Monday, February 13, 2006

Pangunip pongal - The announcement

They have announced it today. They always do it a week before the festival. The festival itself is celebrated during the last week of the Panguni month, which is the last month of the Tamil calendar. That is the tradition. The temple kottukkaarar (drummer), who is the official announcer, has been to all streets and announcing it. He is the owner of his kottu (drum). Generally mother calls me a “kottu”, because I speak loud and non-stop. He has been to all the streets and is doing it in our streets….. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is to inform you all that pangunip pongal is going to be celebrated next week. Please prepare you all for the festive season”. dum dum dum dum... He is surrounded by kids who are excited to see his kottu, as well as the festive mood itself. They all jump and run behind him as walks through every lane and every street to let everyone know. Everyone already know the date of the festival, also they know the arrangements are being done. Actually in some families they have been fasting every day since the first of the panguni month. When someone told me about this one month fasting, first i was shocked, but, no, they do eat. they eat every evening to call of the fasting for that day. but they continue to fast from next day. It is the tradition to announce like this. I hear his kottu even after he has left. It was loud, and rhythmic. Children are jumping and running and following him. It brings the festive mood indeed.

It is not considered good to leave town after this announcement. If any death happens in any of the family in our town, the funeral is done immediately, and the death is declared “bad death”. That brings bad things to that family they say. So, if anyone is not well for a long time, they tell them to wait for one more week (can they do it like that?).

I like pangunip pongal. I am so happy. It is a three day festival. I like the gorgeous maavilakku day. I will tell you all about it later. First day is mulappari day. It is nice too. But I like the gorgeous maavilakku day, which is the second day of the festival. We are going to the tailor’s shop to collect our new clothes today. It is very busy in tailor’s shop. We have to get our stitched well in advance; otherwise, he will not give it in time for the festival. I can’t imagine not wearing new clothes for pangunip pongal.


டி ராஜ்/ DRaj said...

Hi Premalatha:
I believe that this is just a curtain raiser for more to come. Is it not?

Premalatha said...

Yes. :-)

டி ராஜ்/ DRaj said...

on an after thought,is it "thandora" or "kottu"??

Premalatha said...


Premalatha said...

kottu kotti saatturathu

டி ராஜ்/ DRaj said...

OIC :)

phantom363 said...

hi this one looks like another deepavali, in terms of organization and celebration, judging from the announcements and expectations. just right too, coming 6 months later, and 3 months after thai pongal. :)

one thing though, about the 'bad death'. i wish we would get out of those things. the poor person and the family is going to feel miserable that their loved one has gone to hell just due to the timing. my chithi believes in this too. my mom died at 5:30 pm on a friday, and chithi insisted that she be cremated the same night immediately. ofcourse, all of us worked hard to get chithi satisfied, and thanks to that, we hope mom is up there. :)

Premalatha said...

Hi Phantom,

Deepavali is not exactly a "whole village/community" thing, is it?, but pangunippongal is.

Bad death is something people believe in Villages. I know it is not right. I don't believe in good death either. I don't believe in "being up there" either. It is 21 grams of air leaving the body, leaving the body a nonfunctional one there after.
I know I am a heartless woman. :)

Sorry about your mother (your loss).