Muzaffarpur (JNN/Bureau): In the narrow by-lanes of Muzaffarpur, both Gujarat and Iran flourish in their own unique ways. It is difficult to imagine that the people of these far off places have adjusted to the cultural milieu of this north Bihar district and are living here since ages.

While the Gujaratis had come in times of draught and the Iranis had come as traders, they are now voters and ration card holders like others. One cannot doubt their nativity and they too perhaps look upon Muzzaffarpur as their homeland.

But in looks and dressing they have not changed. They celebrate their festivals, weddings and other ceremonies as per their own traditions. The best thing is, they do not go to courts in case of disputes but solve the matter with the help of their community elders.

The Gujaratis had migrated to Muzaffaepur in 1857, when a major draught affected the whole of Gujarat. Two dozen families of Baghi community living in Vimangaon came to Muzaffarpur and settled in Imlichatti. The area is now known as Gandhinagar. It has more than hundred houses with fifteen hundred Gujaratis.

All of them speak in their native language and celebrate Navratra every year with pomp and fervor at the local Shitala Mata temple. Every year they follow the tradition of community marriage sans dowry. Their leader Sampat said that they deal in old clothes.

Meanwhile, five decades ago in 1961, Mansoor Ali came from Iran to Muzaffarpur and settled down in Mehndi Hasan road. He established here the Imambara Darbar-E-Haidari. Some 50 families are settled in this area with, a population of more than 300. These Iranians are the natives of Nazaf-e-Azraf area of Iran.

They have not changed their native attire and follow their own traditions and customs. They deal in spectacles and stones. Local ward Commissioner Juhi Ara says that all Iranis have become local citizens and all of them have ration cards and are voters.

Their leader Baba Rahat Hussain says that they observe Muharram with solemnity.