Wednesday, April 15, 2015

HOW DID I CELEBRATE MY VISHU?

Vishu is an important cultural festivity in Kerala, the southern state that stands for coconut trees and the Indian version of “melting pot”. Yes, indeed, if you are looking for the right kind of cultural amalgam in India, we are the right sort of people to dig into. Eat us with some salad, and you can certainly learn a lot more about how much flexible the otherwise rigid and edgy customs and traditions that mark Indian tradition could get. In Kerala, you can get KFC to Shavarma, from beef to pork. All sorts of religions can be found here, and all sorts of customs, including “everything”.

Image Courtesy: www.narayanalayam.org
Although there are slight variations in the way people respond to religious incidents and issues of conversion, relatively peaceful Kerala is a contributor to the modern Indian image of a highly educated and free democracy. Vishu has its impact beyond the unbreakable walls of religion and caste system. Crackers, fireworks, and non-vegetarian meals add to the total package of Vishu. While the widely accepted notion stays that Vishu is an agricultural festival, a lot of religious sentiments are connected with how and why Vishu is celebrated. The Hindu god Krishna is associated with Vishu and often, in households his statues and idols are kept along with the Vishu-kani or the decorated Vishu platters.

Although the whole society takes several different routes to reach the summit of excitement during Vishu, I often stick to my own personal karma during the days of festivities. Although Vishu is celebrated only on a single day, the celebrations begin from a week before. Usually Vishu comes in April and that puts the festivity right in the start of the summer holidays. Perhaps, this is the factor that prompts me to pursue my karma of being a lazy butt unflinchingly. I would like you to take a look at what I had written in April 2014 on Vishu in The Indian Commentator. That was Vishu special post, by the way. I will paste it below for you convenience.

You can decide why I would like to spend my holidays the way I do. Do you really think I am lazy? There is more that you may learn about Vishu, Baisakhi, and Rongali Bihu—celebrations that come forth at the same time of the year.  
Image Courtesy: Google

Baisakhi, Rongali Bihu, and Vishu
You might not even know what these words mean. Baisakhi, Rongali Bihu and Vishu. These are names given to New Year and thanksgiving festivals in India. It’s both new-year and thanksgiving. Here is a culture that still, through its deeply engraved symbolic rituals, shows gratitude to nature. It may not be as grandeur as it sounds, though. The fireworks used just to make these celebrations unforgettable, causes serious health hazards and environmental impacts. No one seems to care about that anyway.

Here is a peaceful way that I suggest in order to make the celebration unforgettable. Take books in your hands, read.
Image Courtesy: Google

So what do you think after reading it? Yes, indeed, if you could get a real good book, any firecracker wouldn’t hold a chance against the thrill and joy it may provide the reader.  

I wish you all a very happy Vishu, Baisakhi, and Rongali Bihu!           
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