It was the month of Navratri or Dusshera and this time around I thought that I would make it to the Navratri Raas Garba Program in Frankfurt. Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated from the Gujarat region in India.
But as always work got the better of me and the closest I came to the event was seeing the pics of the traditional dance by friends who obviously planned better and got to be there. But I was really happy when my friend U who lived in the neighbouring town of Walldorf, uploaded a pic on Facebook showing how she had beautifully decorated dolls and figurines at her home also called Kolu or Golu on the occasion of Navaratri. These dolls and figurines depicting the gods and goddesses are very customary during this festival in the South of India. I was even more happy when U told me that I could come over and see the beautiful array of dolls. So along with little bunny, hubby's Mom and my friend P we had the chance to see the beautiful dolls and also got a glimpse into the significance of some of the dolls on display.
Navratri which translates into 'Nav Ratri', '9 nights' during which nine forms of the Goddess are worshipped and Dasara is the festival that is celebrated on the tenth day. Dasara translates into the victory of Good over Evil. It is during this time of the year that U had done such an amazing job in arranging the dolls. Key learnings for me were:
1. The dolls are displayed on steps - but the steps have to always be odd numbered and can go up to a maximum of 9
2. The dolls are passed on from mother to daughter especially it can be a very treasured wedding gift
3. The dolls can be organized according to your imagination and creativity - U even had a corner with a cricket team :-)
4. The Marapachi dolls made of wood have a special place in the whole arrangement. The Marapachi dolls always come in pairs. I only learnt later on that these dolls are carved out of a reddish wood called 'Marapachi' and hence the name. And they always come dressed as a couple in their wedding attire.
5. The Chettiar dolls also has a very important place - signifying the importance of business and finance.So as you can see the dolls somehow bring out the different aspects of social life.
6. On the 10th night after the cermonies the dolls are actually put to sleep. After that the dolls are carefully packed in cloth or paper and well preserved for the next year.
You can also find a pic that U uploaded on wikipedia talking about the festival @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dasara_2010,_Walldorf.jpg
What an unique festival, dont you think? So colorful, so much of meaning behind every doll and every doll having a beautiful story to say! So as you can imagine I have started looking out for dolls for next year :-)