Trivia / Meghalaya

_____ is a folded betel leaf with areca nuts and lime and is commonly offered by the locals of Meghalaya to greet people.

  1. Mitela
  2. Kwai
  3. Khublei


Kwai (also commonly known as Paan in India) is a folded betel leaf with areca nuts, lime. Chewing Paan for its psychoactive effects is very common in India and other South Asian countries. But for the locals of Meghalaya, Kwai is much more than a stimulant — it is a part of their culture.

Kwai is considered to be a bridge between the rich and the poor, since everyone enjoys it regardless of their background. Offering Kwai, analogous to extending a hand of friendship, is a common tradition amongst all tribes of Meghalaya. Knowing the phrases “Khublei” (in Khasi language), and “Mitela” (in Garo language) might come in handy in such situations.

Chewing Kwai or Paan is injurious for health according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Health Organisation. Betel quids and areca nuts are scientifically proven to be carcinogenic to humans. Also, since Paan is generally spat out after chewing, it is very important to dispose it well without causing stains to the public property.

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