TELANGANA DEVELOPMENT FORUM (TDF-USA)
Bathukamma in Bay Area: A Grand Success!
September 24th, 2006
organized Bhatukamma Panduga in CA which was a grand success with turnout of
about 240 people.
Telanganites living in bay area celebrated Telangana Liberation Day along with the 1st North American Bathukamma Festival. The event was attended well with above 240 people and it was a grand success by any measure. The event was organized by Telangana Development Forum (TDF-USA), Bay Area Chapter with full support from local telugu associations. Buchanna Gajula,Venu Pavushetty, Rajesh and Vijay Chavva have done wonderful effort in making the arrangements. Telanganites poured in from different parts of california bringing nicely decorated batukammas with them. Children have put in efforts in decorating batukammas.
More than 240 people attended the event and celebrated Bathuakamma with great enthusiasm and gaiety. People of all ages participated in this event; the visiting elderly women have organized and brought in lot of vibrancy to the festival. They have started with traditional batukamma (gowri) pooja and distributed pasupu and kumkum to all ladies.
It was a very nice sunny day and people woke up early and purchased different color flowers for Bathukammas. This activity brought back memories from backhome where children used to go to fields to collect various wild flowers like Gunugu poolu, Thangedu Poolu and other domestic flowers like Beera Poolu and Cutley Poolu. Since we cannot get these flowers in North America, we had to substitute them with locally available flowers like different color roses, chamanti, banti etc.
Bathukamma Picnic started at 12 pm with people trickling in slowly. The full attendance was gathered at 1.30 PM. every one have bought different kind of rice items(Saddulu) and it was a perfect telangana rural environment got created in the lake Elizabeth park of Fremont. Organizers have requested to speak telangana accented language only through out the festival so that kids can catch it .
Gajula Buchanna anchored/directed the event and welcomed all participants, to follow the tradition everyone introduced themselves. The visiting elders were talking about back olden days where they have fought against Razakars. young generations were happy to get to know that. All the visitors were praising the organizers to get a unbelievable thing organized in America. They said they have never imagined to play bathukamma in America when even younger generations in India are forgetting this vibrant, colorful festival.
Tirupataiah Gande, a HSS volunteer, has explained to the audience about background of this festival and how it became part of Telangana Culture and tradition. Several people have reminded their childhood experiences of helping family in making Batukammas during those days. They have reproduced the same vibrancy here today. They have promised their children to give the same culture and traditions they have enjoyed through their child hood and requested other families to get in to the network.
Children have played cricket while elders were playing volleyball and other games between the gaps of bathukamma plays.
1st Bathukamma started at about 1pm with women in traditional sarees, girls in langa/voni, with Bathukammas made of locally available flowers, which were placed in the center and women played around the Bathukammas. The visiting elderly women performed bathukamma Pooja(Gowri Pooja) and distributed Pasupu Kumkum to all other ladies. The male folks gathered around, really encouraging ladies to go in the truly traditional way of telangana. It was a visual treat when women danced around Bathukammas with Bathukamma songs in the rhythm of “Bathukamma Bathukamma Uyyaalo.. “. Women folks danced more than 2 hours to the tunes of Bathukamma songs that were brought from India and gave chorus to several songs sung by
2nd bathukamma was played again at about 3 PM with more people poured after realizing that batukamma is being played in locally through telephone calls. at 3 PM it was full attendance of about 240 people and organizers were speechless to see such a thunderous response.
Final event of the day was when all the participants near the lake to perform closing pooja by visiting grandmas who have explained the importance the importance of closing pooja to gowri. They have driven the event with of lot of emotions and brought in vigor and vibrancy to the festivity. They requested children to carry on this responsibility of passing on the culture to the next generations as they did to the current generations.
Finally Rajesh thanked everyone in helping organize the event. The event was a great success because of the hard work and contributions of the following other TDF volunteers Purushottam, Venu, Prakash, Prahlad, Biksham, Anjan, Santhosh, Pentaiah, Ravinder Reddy, Pradeep, Srinivas, Ramesh, Raja Reddy, Vijay, Jaagan and Venkat.
Over all, it was a very great event that far exceeded every ones expectations. All the participants were very pleased with the event.
TDF-USA is a not-for-profit organization created to provide a platform for Non-Resident Telanganites to come together to discuss various problems faced by Telangana people. Please visit www.telangana.org for information about TDF-USA.
Photos can be see from this Yahoo photos link: