Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Learning



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.

  1. It was a perfect chance for the ladies to socialize and visit other homes
  2. It provided great opportunity for tapping and expressing their creative abilities
  3. 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!!!

58 comments:

  1. Not a bad post for a brain that is in Coma Jaishree. Nice Gollu at you place !! Have fun

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    1. That was a quick comment Engram. Thanks for stepping in :)

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  2. That's a wonderful display of golu dolls from so many countries... cute and impressive!
    A very happy dusshera to you and your family! :)

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  3. Good and informative post. Never knew about all this. :P

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    1. Thanks Vinay. Glad that it gave you some new info.

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  4. Happy Vijayadhasami to you and your family Jaish.

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  5. Happy Vijayadhashami to you Jaish and to your family...

    For us Bongs its a sad sad day... that Maa Durga is returning back for a year :(

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  6. Hmm...Maa Durga stays with you throughout the year....Just that she wants only a few days dedicated to her and the rest spent living a righteous life :) Thanks for the comment dear.

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  7. Happy Vijayadhasami to you and your family, Jaish. Loved the Golu. :)

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    1. Thank you Akshay . My wishes to your family too

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  8. Despite sleeping brain cells, a good post :)

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  9. In my home also reading a few lines after pooja has been a practice since very long.

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    1. :) The belief is that its an auspicious day! Good to know that the practice is there in your home as well Rajesh.

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  10. A very sweet post and feels good to hear that you make effort to keep the traditions alive in Singapore, Jaishree:)

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  11. Very nice dolls. It is only when I came to the South that I've seen this tradition. Take care and hope all are well now.

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    1. Yeah, its there only in the SOuth. In fact I do not know if its practised outside of TamilNadu!

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    2. It is there in Bangalore too and in Hyderabad also there is a tradition of dolls. Navratilova was hilarious ;-)

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  12. Happy Dussehra!!! Hope kid is doing better now, and have a wonderful festive month!!

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    1. The kid got better but transferred his virus to daddy! :(

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  13. A very Happy Duessara to you too Jaish. Hope you had a good one. Now you need to rest for the next 10 days until Diwali :) Sweet post and sweet Golu set up.

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    1. Oh Yeah! Diwali is coming and this time its on my husband's bday! So twice the reason to celebrate!

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    2. My hubby is a scorpio too...11/11

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    3. Wow, I am a Scorpio too. Birthday is on 2/11, and Karvachauth falls on that day. Imagine fasting the entire day.

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    4. Oh Wow! A week to go, so since you have to fast that day, guess you can make up for that by starting to stuff yourself with goodies rt from today :)

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  14. I like your golu; it shows a wonderful fusion of the south-east and far east Asia!!

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    1. Thanks Roshni. Unintentional, but it ended up like that! :)

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  15. Very pretty golu!What i like about you is-you follow old festivals & customs with gusto!

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    1. Thank you so much Indu. Its basically fun. Thats how I look at it :)

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  16. Aaah. lovely 'Golu, Jayashree.

    Wish you a very Happy Dussehra.

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    1. Thanks a ton Anupam. Wish you the same. How is the Dusshera in Odissa? Same fervour as neighboring Bengal?

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  17. I love this tradition of Golu:)

    happy dussehra!!

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    1. Thanks for stepping in Renu. Happy Dusshera to you too :)

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  18. Beautiful Golu! I kept a miniature one too. Right on my puja table, away from the little one's curious fingers.

    A post on Vijayadashami is a good idea. I missed that. I am having a major brain freeze. Oh Jaish, what do I do?

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    1. Do post pics of the miniature Golu and dont worry about the brain freeze. We all have it. :)

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  19. ...learnt so many new things through this lovely post:) Thank you Jaish:)

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    1. Thanks a ton Amitji. Glad that I could share some info.

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  20. nice Golu ! My dad used to make us write "Hari Sri" on rice during Vijaydashami . Doing the same to my kids now :)

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    1. That's nice Ttt . Things that indicate that your little one is moving on to the next stage :)

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  21. Very beautiful golu, Jayshree. My neighbor decorates her dolls, and gives me a thamboolam with a red blouse-piece every year.... I am missing her this time. She has gone to US to visit her children..
    Enjoyed reading the blog...Enjoy~
    Vijaya Dashami Greetings to you and your family.

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    1. Thanks Panchali di . I keep wondering how this habit of giving blouse pieces came into existence . Maybe u need to give new clothes and blouse bits are affordable when the no is huge :)

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  22. Nice to know about how you celebrate Vijaydashmi. For us it's always been on a smaller scale just keeping books for Pooja and little kids who are ready to go to school have their 'Vidyarambam' on this day.
    I hope your little one is feeling better.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Divya...A sign that the little ones are moving on to the next stage rt? :)

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  23. Lovely post Jaish as usual. You are a wonderful writer and words flow effortlessly. Here you have described beautifully the tradition and the activities that go on with Vijayadasami. You have taken me back to my childhood days. Sundal indeed was and is one of my favorites. And I love watching the golu and the different types of dolls in different houses. It is great fun. And your golu seems fabulous. This, considering it is in not in India, makes it even more remarkable. Hope you had a great Vijayadasami. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Raj. Your comment made my day :)

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  24. Nice one. My wife and mother-in-law are extremely passionate about this tradition. Even my mother used to be. But she gave up when she had a son instead of daughter. Every year my wife and her mom add a new doll to the collection. This year they have apparently bought a vicious looking knight - i have only seen the photo. After the function apparently it is going to be gifted to me due to my interest in fantasy and medieval history. I have asked them to get a dinosaur next time.

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    1. Yes sometimes only people with daughters continue this tradition. A dinosaur ? Hopefully a miniature one :)

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  25. Very cute Golu and nice looking sundal too :)
    I have lovely childhood memories related to golu .. Getting decked up every evening,ganging up with friends and visiting houses.. Go look at the golu, sing, get sundal in each house and then gather at one common place to relish the day's collection :)

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    1. Its best when all the houses in a colony or street have a Golu. The fun simply cannot be described!Since I stayed outside TamilNadu(in Kerala) I did not get to enjoy Golu much during my childhood or teens. Its after my wedding that I really got a good chance to experience the fun.

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  26. Lovely Golu..I have always enjoyed this the most everytime I visit my Veena Teacher's place.

    Reminded me of my childhood when I used to participate in it too :)

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