Thursday, January 17, 2008

The customs of the West and the East

In the month of April a religious festival is being conducted yearly in Tamil Nadu state of India. It
is called 'Mariamman Panguni Pongal.' During this festival the Goddess, Sri Muthumariamman (of Aruppukottai) is worshipped with much devotion and fervor. Children too exhibit their devotion towards the Goddess: they smear their body and face in black and white spots of soot and lime. Then they go in groups to all the houses in their town reciting a song that overwhelms the occupants with devotion to the Goddess. They end the song with a request to give coins to buy materials and propitiate the Goddess at Her temple. If they are not 'treated' with the coins, they go on repeating the song refusing to move away - the 'trick' to get their 'treat'! Yes, it is akin to the 'Trick- or- Treat' played by the children in USA during the fun festival, Halloween Day!
Here in Tamil Nadu, a newly built house has always a white pumpkin painted with a face of a demon and hung in its portico - to ward off the 'evil spirits' and the 'evil eye', that too reminds the Halloween
These customs still linger on, though modified in form and content, carried over from continent to continent for ages!

1 comment:

h e m a n t h said...

Great one. There are too many resemblances. It wud be far interesting to explore the connections...

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