It has been a really crazy week. Navratri guests and visits topped with V's viral infection and very high fever I have had absolutely no time to step into my blog or those that I follow. ( Just noticed that Blogger wants to change the Navratri to Navratilova!)
Its Vijayadhasami today.An auspicious day to start learning new things. After worshiping books and all other educational paraphernalia on Saraswati Pooja day, its time to rekindle ones quest for knowledge.
In some homes, we have yawning and sleepy eyed kids reading a few lines from the books they had stacked up for the previous day's pooja after a lot of pushing and prodding from the elders.
Parents rush to enrol their wards in one of the numerous classes they had in mind. Dance, music, swimming, and karate perhaps?
And bloggers? Well, I suppose one should write a new post! And so here I am, trying to type out a few words and as it must be evident from what came earlier, my gray cells have refused to abide by the rules of the day and have remained really tight lipped!
In some communities of TamilNadu 'Golu', an exhibit of clay dolls, is a significant component of Navratri celebrations.
The Golu usually consists of an odd number of steps covered with white cloth (usually dhotis) and the dolls are arranged on these steps.
There are those who do it purely because its customary . There are others who are really passionate about it and spend money, time, effort and energy to make it really creative. Theme based ones are becoming quite popular now. Sometimes people spread some mud at the base of the golu and sprinkle some seeds that would sprout into small saplings - resulting in a miniature park or forest.
Selected market areas are abuzz with doll makers trying to outbeat one another in selling their ware to Golu enthusiasts.
Women invite each other to visit their homes. Sundal (a snack made of lentils/beans) is made every evening as an offering to the Golu and this is distributed to the visitors. Simple , easy and ideal for large groups!
These practices made a whole lot of sense in earlier times when the women were confined to their homes.
- It was a perfect chance for the ladies to socialize and visit other homes
- It provided great opportunity for tapping and expressing their creative abilities
- Its a practice for the visiting women to sing some songs, thus enabling fun and merry making.
Above all, its a lot of fun if done with interest and enthusiasm.
The visitors are given thamboolam comprising of betel leaves, betel nuts, turmeric and some nice gift. Who does not like receiving gifts? Its like a ten day birthday celebration.
Having a Golu when you are not in the country is a little difficult mainly because we do not have doll sellers here unlike in India. Yet, its not impossible especially in a country like Singapore where there is a huge Indian population.
We had a small Golu at home that kind of represented the entire South East Asian region. We had a few mythological dolls that we got at an Indian store. The rest were a combination of dolls from Thailand, Vietnam and Chinese/Japanese art stores.
Happy Vijayadhasami to all.
My wishes that you and your families be blessed with the light of learning and excellence in all art forms that you desire.
Phew! Done with the post! I told you, my brain seems to be in a coma!!!