Womanhood Celebrated at Bathukamma Celebrations
Ladies attired in their gorgeous saris dancing around Bathukamma's at Sharon Springs Park on Sunday October 14, 2007 was a treat for visitors who were pleasantly surprised to see the park come alive with colorfully dressed community members. Bathukamma is celebrated with religious fervor in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. Bathukamma means ‘immortal woman.' It is a month long festival where Goddess Bathukamma's idol is worshipped and is later immersed in the nearby rivers or lakes.
Popularly, Bathukamma or ‘Parvati', according to one legend, is a lover of flowers. Hence, flowers are arranged on a square wooden plank with the size of frames tapering off to form a pinnacle on top. They resemble the shape of a temple ‘Gopura' or a conical mound. A lump of turmeric is kept on top of the flowers. This floral mountain is worshipped as Goddess Bathukamma and women sing and dance around it. This festival celebrates the exalted position of a woman in a family.
Ratan Elugunti and Srijan Joginapally emceed the event. During lunch esteemed visitor Madhu K. Reddy, president of Telangana Development Forum (TDF-USA), spoke briefly about TDF and Bathukamma celebration. Sriram Vedire spoke about irrigation issues in the Telangana region and booklets regarding this were made available to all.
A huge circle was formed and women danced with synchronizing steps. Gauri, the patron goddess of womanhood, was deified through songs. An elderly lady sang the whole Bathukamma song extempore and narrated the Ramayana story in song form..
After the Bathukamma's were immersed in the lake, prizes and certificates were distributed to the winners of the games by Madhu K. Reddy, Sriram Vedire and G. S. Reddy. For more information on Telangana and Bathukamma visit www.telangana.org
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