200-yr-old fair where barter still exists | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 17, 2019

200-yr-old fair where barter still exists

Before introducing coin, goods were purchased in lieu of other goods. To hold this tradition, an exceptional fair of dried fish was held in Nasirnagar upazila on Monday. The fair has been being hold in the area every year for the last two centuries, where barter system still exists.

Bartar system had been the mode of exchange in the ancient times before the introduction of coinage to ease trade. In this system, one could sale his product to someone in exchange of some other products that he would like to have.

Local Hindu fishermen community has been arranging this dried-fish fair on Kulikunda Government Primary School premises on the second day of the Bangla month Baishakh for the last 200 years. The fair starts in the early morning and ends at the dusk.

Porimal Das, general secretary of Upazila Fishermen's Association, said everything is duty-free in the fair. Local people buy dried fish in the fair in exchange of rice, potato, onion, garlic, mango and other agricultural produces.

Tapan Das, a member of the association, said “We have been enjoying the fair since our childhood. Fishermen, farmers and villagers participate in the fair traditionally.”

Merchants from Chattogram, Sylhet, Sunamganj and other parts of the country also come here to sell dried fish. People from adjoining areas visit the fair to buy varieties of dried fish, said Tapan.

Visiting the fair, this correspondent found that hundreds of small traders have set up stalls full to the brim on the school ground. Dried-fish of native species like boal, shol, baim, shing, koi, puti, tengra, taki and kanchki and different varieties of dried sea fish and eggs of hilsa were seen in the fair.

Jamil Furkan, a teacher of Nasirnagar Government College, said he visits the fair every year and buys dried fish and sends those to his native home in Kushtia.

Animesh Das, a trader of Sunamganj, said the number of customer is more than every year but sale is not satisfactory this year.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Saiful Kabir said, “We strictly supervise the fair so that traders and customers from different parts of the country aren't harassed. We want this fair to continue forever.”

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