Date trees have disappeared from Rajshahi city. The people of the city have to rely on the date sellers who come from the countryside to sell the juice.
Since the beginning of winter, there has been a rush to cut down date palms to collect date juice. However, this tradition is getting lost day by day as the number of date palms is less now than before.
Even then the trees wait for this time. Winter is really about finding date palms. Then he cut down the trees and collected date juice for the whole season. At one time every house in the village had palm and date palm trees by the side of the road. At present the number of date palms has decreased a lot. So the trees can not collect as much juice as before.
Ghuthi Khutna of Katakhali, Kapasia, Kharkhari and Paba police stations of Rajshahi city said that in order to collect sap from date palm tree, first the head part of date palm tree has to be cleaned thoroughly.
The juice is then collected in small and large jugs (earthenware pots) in a special way by cutting the clean white part. At different types of date palms, big and small, we take a risk by tying a rope around the waist and hanging the tree to collect the juice.
Every afternoon I tie small and big pitchers (earthenware pots) to the tree and collect juice in the morning. Some people sell raw juice in different markets of the city, in the neighborhoods. He also sells food in different places and markets in the rural areas.
Some people make molasses by burning this juice in the morning. Sohail, from the suburbs of Haryana, said: At one time there may not be date palm trees in our area. Due to the increasing population, people are now cutting down trees and building houses.
Jadu, the son of Khutna Gachhi of Kajla area, said that various types of cakes are made with date juice. When the date palm is 5-6 years old, juice collection from the tree can be started. The juice is extracted from Kartik to Fagun. However, the more winter falls, the more sap falls from the tree.
Ashraful Hasan Bachchu said that with the change of time, date palms have disappeared from Rajshahi metropolis i.e. Kajla. Earlier, palm trees could be seen lined up along the roadside along the drain. The trees used to collect sap from these trees and sell it in the neighborhood.
Winter is actually seen in the demand for date juice. Now the people of the city have to depend on the juice collected from the trees of the district and upazila to buy that delicious date juice. The councilor further said that in order to bring back the tradition, there is no alternative but to plant date palms in the fallow lands and along the roadsides. So he urged the city dwellers to take this initiative.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Adnan Babu said there was fallow land before. There is a lot of neglected date palm trees. Rows of date palms could be seen along the rural roads. Those trees kept the balance of the environment.
The trees used to extract date juice from that date tree for the Nabanna festival of Bengal. Due to unconsciousness in people, people cut down trees but do not plant trees anymore. At least palm trees should be planted on the side of every road and in open space to maintain the balance of the environment.