Meet Nandni Prasad a mum to two grown up daughters sharing her perspective on festivals in India how it was celebrated during her childhood to modern day practices.
Nandini shares with Mums and Stories, specifically for Sankranti festival, a celebration across India celebrated in January, “During my childhood days both me and my sister along with my cousin brother would wear new clothes something which was mandatory and go around to almost 10 houses in our area in Jayanagar.(Bangalore)….distributing Ellu Bella...(sweet dish) . We would look forward for it so much that Ellu Bella mixture was kept on the attic by our grandmom to hide it from us.
( Picture of Nandini with her sister and mom)
We used to keep track of how many packets each of us got from our neighbours and we would eat them each one day…..daily for the next couple of days. Everything was prepared at home……now I do the same….but my daughter says “Mom… why do you struggle so much to prepare the Ellu mixture ….go get from the bazaar.”
We have also witnessed attractively dressed cows and oxen…..going around with their masters fetching alms….What a memorable festival time were those days. Children don’t really relish traditional food as much as we did. There are many reasons, modern day lifestyle, changing lifestyles, new cuisines introduced in menus and so on. However I do feel strongly that it is parent’s responsibility to explain the importance of these festivals every year…..refreshing their memory every time, hoping some of the rituals and practices will be alive further too.
I also remember until we were 10 years of age, all the grandchildren.had the enjoyment of getting what is called…..drusti tegeyodu …..a rice measure.(paavu in Kannada) filled with sugar cane pieces, elachi kaayi,groundnuts with shells, 2,5,10 palisa coins….poured on our head….thrice and each time we would grab the paisa as much as we could …..We would sometimes fight (or cry) to get more coins. than our counterparts. This I would do when my kids were very young too. “
Nandini wraps up remembering childhood festive moments saying, “ Kids when much younger enjoyed festivals ….but now since they are also busy with their professional course studies, extra curriculum, its just a festival for them.”
Perhaps parents cherish the memories of what was part of their lives and see how it has changed over the years.