| People busy shopping for Christmas in Kohima. File picture |
Kohima, Dec. 12: The temperature is low but the Yuletide spirit high as Nagaland dresses up for Christmas.
Pre-Christmas shopping is on in full swing with people thronging garment shops, flower showrooms and bakeries. Traders, small and big, are having a field day. For most, it’s that time of the year when you don’t have to “sell too hard” to rake in the moolah.
With Christmas and New Year just days away, the festive mood is set not only in the state capital but in Dimapur, Mokokchung, Zunheboto and Wokha as well.
Abdul Rehman, who runs a garment shop here, said, “Our business has picked up in the past couple of weeks. As it is, we earn more during December which is the festive season in Nagaland”.
Interestingly, second-hand garment shops are giving dealers of new clothes a serious run for their money. The public ground in downtown Kohima has turned into a second-hand market, with both local residents and tourists turning up for a good deal.
“This market is popularly known as the poor man’s market. Most of these second-hand garments come from Europe, the US, Japan, China and South Korea. I prefer those second-hand garments to India-made new garments,” a customer said. In Kohima alone, there are about a dozen second-hand markets.
“My business has been hit to some extent as the market is flooded with second-hand items which are easy on the pocket,” Ashish Chaudhary, a garment shop owner, said.
However, with customers in a mood to splurge, branded items in markets such as Topaz Plaza, Ser’s Bazaar, Fancy Market, Khadi Market and Tibetan market here are also selling thick and fast. These markets sell garments and articles from Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea and Europe. In Dimapur, popular markets like Hong Kong market, Chishi Complex and Zhimomi Market are doing brisk business.
Not just clothes, cakes and pine trees, the symbols of Christmas celebration, are also selling like hot cakes. For instance, a bakery in downtown Kohima is selling over 200 Christmas cakes a day. “Over the past few days, more than 200 cakes are being sold per day from our bakery. This is the season when we earn the most. Not just us, other confectioners are also doing good business,” an employee at the bakery said.
The sales have gone up at the florists’ too. “The footfall at our shop has increased in the past few days with people buying a variety of flowers for decorating their homes,” a flower shop owner said.
Shops selling fancy lights are also doing brisk business as, come Christmas-eve, almost every house in the state will be decorated with fairy lights, irrespective of the state government’s appeal for judicious use of power.
Thankfully, nothing untoward has been reported but for a few incidents of extortion and thefts which have kept traders like Rehman tightlipped about his earnings. “I don’t want to disclose the amount I earn in a day as I might be a victim of extortion. But the business is better during this time of the year,” he said.