Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, November 26, 2009


Gorur Haat

Photo feature: Zabir Hasan

Almost 350 kilometers away from Dhaka, this is a “Gorur Haat” in the District of Dinajpur. This market is called “Rell Bazaar Gorur Haat”. During the countdown to Eid-ul-Azha, thousands of domestic animals change their owners to be sacrificed. With different colours and accessories the sellers decorate these animals to attract the customers. Everyone is looking for a good bargain at the haat.

There are cattle sellers and customers, and in between them there is another species called “Gorur dalal” aka negotiators. These are the guys who manage the customers to lure them towards the animals whose owners they represent. Well everything is business and if the negotiator can make a good sale it is win-win for everyone. The actual owner gets a percentage of the profit, while he walks away with a hefty cut. You, the buyer would never know who the real owner is, and who is the negotiator. So watch out!

Living below the poverty line has taught us thrift, and this is evident in our ability to salvage anything. Even cow dung is collected, dried, and used as cooking fuel. And where you can find cow dung other than at a cattle market with thousands of cows? You can see little army of little children lurking around to find out what is coming out.

Not only this haat but also every cattle market in Bangladesh in this festive season exerts the same vibe. With crazy customers, moo-ing cow, annoying vendors, sneaky pickpockets you cannot find the same entertainment anywhere else this time of the year. Starting from early morn till the night this bizarre place is something extra ordinary.



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