Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thiruvathirakali: group dance by women, Kerala

This video shows a group dance Thiruvathirakali performed by women in Kerala. It is mostly performed as a ritual dance during festivals. Read more about Thiruvathirakali...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fireworks by Association of Indians in America

Karaga dance during Deepavali

Balance -- Top to Bottom, originally uploaded by Baskhar.

Karagam folk dance (Karaga) is very popular in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh (Garagalu) and Karnataka (Karaga).

Karaga originated as a ritual dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of rain and the protector from diseases such as small pox and cholera, according to some legends.

Karaga dancers perform various acrobatic feats accompanied by a number of musical instruments like Thavil, Nadaswaram, Muni, Udukkai, Pambai, etc.

Thiruvalluvar statue, view from Vivekananda Rock Memorial

This is the giant Thiruvalluvar statue on a rock a little off from the seashore at Kanyakumari in the southern most part of subcontinental India. This is a view from the Vivekanandar Rock Memorial and temple built on another rock in the sea. The southern most tip of mainland India can be seen towards the right of the photo. Photo uploaded to Flickr.com by Baskhar on 8 Sep 2007.

Chennai night skyline - Diwali 2008

Diwali 2008 Chennai India, originally uploaded by junglejim67.

Hyderabad: Girls lighting Diwali lights

Diwali flower-seller in New Delhi

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Durga Puja in India and some other countries

Photo 1: (L-R) Lord Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Durga, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Kartikeya decorated for the 2009 Durga Puja celebrations in Cologne, Germany. Their cropped individual photos in the order of their appearance in the photo are below.

Photo 2: Lord Ganesha

Photo 3: Goddess Lakshmi

Photo 4: Goddess Durga

Photo 5: Goddess Saraswati

Photo 6: Lord Kartikeya (Lord Murugan)

Durga Puja, celebrated about a fortnight ago, brought in reports of celebrations in the rest of the world. So, in retrospect, here are some short notes, apart from the photos above.

Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. The date of the celebrations is set according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Durga Puja also includes the worship of Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswati and Kartikeya.

In India, Durga Puja is celebrated on a large scale mainly in the States of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura. It is also celebrated in other states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa and other parts of India where Goddess Durga is worshipped.

Outside India, Durga Puja is celebrated by the Indian diaspora residing in different parts of the world, and others interested in Indian traditions and culture. Some of celebrations of Durga Puja outside India are reported from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Singapore and Kuwait, among others. In the U.K., recently, the immersion of the Durga idol has been permitted in the Thames River for the Durga Puja festival held in London.

In Germany, Durga Puja is celebrated along with Bhog distribution and Anjali in several cities including Cologne (Köln), Berlin, Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main), Stuttgart, and Munich (München). Durga Puja in Cologne has become one of the most outstanding festivals compared to celebrations in other centers in Germany.

For the participants in the Cologne Durga Pooja celebrations, it is not only an occasion to worship Goddess Durga and other deities, but it also an event to nurture Indian culture, to refresh old memories, and an occasion to renew personal and family contacts. Various cultural events such as dance programs, music, etc. are also held during the celebrations. The Cologne Durga Puja also attracts a large number of Indians living in the neighboring countries such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

Nepal, with a predominantly majority Hindu population, and Bangladesh, with the second largest Hindu population in the world, celebrate Durga Puja on a grand scale.

In Singapore, the Bengali Association of Singapore (BAS) celebrates Durga Puja with Bhog distribution and Anjali along with cultural programs.

Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha

Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha is worshipped during Ganesh Festival in Lalbaug, Mumbai, India. Ganesha is widely worshiped across India as the remover of obstacles.

The market place at Peru Chawl, where the local fishermen and vendors used to sit in the open place for selling their wares, was shut down in 1932. The affected fishermen and vendors prayed to Lord Ganesha for a permanent place for their market. The landlord Rajabai Tayyabali donated a plot of land for construction of a market, which is the present Lalbaug Market. On fulfillment of their wish, the fishermen and the traders installed the Ganesha Idol on 12.09.1934. Since that day, Lord Ganesha, known as Lalbaugcha Raja, has become popular for fulfillment of the wishes of the devotees.