'Many don't know the significance'

QUIET SANKRANTI

Colourful The festival is an occasion to come together. Sankranti, the first festival of the year, is just around the corner and the whole City is geared up to celebrate it.

The festival is an occasion for young boys and girls to visit their family and friends and distribute ellu bella.

But over the years, the zeal for celebrations has reduced. As children grow up, they don’t find any reason to celebrate the festival. When Metrolife interacted with a few youngsters, a majority of them opined that the festival doesn’t hold any significance in their life. 

Vikram, a young professional, has stopped celebrating the festival over the years. “When I was pursuing my engineering, I used to have exams in January. So I kept myself away from the celebrations totally. But I have holidays this time as the festival is falling on Saturday and Sunday. I am moving to my native place and spending the day at my grandparents’ house,” he says. “We will visit the nearby temple and offer puja. My grandmother will prepare a sumptuous traditional lunch,” he informs.

He feels today’s youngsters are not that fond of celebrating the festival. “When I was a kid, I used to visit everyone’s house on our street. I used to wait for the occasion to wear new clothes. It was a lot of fun to exchange ellu bella and goodies,” he says. “As we grow up, we lose that enthusiasm and don’t like to visit each other anymore,” he adds.

Even Tejaswi Prakash, a B Com student, shares the same opinion. “Festivals are mere holidays for the younger generation than a reason for celebration. Today’s girls like to look modern and don’t like to dress up in the traditional attire. It’s because they don’t know the significance of the festival. Their parents and elders have to guide them to respect our culture. As many don’t know the significance, they are not that keen on celebrating Sankranti,” she reasons. 

But there are people who know about the festival in detail and have great interest in celebrating it. S Deepti Dutt, an architecture student, feels festivals make people learn more about the culture. Her celebrations will include offering puja, taking blessings from elders, distributing ellu bella and having a special lunch with relatives. 

“Sankranti is New Year for us. Hence, we celebrate it in a grand manner. It provides us an opportunity to spend time with family and know more about our culture. I came to know that farmers offer the first crop of sugarcane and paddy to God in the form of jaggery and pongal.

Since the festival is celebrated in middle of winter, food prepared for this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives a lot of energy. I feel there is a scientific reason behind every ritual. Once you know the significance, you feel great about our culture and love to take part in the celebrations,” she signs off.

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