Gabfest: And Thereby Hangs A Tail

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Cimorene, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,904
    Likes Received:
    21,205
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    I read an article that talks about legends surrounding Avvayar Biography. She lived in souther parts of India. She was born to a Brahmin called Bhagavan and his untouchable wife called Adi. A poet passing by noticed the abandoned child and took her under his care. From the age of four, she was able to complete a complicated verse. She was devoted to Lord Ganesha.

    It is true there are more than one reference to Avvaiyar in different ages. One is during the period PAri and athikamAn during whose period she wrote 59 poems in PuRanAnURu. The other Avvaiyar was contemporary of Kampan and ottak KUtthar. Athisoodi, Konraiventhan, Nalvahi, etc. are credited to her.

    There is no reference available to Avvaiyar living at the time of Lord Murugha moving to Pazhani after losing the mango fruits to Ganesha. This must be a stretch of imagination. There is also another story of her being so beautiful at her young age, there were so many men who were after her. She liked to dedicate her life for Tamil literature and worship of Lord Ganesha and hence asked Ganesha to convert her into a person of old age.
     
  2. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    In the previous discussion context of Navalan Theevu and Naval fruit, when you mentioned Avvaiyar's place of living place is confirmed - I mistook somewhere in the fictional Kumari Kandam and that it is now conformable. Given there are many Avvais I wondered whom you might have meant and their possible connections to Kumari Kandam (if there will be any)......the stretch of my imagination, lol. :sweatsmile::tearsofjoy:

    Appreciate the inputs, thank you. :innocent:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021 at 5:17 AM
    Viswamitra likes this.
  3. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
  4. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Staff Member Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,950
    Likes Received:
    12,331
    Trophy Points:
    445
    Gender:
    Female
    Happy Thanksgiving! That was unexpectedly sweet. Some of the descriptions are so perfectly put! : )

    “The person on the internet who feels like they are your friend because they’ve been following you for a decade now and you two engage each other online and they just watched that TV show you wouldn’t stop tweeting about, and every now and then you make them laugh out of the blue and those laughs really help them get through the day.

    This person has mentioned you to their husband several times this week, and he just nods even though he doesn’t understand, how could he possibly understand?”
     
    Kohvachn and Viswamitra like this.
  5. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    I came across a discussion on a forum about how Thanksgiving is in the middle of two big celebrations - Halloween and Christmas yet is devoid of all the fanfare and commercialization. Just have to sit down and enjoy a nice meal with family and friends, share warmth and love. Brings to my mind, "Pournami Nila Soru" - an informal dinner tradition where we all gather on the terrace on a full moon night. Kalandha Sadham (rice mixed with curry and veggies) or Paal Soru (rice with milk) may be prepared (either freshly or from leftovers of the day). Paati would roll the rice into balls and put one for each person in their hands (and in turns) until all the food is emptied, narrating folklores or stories from Epics or about days of her life. The practice I understand has its roots in the Tamil festival of Chitra Pournami. People in villages would come in huge numbers from different areas to watch temple events and other cultural performances, stay for the night by the rivers, share meals they brought from home with others - rejoicing food and company under the full moon. In urban communities, this idea has been minimilized to terrace dinners - quiet and intimate affairs with a close group of family and friends. I have many funny and fond memories of Pournami Nila Soru nights.

    Think observing any family traditions (beyond as an excuse to enjoy good food and company) serves as a medium for healthy socializing and creates "shared food memories" - that are our stories, in turn, to tell across generations over dinners. And as each generation may add their part of history, traditions may only get richer over time.

    I'm glad you had a memorable day :beer-toast1: (that is all I thought to say but got carried away)! :laughing::tongueout: Lol.
     
    Viswamitra and Gauri03 like this.
  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,904
    Likes Received:
    21,205
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    @Kohvachn,

    I remember those Neelachoru nights during Chitra Pournami days. We used to visit my maternal grandmother's village in Thanjavur District for summar holidays and she will organize that Neelachoru for all her grandchildren. Sometimes, we do it in front of the house in the street and other times, we used to go near the Temple pond to have this special meal watching the full moon. In a few years, we have travelled in a bullock cart to go to the nearby town where the festival is celebrated in a Temple. We used to sit around Theppakulam with other families and have this mixed rice and vegetable or Sambar rice. It is also an opportunity to watch a fully-decorated boat in which Utsavar of the local temple go around in Theppakulam. Those days we were not shying away from the crowd and only rule is every child should be accompanied by adult if they were to move out of where the family is seated for any reason. We were crazy to buy anything and everything that sells in Thiruvizha.

    My apologies for interrupting your discussion with @Gauri03.
     
    Kohvachn and Gauri03 like this.
  7. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Staff Member Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,950
    Likes Received:
    12,331
    Trophy Points:
    445
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanksgiving day itself is a lovely family-focused celebration, my favorite among all American holidays. However like all things American, it sadly isn’t devoid of commercialization. It is the precursor to ‘Black Friday’ — an entire day dedicated to consumerism. You might have seen grainy store videos of people pushing and shoving, even trampling others to make their way into Walmarts to be the first to grab a heavily discounted television or laptop. Things reached a nadir a few years ago when stores began starting ‘Black Friday’ sales on Thursday evenings, right after the Thanksgiving dinner. It put off a lot of people and caused a backlash of sorts against stores that made their employees work on Thanksgiving day. As a result some stores changed course to stay closed on Thanksgiving and give their employees the day off. Personally I made a conscious choice not to shop on Black Friday. The discounts are largely a sham. Most products are manufactured exclusively for thanksgiving sales and are of cheaper quality to begin with. In recent years the Saturday after Thanksgiving has become recognized as ‘small-business Saturday’ to encourage people to shop at local mom ‘n pop stores and support their community. Now that’s a worthy cause that I can get behind.
     
    Kohvachn and Viswamitra like this.
  8. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Staff Member Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,950
    Likes Received:
    12,331
    Trophy Points:
    445
    Gender:
    Female
    @Kohvachn and @Viswamitra

    Thanks for sharing about this lovely tradition! A grandmother feeding her grandchildren and telling tales of yore is such an endearing image. I can picture the wide-eyed grandchildren waiting their turn like little birdies. : ) Considering how many of our traditions revolve around food it is surprising that we didn't develop a thanksgiving type of celebration. We cook elaborate meals and spend a great deal of time in serving and eating, but we don't do it together. Children are fed, the men-folk are fed and then the women take their turn. The Western style communal meals where young and old sit together to talk, eat, and drink at one table is something we don't see in Indian celebrations. I think the strict segregation of men and women and the hierarchical family structure precluded the possibility of multiple generations sitting down together for a meal. Up until a couple of decades ago it was unthinkable for a DIL to sit at the same table as her FIL. Another factor could be the nature of Indian meals which require some foods to be served as they are prepared, like dosas or chapatis, which meant at least some of the women had to remain trapped in the kitchen until a majority of the family had eaten. Aside from wealthy families with dedicated cooks this was probably true of the large majority of Indian households. At least that was my experience growing up.
     
    Kohvachn and Viswamitra like this.
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,904
    Likes Received:
    21,205
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Every major celebration nationwide always bring the opportunity to promote consumerism. India is no exception to the rule. During Deepavali, almost all major retail outlets begin their competitive pitch to attract people to buy garments. So many fire crackers shops open up during that time knowing fully well it is seasonal.
    Navarathri is no different. It is 9 days of celebration. All the doll shops review their business strategy and bring new dolls that people can display in their Golu. The young girls get introduced to silk during Navarathri so that they can wear them and demonstrate their singing and dancing skills with the neighbors. During both these festivals, neighbors do visit each other and some of them take blessings from the elders. Giving Turmeric paste and Kumkum to the ladies visiting the house is considered auspicious. All of these festivals are primarily an opportunity to interact with the society. My mother and I used to visit the neighboring houses to distribute sweets during Deepavali and invite ladies to participate reciting something in our house when we celebrate Navaratri.

    Akshya Tritiya is now effectively used by retailers to cajol the consumers to buy gold ornaments on that day. Frankly, Akshaya means anything that is endless or forever and hence Akshaya Tritiya is believed to bring good luck. Frankly, old tradition is to do puja, japa and yajna chanting prayers dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Ganesha or the household deity. Some pay respect to the ancesters on that day seeking their blessings for good luck. Recently, they have introduced Valentine Day as a major opportunity to promote consumerism as well even though such a tradition never existed in India.
     
    Gauri03 likes this.
  10. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Sounds very much like the stories my paati and mother would share from their days of life. Growing up in Chennai meant celebrations were often within closed walls and with few people (like cooker Pongal and terrace Nila Soru). I miss the broader food experiences my mother/grandmother had. On a different note, even after their/our years, these collective memories around food will live on through generations being passed on and inherited (just like traditions and recipes will be). People and places associated with food, the nostalgic journey the stories may take us through - all that maketh any family's heritage unique, dense, and interesting I believe. : ) Thank you for sharing yours, that was a sweet recollection. Enjoyed reading! :beer-toast1:
     
    Viswamitra likes this.

Share This Page