Sunday, April 4, 2010

Relevance of Local Festivals

This march month has witnessed a lot of local festivals across South India. There is a common theme - God, procession, and tradition. In many cases, a car (தேர்) is also part of the festival. Certainly, such festivals have become part of our lives. Psychologically, it builds trust among public, on god, on the culture. But beyond all this, there must be a reason when our ancestors celebrated such festivals. Was it part of the entertainment? Was it to reinforce certain messages for the public? Was it a strategy to welcome summer in a specific manner? 

If we donot understand the context of such festivals, the relevance will fade away soon. We may end up celebrating a 300-old traditional festivals for wrong reasons and in wrong manner. If Diwali is celebrated for killing Ravana, after that many bad elements have been killed - we never attribute Diwali to those past bad elements ; only because we donot know really why we are still celebrating Diwali.

The saturday-sunday weekend holiday sysem was brought to us, may be by British. But, several years past, we did not have anything like weekend. The entertainment mechanism was different.  Why so long past, take  the past 20 years itself:  we used to watch Doordarshan for the Sunday movies, then came movie channels, and now we have on demand movie channels, and above all online channels. During Doordashan days, people used to stay back at home for watching Sunday evening movie, and Sunday other language movie, and Friday 'oliyum oLiyum' (ஒலியும்  ஒளியும் ). So, if there was a special reason why there was less traffic reason on the road, we bet on Doordarshan. Just picking an example, how need for entertainment system drives our everyday cultural aspects.

All traditions were created by mankind and for the mankind. If they do not serve the purpose, it should be replaced. Why waste money and time? There are several needy on the earth that needs yours and mine time.

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