Friday, August 24, 2007

Onam: Thiruvadira Kali

Let me just add in my very first line that this is a non-food related post.

Onam ashamsakal (onam greetings to you)

Onam is such a special festival for me, every year I thoroughly enjoy taking part in activities, whatever I can, that make this beautiful festival so unique. I love making the athapoo/pookalam (flower carpet), I absolutely love making the sadya (which I plan to on the weekend). I love the whole story of mahabali coming to visit his land, his people from exile. It even amazes me on the way I have fallen head over heels in love with the kerala culture. Some malayalees may even doubt me. But I know I do it for myself, not for anybody else.

For the past couple of years I was lucky to learn and be part of the thiruvadira kali dance that is performed at this festival time every year. It is usually organized by the kerala samajam of Botswana. Oooh this dance is not easy at all, your knees need to bend and you end up getting a good work-out.

This bending knee business is a big joke with my mallu girlfriends, because our dance teacher would shake her head and tell me…

“..BEND Rajne (Rachna), bend!!!”, and I would bend my back and lean forwards….and she would say
“NO NO …… bend rajne….bend”

…. hearing that phrase from our teacher at every dance practice after a month or so I realized I had to bend my knees (not my back) and squat… and she began to say…

“ade…ade (yes yes) rajne…”

And after practice all my girlfriends would be on the floor in splits…

Seriously this is beautiful dance. You need to be in a semi-squat position, sway your hips and hands, to the left and right. All the dancers need to move in a circle in a rythmic motion. See the dance here.

I am showing you dance pictures from 2004 and 2005, the one we did in 2005 was also aired on the Malayalam television channel Asianet (which automatically makes me a TV star anyway). See if you can pick me, especially from the last picture. I may not blog hop for some time as I am on tiny holiday visit to South Africa to tie rakhi to my dear brother for rakshabandhan on 28th and celebrate my bday on the 29th with him… later later then, c ya

Here at the end of the dance we are trying to make a traditional villaka (traditional kerala lamp) by joining the small lamps in our hands, can u see it?

Dance from 2005


ok pick me from this pic

16 comments:

musical said...

Happy Onam to you too, dear. Lovely post and dance pics :). I am waiting for the Onasadhya :-D.

Ooh, and the last question is tough! the highlighted picture of yours is from a distance. will look at the picture again and try :-D.

musical said...

He he, and a very very happy B'day to you :). Have a wonderful day and a fantastic year ahead :).

Now for the picture: logic tells me that you would at forefront in most pictures to drop the hint. and if that be the case i have topick one from the last picture who looks similar to the girl who's in focus in most pictures: is that lady at #2 seated below (the one who's not smiling?). if and only if my logic is correct, that might just be you ;).

Asha said...

Happy Onam Rachna! Beautiful pics.I didn't realize there are so many Keralites there in Africa. You all look great there.As for picking you in there, no clue! Give us a hint atleast!:D
Have a wonderful feast:)

TBC said...

Happy Onam, Rachana! Wow, no one would know that you're not a Mallu by birth. You are more Mallu than most Mallus I've known. I cannot even read or write Malayalam though it's my mother tongue.Strange, huh?
Birthday wishes to you in advance. Hope you enjoy Rakshabandhan with your brother.
When you get back, u've got to tell us which one of those lovely ladies is Rachana=Dumela ;-)

Cynthia said...

Happy Onam my friend and happy birthday in advance.

I learnt so much for that post about the festivities and almost had me in splits with the: “..BEND Rajne (Rachna), bend!!!”, and I would bend my back and lean forwards….and she would say
“NO NO …… bend rajne….bend”
Aha ha ha ha ha

indosungod said...

Rachna, Happy Onam and
Happy Birthday! The dance looks lovely by the way. To guessing which one is you I am still trying :)

evolvingtastes said...

Lovely pictures Rachna, it was like I was magically transported there. Thanks for sharing. As for which one you are, I am guessing, kneeling, second from right. Tell tell!

Vcuisine said...

Happy Onam Rachna. Nice pictures. Could not pick you :) Viji

Sharmi said...

I am with musical here on the guessing game. have a nice holiday and enjoy!! thanks for sharing the pics.

bee said...

i see ya. i see ya.

i ende rajne, why is your blog not on food blog desam? grrrrrrrr....

happy onam to you, and birthday hugs as well.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Nice pictures....Hard to pick u up...

TBC said...

o.k...now that you're back, tell us Rachna:-)
Hope you had a good time on your B-day with your brother.

Latha Narasimhan said...

Nice pictures!Happy onam! And the girl in white saree with red border is Rachana!!:D

Rachna said...

hi every1...musy and a lot of you guessed me right... i am the one kneeling, 2nd from the right, and not smiling .... and thank u every1 for the bday wishes...i had a lovely time...

Musy, thank u

Asha - there must be approx 250 malayalee families!!

TBC - thank u... i still have to learn to speak malayalam...my biggest obstacle yet to being completely mallu :) heee

indusongod - now u know :)

evolving, u r so right!!

viji - now u know

sharmi - thank u, u got me right!

bee - thank u beeee

sukanya - now u know

latha - haaa, good one :)

cynthia - it was funny and irritating

Sia said...

happy onam rachna. u post ur pic and tease us by asking to pick u from the pics. thats not fair!!!

Rachna said...

hey sia, what a coincidence... im reading spice corner right now... heeee... but everyone picked me anyway :)