'Aati' comes alive in Pilikula

'Rituals will gain value when attempts are made to understand'

Deputy Mayor Rajani Dugganna, DIET Principal Philomena Lobo,  Pilikula Nisargadhama Executive Director J R Lobo and Tulu Sahithya Academy President Dr Palthadi Ramakrishna Achar playing  Chennamane at ‘Aatid onji dina’ programme.

Inaugurating the programme, Academy President Dr Palthadi Ramakrishna Achar said all the systems and rituals that have been passed on to this generation by the ancestors have strong reason, meaning and scientific foundation to it.

The rituals and celebrations will gain value only when attempts are made to understand the meaning and reasons behind such rituals.

Explaining the significance of Aati in three categories, he said that Aati affected people in terms of availability of food stuff, illness and fear.

He said that it is a belief that Aati is the period of transition from rainy to summer and the Tuluvas believe that end of Aati means beginning of ‘Aregala’ (summer).

 Hence, Aati season is either too hot or it rains heavily keeping people indoors.
“Since Aati is marked with heavy rains, our ancestors use to gather food stuff for four months of ‘Mariyala’ (rainy season). But since gathering food stuff in large quantity was not possible for poorer people, they used to go on look out for eatables in the vicinity,” Dr Palthadi said and added that it evolved a range of typical Aati delicacies.

Since the rains used to affect the health of the people making them prone to various disease, the food eaten during this period too had some medicinal value in it.

“The bitter syrup prepared from the liquid tapped out of ‘devil tree’ barks (Paale mara), which is drank during Aati Amavasya, is said to have the power to ward off health problems till the next Aati,” he said.

Further, the belief goes that since rains during aati used to bring about widespread
damage to lives, livestock and property, the people lived under uncertainty and fear.

To ward off their fear, they shaped a channel to get rid of their fear and this catharsis led to the popular belief that ‘Aati Kalanja’ takes away the bad, obnoxious and unpleasant things from the lives of the people.

Writer Bola Chittharanjandas Shetty presided over the programme, while Pilikula Nisargadhama Executive Director J R Lobo, DIET Principal Philomena Lobo, Deputy Mayor Rajani Dugganna, Dakshina Kannada District Working Journalists Association President Harsha, AIR Mangalore Director Dr Shivananda Bekal, Okkuta President Vijayalakshmi Shetty among others were present on the occasion.

Food, fun and frolic

The programme which is usually held at Academy Chavadi every year was organised in a grand scale at Guththu Mane in Pilikula, incorporating new ideas.  With the ‘paddana’ narrating life story of ‘Siri’ on the background, an exhibition displaying antique commodities linked to Tuluva culture and lifestyle took visitors to a different age. The stage programme formally began with the dignitaries on the dais play a round of ‘Chennamane’ game.  Later on, groups of students and youngsters took up the stage to play the ancient game, played specifically during Ati. Members of the Mahila Mandaligala Okkuta had prepared about 20 lip smacking Aati delicacies such as Patrode, Thethla, Kudutha Chatney, Mambla, Niruppad chutney, Kanile-Padengi Gashi, Thojank vada, Garya, Pelakai Gatti etc, which were relished by the gathering with great appreciation.

DH News Service

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