Tag Archives: culture

Lok Rang — Folk Dance Festival

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Lok Rang — Folk Dance Festival

 

Namascar Everyone!

As I told you there is no ease to celebrations here in Jaipur.  Sweet winters have knocked on the doors of the city and thus begin the season of exhibitions.  Starting from October and resting sometime in January, Jaipur will see  a series Handicraft exhibitions and cultural fests.  Just enough to keep the Jaipurwalas and the tourists busy all winter.   Check this link below for the glimpse of Lok Rang the Folk Dance Festival 2012 that commemorated day before yesterday at The Jawahar Kala Kendra, our local cultural center.

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No no this is no Halloween party, these artists are dressed in different mythological characters.  Here in India people know the characters by the way they are dressed.   Every mythological character has distinctive dressing style and it remains same in every story (almost thousand).  Well they  supposedly wore Divya Vastra  that is the divine clothing (doesn’t require dry-cleaning!!)

These artists are depicting some or the other divinity.   It would be too early right now to tell their mythological names and their respective stories.  But don’t worry will be sharing more with different contexts.

Its been 19 years since this festival started.  A nine-day long celebration comprising of evening performances by folk dancers from all over India, art & craft bazaar (market) and most of all lovely regional food stalls.

The place, Jawahar Kala Kendra has a model village with rural ambiance.  It is a hub for folk culture, Indian art, theater, exhibitions.  You’ll find exquisite handicrafts, local jewellery, furniture, paintings, traditional clothing, local toys.

For more photographs of the first day of the Dance Festival click the link below.

Lokrang-2012

I will be back with fresh photos and news from the festival soon.

Till then Namascar.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Happy Day!

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Durga!! Durga!!

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Durga!! Durga!!

Durga! Durga!

Indian Exclamation (particularly Bengali) of saying O My God.! Though all Indians swear their words with God, but I just love the way a Bengali says–Durga Durga.  It sounds like–Dugga! Dugga!.

Rich Red–Color of strength..

I love the richness of culture that the people of my country bring in together.
There are characters (millions) each unique, with their own values, their views, their own feelings & expression.

People fill a land with vibrations.  An old Indian saying is, “Feelings make a stone turn into  God”. Meaning, a place of worship is sacred because of the feelings that are attached to it..

Day before yesterday was the last day for Navratri and fortunately I got the opportunity to visit the Puja Pandal  i.e. the community celebration of Bengali Hindus to worship Goddess Durga.  The first thing that hits when you enter an Indian worship place is ‘smell’.  The strong smell of Dhoop (a complex mixture of powdered wood with Indian sacred plants) enters yours nostrils and reach deep in.. It was all smoky, dense and mystical.

Bengali Celebrations are quite musical (well so are most of the other Indian celebrations) .  The devotees were tapping their feet and swaying in the loud, soul-churning music of Dhol and Kartaal.  

swaying crowd

It started with slow beats and kept on rising, rising..

Men & women were dancing.  Even the priest was matching the beat while swaying the  Diya (fire lamp) in circular motion to the Deities.

I felt like dancing myself.  Difficult to control a beat so powerful.  Unfortunately, I was not carrying my camera and thus I missed some beautiful shots.

It was almost a forty minute long puja. Amazing I must say.  An experience must to have.  I  always believed that if we don’t feel religious we shouldn’t do all these rituals.  But to experience the spiritual aspect of a thing, we need to let go of ourselves with the swing.

Forgetting of who you are and what you are doing at the present moment lets your soul  Feel.

With this blog I am trying to do the same. I am closing my eyes to the world that my eyes see and let my soul perceive..

Some may feel I am  overly in love with my surrounding. But that is what I am.

Loving the city that I once wanted to leave and settle elsewhere.

Loving the celebrations that I used to avoid as a teenager.

Loving everything that I missed out seeing and experiencing while being too busy becoming a person.

Good Day to All!!

Confusions in the middle of festivals..

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Confusions in the middle of festivals..

Festivities are never at ease in India.
Festival holidays are much more than the total number of Sundays in a YEAR.

Ya! You are reading right..

Now as the Navaratri begins, quite a number of communities are involved in making preparations for upcoming religious ceremonies.

Nava-ratri are literally two words–first nava which is a Sanskrit word that means NINE and ratri means NIGHTS.

Nine Nights of Puja (rituals) and Celebrations. Though the Deity that is worshiped is same Devi Durga (Goddess of Power), but it takes different celebration in different communities and groups.

For the Gujrati Community Navaratri means Garba (Traditional Dance festival); for Bengali Community the Durga Puja is all the most important; for Punjabi Community nine day Sthapana (bringing the idol home and doing the rituals) of the Goddess.  Same is for Jaipur, for nine whole days the Goddess is worshiped in almost every hindu household. On the ninth day a feast is prepared and nine girls that symbolically represent the Nav-Rupa (nine-forms) of the Goddess are invited and offered food and gifts.

It is much more confusing to be there in the middle of these festivals and almost COMPULSORY celebrations, than what I’ve tried to write above.

Honestly, the celebration fever here is so high and so infectious that I bet if anyone can resist..  This is the time that the city witnesses the most heavy tourist traffic.

The markets are going colorful.

The houses are repainted.

The temples are being decorated.

The deities are smiling.

The ladies are busy making traditional festival sweets & savories.

The news papers and magazines are trying to compile best recipes for the festive season.

Everyone seems necessarily happy.

Well, the list is tooooo long. I can’t write in one post, look for my upcoming posts.  Also I’ll be trying to bring some pics of city’s celebrations colors.  As India is nothing without its colors and surely nothing without its CELEBRATIONS…..

Have a Happy Day!

Shraada and the food for the departed Souls..

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Shraada and the food for the departed Souls..

Greetings Everyone!  Namaste

This time of the year is significant for Indian Hindu Community in many ways.  The fifteen day long Shraada Paksha is ending and Navratra is to begin with the next new moon.

The Hindu Calender is different from the World Calender.  It varies and has a complex system to determine the days of different occasions, festivals, etc.

Shraada Paksha are the days to remember the family members who have passed away and offer traditional delicacies to the spirit world.   The meals are strictly vegetarian and special.  Though, we keep in mind some personal favorites of the person whom we are remembering, but major part of the menu is common in every household.  It is then first offered to a Brahmin (usually a temple priest) and then shared amongst the family members.Though this is not a complete 'Thali' as it lacks a few more delicacies, but this is picture of simplicity in our food. .

Interestingly, a share of the meal is offered to a crow, as Indian Mythology states that after death the human soul first gets into the life of a crow.

And so this not-so-happy looking and not-much loved bird get his day and his share of royal treatment.  Surely for 15 full days in a year!!

But the best part is to find a CROW and make him have his meal!! As they seem to be holidaying in some unknown place-where men are not running behind their lives to have PURIES.

Though,we all enjoy these days as this is not a mourning time.  But yes it is not considered auspicious time for anything: be it shopping, be it partying, be it MARRYING, or be it starting a NEW VENTURE.

Well, Well, Well!!!

Don’t worry, at least there is one good thing.

FOOD.

So enjoy!

Have a Great Sunday!