Folktales of Northeast India: A Garo folktale- Kari (Salt)



The Kari or the SALT is a folktale from Garo tribe, which tells about the wise answer of a daughter to her father.

Being human, we have a tendency to judge others without knowing the truth behind.

There was a Garo (A'chik) family and they were very rich. The family had two daughters, Sengme and Balsrame.


One fine day the father wanted to know how much his daughters loved him and so he decided to ask his daughters about their love for him.

The elder daughter, Sengme said she loves him like sugar. But the younger daughter, Balsrame said that she loves him as salt. The father got offended by her comparison.

Offended by her answer, the father immediately calls the maharis (a group of matrilineal relatives) and decides to throw Balsrame out of the house as they found her answer not at all acceptable. Unhappy at her state she moved towards a forest alone and helpless.


In the forest while she was all alone crying helplessly, a king was passing by with his attendants. He noticed this beautiful but lonely girl.

When the king asked her the reason of her sadness, she narrated her story. Hearing her sad plight, the king took her along with him to his palace and decided to marry her.

Soon after their marriage, a big feast was organized in honour of the new Queen. Everyone was invited including the family and relatives of the new Queen. Everyone from her family came. The Queen strictly instructed the Kitchen staff that her relatives should be given food items without salt. They were treated with every possible kind of sweet items. Now it is not possible to eat only sweet items.

This irked her family so much that they called their daughter who is now the Queen and complained about this. She humbly said that it was according to their wish that she did not give them anything salty. Hearing her words everyone realized their mistake and asked for her forgiveness.

Source: shodhganga.inflibnet

Featured image: Flickr

More folktales to follow soon….

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