Precious moments with family

Precious moments with family

Precious moments with family

It’s time for festivities as many Bangaloreans are celebrating their regional new year this week. While the Punjabi new year Baisakhi and Tamil new year Puthandu fall on April 14, the Kerala new year Vishu and Bengali new year Poila Baishakh fall on April 15.

Manisha Sengupta, a Bengali who’s been in the City for almost two years, says that she’s excited about the festival. “Back home, we would first go to the temple and do the puja, then seek blessings from the elders and greet family and friends. The best part about the festival is getting new clothes,” shares an excited Manisha. She adds that they also get money from elders which is exciting.

“It’s all about family. We gather together and celebrate the joy of the festival and indulge in different delicacies including sweets like payesh and different dishes made of fish and sweet pulav. Since it’s the time of mangoes, we also make ‘green mango chutney’,” shares Manisha.

Ringing in the new year means starting the year with a blessed sight called Vishu Kani for Malayalis like Hemalatha Prakash, a homemaker from Vijnana Nagar. “The Vishu Kani is arranged the night before the Vishu day, and is kept in a brass vessel, Urali.

The kani consists of a golden cucumber decorated with ornaments, a small idol of Krishna, a cloth fan placed in a kindi, a vaal kannadi (a hand mirror), rupee notes or silver coins, nilavillaku (lamp) and different fruits like jackfruit and mangoes. On Vishu morning, everyone wakes up and sees the kani first before starting the day.

This is supposed to bring prosperity in one’s life,” elaborates Hemalatha. She says that other traditions which are followed include the elders of the family giving kaineetam (money) to others in the family and everyone wearing new clothes. “This is also a symbolic way of saying ‘may wealth and prosperity follow you through this year’,” she says. The festivities of the day include a Vishu Sadya, a meal consisting of avial, kalan, olan, banana chips and payasam,” she adds.

“The Tamil New Year Puthandu starts with a blessed yellow thread tied on the wrist so as to keep the person safe through the new year,” says Shreevalli P, a homemaker from Sahakar Nagar. “Friends and family flow in and we play games and cards at home.

There is special food like kadlai parp obbatu, prepared along with kosambri, and a dish cooked with raw mangoes,” she says. During the puja, five different fruits are offered to the lord and the garland used to adorn the deity is made of five different flowers. “We usually use odd numbers for special purposes and five is a wholesome number,” she explains.

Shreevalli says that taking an oil bath and wearing new clothes are part of the traditions for the day. “When we buy clothes, we avoid buying colours like black, and buy clothes in maroons, greens or any other bright and light colours. This signifies the celebratory mood of the festival,” she says. For the Punjabis, Baisakhi is about gathering at a common point and celebrating the festival as a family.

Aditi Dhamija, a spatial experience designer, says that back home, all her family members would gather at her maternal grandfather’s house, wear new clothes and visit the gurudwara. “Special food would be made for the festival that would include chole bhature, veg pulav, lassi and suji halwa.

We go to gurudwara and when we get back home, we would sit and talk,” she recalls, adding, “the festivities would also include men dancing bhangra and women performing giddha. Traditional folk songs are also sung.”

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