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Celebrating womanhood

Celebrating womanhood
Highlights

This is celebration time for the Telugus of not only Telangana but also for those everywhere. Bathukamma is back. The colourful festival of flowers is not just any other festival as it essentially celebrates the life of a girl child. This is a festival celebrated with lowers of the land and is one the least polluting environmentally, unlike other festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi that have been esse

This is celebration time for the Telugus of not only Telangana but also for those everywhere. Bathukamma is back. The colourful festival of flowers is not just any other festival as it essentially celebrates the life of a girl child. This is a festival celebrated with lowers of the land and is one the least polluting environmentally, unlike other festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi that have been essentially reduced to environmental hazards by us.

Bathukamma festival which blesses the girl child with longevity, prosperity and happiness is fittingly celebrated during the Navratras, starting two days ahead and ending on Durga Ashtami. Thus, while others in the country celebrate Durga Puja on these nine days, people of Telangana celebrate the life of a girl child too along with that of the Omnipotent Mother.

Aesthetics of the festival apart, this could be hailed as a singularly secular and democratic festival of India as it does not fit into the regular framework of festivals in the true religious sense, thus inviting every household to sing and dance their way only to bond with nature.

The Bhakti quotient is dominated by the gregarious aspect of the festival that brings everyone together in the society only to bond them with a new friendship, cutting across religious and caste lines.

The sharing and caring attitude of the people comes to the fore and the resulting bonhomie leads to mirth and laughter throughout. One has to acknowledge that Bathukamma is the cultural identity of Telangana in particular and it is only right that people are celebrating it throughout the world today.

The festival is also real pro-poor and people-friendly one as it requires least of expenditure. Mother Nature provides all the ingredients required for making a Bathukamma – Tangedi Puvvu, Gunugu Puvvu etc – in abundance during this season.

Entire households come together and mothers, sisters and daughters join the festivities by arranging the floral patterns on the plates to be carried on heads. The lyrics of songs, essentially drawn from folk traditions, reflect the sweetness of relationships in the joint families apart from hailing the power of womanhood that makes life more meaningful.

"Panditlo Unnayi Uyyalo, Pagadaalu Maa Intlo Unnayi Uyyalo,...Ye Thalli Kannado Uyyalo..Bangaru Vadlaaye Uyyalo, Pattu Cheeraye Uyyalo"...The arrival of a girl child thus enriches the household, it says.

Take for example, the "Shukravaramu Uyyalo, Channeeti Jalakaalu Uyyalo" song which educates the youngsters about the flora around them – “Goranta Puvvulu, Beerayi Puvvulu, Chintaku, Maidaku..." It is also about the fun and frolic of the children who are entrusted with the job of collecting the flowers from the neighbourhood. The competing children run around and scale hillocks unmindful of the risks involved to become athletic, developing a new agility.

After celebrating the festival each day, the floral arrangements are immersed in the ponds and other water bodies available near one's place. Nature unto Nature. The sense of bonding with nature is yet another highlight of the celebrations.

Bathukamma has found its place of pride back in the Telangana State. Celebrate Bathukamma, respect womanhood and conserve nature. That is the message of Bathukamma!

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