower than the state average of 66.41%. In the village, male literacy stands at 33.09% while female literacy is 16.41, as per the 2011 census.