Thursday, October 05, 2006

Village Festivals

Yesterday I went to the village of Vilaacheri, where I hope to start pottery lessons next week. I went because I was invited for a festival the name of which I'm not entirely clear on. The festival consisted of the following: Extremely loud film music played over gigantic loudspeakers, drunk men, millions of children, women dancing the KummiAdi, men shouting and whistling, and the procession of the village gods around the village on ceramic horses painted brightly and carried with long bamboo poles by 8 young men each. The village was festively decorated with streamers and each house had beautiful chalk paintings, called 'kolam' out front. Where the procession was set to begin, the women were dancing. Then when they finished, the men picked up the ceramic horses, beginning with the head god of the village, seated on the first horse, and processed to the main temple, and from there to each of the other temples in the town. It was fascinating, but also exhausting.

I also seem to be playing a small role in the politics of the village, since I have been befriended by a woman who is running for village president (what used to be called 'headman'). Her husband who is now dead was the headman many years back, and now she also has the desire to run for office. I was with her before the procession started, as we walked around the village, she greeted many people and introduced them to me. Whether she thinks her friendship with a foreigner will help her in any way, I can't really say. Whether it could actually help her get votes, I don't know. But there are seven people running for the position, so who's to say.

The women dancing the KummiAdi.

p.s. I have a video of the women dancing as well, but I'm still working on uploading it.

No comments: