How would you describe the.......Poll for 15th Oct 2006 to 21st Oct 2006

Discussion in 'Weekly Quick Polls' started by Laxmi, Oct 15, 2006.

How would you describe the atmosphere of your family's Diwali celebrations?

  1. Children running around

    1 vote(s)
    4.3%
  2. All the family members sitting in front of Television

    1 vote(s)
    4.3%
  3. Cooking and eating

    6 vote(s)
    26.1%
  4. Family time - receiving guests and relatives

    1 vote(s)
    4.3%
  5. All the above

    14 vote(s)
    60.9%
  1. Laxmi

    Laxmi Administrator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello ladies,
    Diwali preperations are going in full swing. Nowadays we do feel that Diwali is not as special as it used to be in our childhood days.
    In our childhood we used to have the celebrations going on for more than a week. Kids used to be busy getting crackers and ladies busy preparing Diwali pakshanam.
    These days with skyrocketing prices of crackers and so much of awareness about the hazards of crackers on the environment, not much of hype about lighting crackers and fireworks.
    Also most of the ladies have forgot the art of getting together for making the Diwali pakshanam and get the ready made packets from sweet stalls.
    People of all generations are just glued to Television special programmes forgetting the art of visiting the relatives and receiving them.

    All this apart this week's poll is about how do you describe the atmosphere of your family's Diwali celebrations.
     
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  2. Ushakrishnan64

    Ushakrishnan64 Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Laxmi,
    The Diwali festive mood is on. Much of our customs & traditions are still alive. My entire family including my 11 year old son participate in preparing Diwali Bakshanam. Diwali eve is celebrated in my house with my brothers' family and then we go over to my brother's house for Diwali Gangasnanam. So, we have a lot of fun minus crackers.
    Of course, we all sit and watch Diwali special programmes mucnhing the Diwali mixture & sweets.:clap.

    Regards
    USHA
     
  3. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    Diwali celebrations

    Nothing can beat the celebrations during our childhood in India. My parents always planned ahead and booked train tickets to go to our village in Thanjavur. We would go two three days ahead, and our cousins would follow suit. My grandmother, my mother and other aunts would jointly make mixture, thenguzhal, ribbon pakoda, and gajar halwa, badushah, laddoo and we children had a gala time bursting crackers and competing with our neighbours to see which house had the maximum number of papers left over from bursting the crackers. In the afternoon, the ladies especially, take pride in showing my grandmother what sarees they bought( mysore silk, binny silk, kanchi cotton etc), and all of our families each buy a saree for my grandmother and veshti/chattai for my grandfather.

    Diwali day will start at 3.00 AM. Thatha will play the radio loud "Vaishnavo Janatho/Kousalya Supraja Rama" on Trichy AIR, to wake us all up, and Patti will smear gingelly oil heated with pepper and other herbs (I don't remember the names of the herbs, maybe murungai keerai and curry leaves) on our heads. We would then line up in front of the well, one of the males will draw water, and another will have water boiling in a big "aduppu", all of us were supposed to take mix the two waters and have bath in the cold weather(half the time it would be drizzling during Diwali). The ladies will be busy making idlies, bajji and payasam in the pump stove and the "Veragu" aduppu.

    Then we come in, wrapped in new towels (Everything has to be new on Diwali, towels, clothes and even undies ;-), and we get our new clothes from Patti and Thatha, change in the room where "nellu mootai" would be stored. Then we come and do Namaskarams to our Thatha Patti, uncles aunts, and parents and Patti give vethalai pakku rolled in something to eat and of course the all famous Deepavali legiyam. We just can't wait to get out and burst the crackers. Then the competition starts from Lakshmi vedi, nooru sara vedi, ayiram sara vedi, Bhus vanam, Chakram. Then we have to be forced inside the house and made to have breakfast and the bakshanams. Then we are asked to go out, this time with bakshanams packed for other people in our village and any elder comes, we fall at their feet and get vasool ;-) and be on time at the temple in the corner of the agraharam, watch Deeparadhana and collect prasadam, burst few more crackers on the way and head home. In the meanwhile, all the kids plan for a bonfire ( I think it used to be called Songa panai, please correct me if I am wrong) with all the left over cracker papers so they clean up the street. We would have a grand lunch ( usually kadalai paruppu payasam, Poli (my grandmom used to love poli, so her DILs will compete to win her admiration) , aloo curry, kathirikkai rasavangi (if it is Amavasya) or vengaya sambhar (if not amavasya), kosmalli, thayir pachidi, avial, and thayir on banana leaves.

    Then comes the afternoon siesta and also the Diwali blues start. (This is kinda similar to the monday morning blues), we used to hate to leave the village and get back to school. The hallmark of the evening is usually the bonfire and the next day, our grandfather got the bullock carts ready to take us to the railway station.

    Later as my grandparents passed away, we had to be content with celebrating it in our own homes, though we still had the tradition of visiting elders and offer our namaskarams in between watching the TV programs.

    Now, to cut a long story short, I am lucky to be in a very nice Indian community in US. We have over 50% Indian families, and we all decorate our homes with serial bulbs, and some of our north Indian friends light diyas starting from tomorrow. Usually, we exchange sweets and savouries and if Diwali falls on a weekday, we usually celebrate it as a community on the following saturday by gathering in one of our houses, exchange sweets and savouries and dress up in our traditional Indian sarees and the men in Pyjama Kurta. In the evening, we all go to a temple (about 50 miles away) in our respective cars and have the prasad and attend the Mahalakshmi /Kubera Puja. We usually buy sparklers during July 4th and light them on Diwali day with the children. So this saturday, we are going to do the same.

    I am not as expressive as our ChitVish or Varalotti is, but I just feel nostalgic every Diwali, and can't help to think how happy we were with minimum comforts. My grandparents had no gas connection in the village, no taps, no separate rooms for changing, but still life was wonderful and those Diwali days spent with grandparents were the best I have ever celebrated.

    I wish all the ILites a very Happy Diwali!!
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Was pure pleasure Vidya:)

    Dear Vidya,

    That was a wonderful description. It sounded like pure bliss. You have written so well and it was a joy to read. The account of the bakshanams and other goodies prepared so joyfully by your family was heavenly and you sure are a lucky girl to have experienced such happy moments. Thanks for sharing with us.
    I am also glad to hear that you have such a wonderful time even in Philly. Good for you. It is true that the younger Indians today in US are nurturing all the Indian festivities and culture they bring from homeland. It is really praiseworthy. Will you be going to Bridgewater temple on Saturday?
    It has been sometime since we inter-acted with each other and this is a nice time to catch up.
    Have a lovely Deepawali.

    L, Kamla
     
  5. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My Deepawali!

    There were times in my life that I did not even know when Deepawali was, when it came and when it went! Those were the early years of my life abroad. Not so many Indians around and no dial calls to India and- computers...what are they?:)
    But when I had my children, I was adamant about celebrating atleast one Indian festival with flourish and what better to celebrate than Deepawali?
    I made it a point to buy new clothes for all of us, even if only a T-shirt, took care to see everyone had a 'Gangasnanam'(!), made some delicacies and did a pooja and burnt some sparklers. I also used to invite our close European friends with their kids and dished out a pure vegetarian meal to them and even gave them haldi-kumkum with a small momento to take home. They too enjoyed it immensely and soon leanrt to bring 'thalis' decorated with candles and flowers. A couple of ladies even wore saris!
    In the US, it is no big deal. There are so many Indians here and I am not really missing out on the festivities. Ofcourse, everyone celebrates it here according their own ability and enthusiasm.
    I take this opportunity to wish all my IL'ites a Happy and Lovely Deepawali.

    L, Kamla
     
  6. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    sweet memories..

    Dear Vidya,
    It was so nice to read, your childhood memories..Even though I am not familiar with the Tamil words , felt very interesting...and reached the village in Thanjavur.
    thanks for sharing..
     
  7. Laxmi

    Laxmi Administrator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    Diwali memories

    Hi Vidhya,
    Thanks for sharing your unforgettable childhood memories about Diwali.
    Really liked your nostalgic trip to Thanjavur.

    Kamala nice to hear about your Diwali celebrations with your European friends. Of course in your own way, you have taken the Hindu traditions abroad to foreigners.

    My childhood Diwali also was full of fun and get together with our grand parents and uncles and aunts and cousins. We all used to book tickets in bulk and would go for the Diwali release movie on the same day.

    Nowadays, I am very sentimental about celebrating Diwali in our house, so we do celebrate right here in Chennai. I do decorate the whole house with flowers, diyas and lights the previopus day night. On diwali time is spent shuttling between kitchen and the drawing room catching a glimpse of the so called special programmes. Usually in the evenings after pooja all our apartment friends gather down for sparkling flower pots, changu chakkram. Usualy hubby and kids do all the vedis in the morning.

    Hello ladies, please join to tell us about your unforgettable Diwalis.
     
  8. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    My mind goes back to childhood

    Dear friends,
    First of all let me wish all my IL friends a very happy deepavali and many more to come. Vidya, I liked your warm descriptuon of a typical tamilnadu deepavali. I really did live through your experiences and it did bring memoriesof my childhood with grandparentsand the big joint family. May be it is because of the elders'togetherness we still continue to be closeknit and are close toall our immediate relativesalthough we celebrate deepavali independently.Kamla I enjoyed reading about your celebrations abroad.
    Regards,
     
  9. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks Kamla/Meenu/Safa/LAxmi for your responses. It was nice to read about your Diwali festivities too.

    Kamla, we usually go to Stroutsburg Sringeri Mutt for the Deepa Puja, but as a community we go to the Delaware temple, since it is just 45 minutes away.

    Visit http://www.svbf.org for the festivities in the Sringeri Mutt. The priest is so well versed in our scriptures and it is a delight to watch and hear him chant the Lalitha Sahasranamam and help the ladies perform the laksharchana for the lamps. If possible please do go this year. It is about 2 hours drive into the Pocono mountains near the Mountain Springs Lake Resort. There is also Saylorsburg 6 miles away from Stroutsburg, where ArshaVidya Gurukulam is situated. There is a beautiful Dakshinamurthy temple, and they have Gita discourses and bhajans. Their website is http://www.arshavidya.org

    Regards
    Vidya
     
  10. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Hai,
    It was so good to know about your deepavali, Vidya. It was very enjoyable with such big, joint families.
    Kerala is the only state (I think) in India which does not celebrate Deepavali- their main festials are Vishu in April and Onam in Aug-Sep.
    I too lived in a big joint family in Trivandrum . Luckily we lived in a Tamil community and so celebrated this festival so well.
    In those days, new dress was bought only of Deepavali as it was compulsory. My mother somehow managed to get us all new clothes- finance was so scarce. She always makes wheat halwa and mixture for Deepavali, even now. And it was a great occasion when we got to eat breakfast of idlis and coconut chutney. In the 60s and 70s children were not allowed to eat tiffin, only rice for them. So we just gobbled down soft idlies, after cracking the vedis. My brothers never game me crackers, saying I am a girl and I used to fight with them. And the most important aspect, the new dress never arrived from the tailor in time. Somebody has to go and sit with him to get it till late night on the eve of the festival. Mostly the buttons were not stitched.
    When I ws in my teens, we moved to our own house and the colony was a very good place. We competed with each other to see whose dress was best. I used to plan and stitch mine and my sisters dresses and they used to stand out. All other bought readymade or got it made from the tailor. The tailor would not try new patterns and ready made was not so good like it is today. So our dresses would be DESIGNERWEAR. And in the afternoon, we sisters (4 of us) would try the dress of others one by one. What fun it used to be!
    And I would carry a big load of sweets and savouries for my Malayalee classmates the next day.
    But now, we buy new dresses whenever we feel like and make and eat sweets anyday. So I think the charm has diminished. And the awareness about polluting our environment also dampens our interest to burst crackers.
    A HAPPY DEEPAVALI TO ALL.
     

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