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Registered: 08/29/08
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Times are changing for Indian hashish village
    #11186211 - 10/05/09 01:08 PM (8 years, 11 months ago)

Aletta André

Radio Netherlands

Sunday 04 Oct 2009

A quality cannabis ‘coffee shop’ in the Netherlands will have it at the top of the menu: Malana Cream, one of the best types of hashish in the world. It’s made in Malana in India, a remote village with curious customs. But both hashish production and the village’s ancient culture are under pressure. The modern world is advancing.

Moti sits with a pile of cannabis plants on the stone steps next to the temple. Steadily one by one he picks off the heads and rubs them between his hands. An inquisitive Spanish tourist with dreadlocks approaches, but Moti protests fiercely. He points to a sign hanging on the temple: ‘No tuching. One thusend rupese fine.’ The tourist is about to turn away, but Moti isn’t so quick to let him go. “You want to buy charras [hashish]?”

For many visitors to Malana these are the first words they hear. Moti and other men from the village sit all day by the temple smoking hashish pipes and selling charras.

Malana Cream
‘Malana Cream’, as the local speciality is called, is world famous. In the village it sells for more than 20 euros for ten grams, three times as much as for other hashish from the stat of Himachal Pradesh. In the Netherlands it sells for at least 12 euros a gram, ten times the price of other cheaper types of hashish (see inset).

The tourists come from all over the world, but especially from Europe, Israel and India. They put up with the rather strange treatment they receive. Outsiders are not allowed to touch anything or anyone in Malana. The 1600 inhabitants believe they are so pure that anyone who doesn’t come from the village is untouchable.

According to legend, the inhabitants of Malana are descended from the army of Alexander the Great, who withdrew from the region in 326 BC. The unique language, unusual architecture, ancient form of democracy and pale skins of some of the locals would seem to support this theory. The villagers themselves believe they are descended from the sacred Jamdagni Rishi, their god, who also has the last word in Malana’s parliament.

But Jamdagni Rishi is losing influence in Malana. Outside many houses a TV satellite dish now hangs instead of a picture of the god. The change began in 2005, when an energy company built a dam in the area. The project brought the village electricity, a school and a doctor, followed by a road that brings the outside world closer by the day. The walking distance to Malana has been reduced from days to half an hour. The road is expected to reach the village next year.

Exotic atmosphere
“It’s a completely different Malana,” says an Indian tourist who has been coming to the village for ten years, for the hashish and exotic atmosphere. “The people dress differently, there are more tourists. There’s no more peace and quiet.”

The police also increasingly disturb the peace. “They now come at least once a year. Last month they cut down all the plants they could find,” says Moti.

Despite the new road, the authorities’ fight against hashish production remains a tall order. Cannabis grows like weeds, metres high in gardens around the houses. The plants also grow in the mountains around Malana, and officially belong to nobody.

A former police officer in the drug squad is therefore trying a new tactic. By providing sponsored seeds he wants to persuade the villagers to switch to growing beans and peas. Although a few families have signed up this year, it seems like a hopeless proposition. “We grow vegetables and spices, but nothing is as profitable as hashish,” says local hashish farmer Shubh Ram.

The villagers of Malana are worried about the future of Malana Cream. “The road brings so much pollution with it. This will reduce the quality of the soil,” says Shubh Ram. He also believes that the increasing tourism will do the village no good. “There isn’t enough hashish. There is already a lot of fake Malana Cream on the market. It’s bad for our name.”

Shubh Ram admits that the road has also made life easier, making hospitals and schools more accessible. But his final judgement is implacable: “The road makes people corrupt.”
Malana Cream doesn’t get you stoned, but high

A brief tour of coffee shops in Harlem and Amsterdam reveals that especially the better establishments have Malana on the menu. Jason den Enting, manager of De Dampkring coffee shop in Amsterdam, there was plenty of it for sale in the 1970s and 1980s. “But now it’s mainly the real connoisseurs and Italians and Israelis who want to buy it. It’s also one of my favourites.”

At the Willy Wortel coffee shop in Haarlem they don’t sell it any more. “Two years ago we still had it, but the man who always brought it himself from India hasn’t been along in a while,” says the man behind the counter. The Greenhouse Namaste coffee shop in Amsterdam does have it in stock.

Jason den Enting of De Dampkring says Malana is made in an entirely different way from Moroccan hashish. “The plant isn’t dried but kept alive. The heads are rolled between the hands, and what sticks to the hands is made into bars.”

This is why the price of Malana is above average. Ordinary Malana costs between five and eight euros a gram. Malana Cream costs between 12 and 15 euros. Jason van Enting says the Cream is a truly exclusive type. “It’s a deliciously sweet hashish. It doesn’t get you stoned, but high. That makes it more sociable.”
(Belinda van Steijn)

For more information on cannabis policy in the Netherlands, see our FAQ


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Re: Times are changing for Indian hashish village [Re: ShroomerRoss]
    #11186755 - 10/05/09 02:38 PM (8 years, 11 months ago)

Mmmm, I wants to try me some Malana cream! It is sad how theirinteresting and unique culture/ way of life is becoming more threatened as technology advances closes towards their little town.

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Re: Times are changing for Indian hashish village [Re: TacticalBongRip]
    #11188106 - 10/05/09 06:25 PM (8 years, 11 months ago)

It's crazy that this village is so isolated that simply introducing a road is causing problems.  Very sad to hear.

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Re: Times are changing for Indian hashish village [Re: ShroomerRoss]
    #11188198 - 10/05/09 06:38 PM (8 years, 11 months ago)


ShroomerRoss said:
Moti and other men from the village sit all day by the temple smoking hashish pipes and selling charras.

Sounds like these guys are living the life :bigblunt:

Smoke weed everyday

All I ever wanted was to be free,

and in the end that's how it turned out to be

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Re: Times are changing for Indian hashish village [Re: Revolutionine]
    #11192034 - 10/06/09 08:57 AM (8 years, 11 months ago)


That method of making must take a very long time. It's hard to get resins and crystals off your hands, shit is sticky.

I wonder what they do with the rest of the plant...


c        l        i      c        k        m        e

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Re: Times are changing for Indian hashish village [Re: aspore]
    #11193178 - 10/06/09 01:47 PM (8 years, 11 months ago)

ive smoked quite a bit of charas from the parvati valley. not sure how it compares with this stuff, but it was incredible.

nappy then, nappy now, nappy for a bit
knee deep head over heals in this country shit

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Re: Times are changing for Indian hashish village [Re: subject]
    #11199432 - 10/07/09 11:42 AM (8 years, 11 months ago)

ive had hand rolled charas and that shit is DIVINE. its a little harder in consistency than bubble hash but its sooooo good. the shit is psychedelic. blessed by a sadhu. :stoned:


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