Navaratri Golu in America
Importance of Navaratri
Navaratri, as the word defines itself –nine (Nava) nights (ratri) is a Hindu festival. During these nine days (and nights) Goddess Durga or Shakti-The goddess of Power is worshiped and it culminates with Vijayadashami, the tenth day when the goddess kills the Demon Mahishasur and protects the humanity .In South India, there is a tradition of keeping golu at homes. Navarathri golu is display of dolls in many tiers or steps (padis) mainly in odd numbers of 5, 7, 9 or 11.
Much about the importance of it has been vividly explained by my fellow bloggers .The following are some of the links that explain much about the great festival :-
Golu at my Place
It’s this time of the year which I always look forward to.
It’s been three years since I started keeping Golu. I had a great time this Navratri too and I have tried to be better each year. Since not many festivals can be celebrated with the same fervor as in India, Golu helps me and my friends to have a feel of at least one of them (the navarthri) .Also our kids have a taste of Indian traditions& rituals and we ladies get a chance to get adorned in Indian attire.
I would say that procuring the golu padis for Golu in America is pretty easy. As most of us are always on a move from one city to another empty cartons of milk and other stuff (cabinets and its drawers) can be turned into Golu padis.I keep collecting the empty cartons near the time of September each year and recycle it( no much space to store them at home).
The first year I kept Golu, I had all the stuffed toy of my little one .I wasn’t actually prepared for it. I did purchase some Indian Gods & Goddesses’ idols from Indian Stores nearby but could not get as much to fill all the Golu Padis. My favorite are the dollar stores where you can get more dolls for less money . I spent $20 for the toys.And Spring is the season when you can see colors in America .It holds good for the 99c stores too. Navratri generally comes in the fall season and I feel I am restricted to only some Halloween stuff at that time.so start collecting in spring .
Ultimately I feel it’s the devotion and bhakti is what matters most and I felt we could worship and find god in anything we see.
Later the next year(2010) ,I had gathered some more ideas from the internet and I have seen some very pretty Golus In America . I have seen many bloggers who have put pictures on about how they have new ways of crafting these dolls and other decorations .These bloggers are my inspiration and they help me improve myself. I made a Durga‘s photo for last year’s Golu which I used this year too .I made it using paper quelling.
These are some of the websites for paper Quelling:-
http://bloomingdesignstudio.com/blog//index.php/2008/10/06/navrathri_golu_2008( I personally liked this one very much)
This navratri I had a better collection of golu dolls as I had been to India for visiting my family .I got a good amount of them from my mom & mother-in-law .Mainly my Mother-in -law as she has been keeping golu all this years .I got many of her golu Bommai whichever were light in weight ….
My hubby enhanced the beauty Golu Padis by adding serial lights of orange color (the Halloween effect) this year. I had set up 5 padis which i decorated with gods in 1& 2 steps. In the third i arranged it with people .In the fourth i kept animals of all kinds and on the fifth i kept vegetables.
For the Park
- I designed a Kovil (temple) on a hill (I imagine it that way) made of paper with steps.
- One coconut tree.
- 2 orange trees and two trees which signified the fall season (orange leaves).
- I added an Engine on tracks from my son’s toy house.
- One teppakulam (a water tank near a temple) with birds and animals around. Also I added some huts to show people inhabiting around.
- I had two robots from my son’s toys which represented people in a park.
- A rangoli which I made of rice powder and food color .
Here in America sand is easy available in nearby play areas. I used green food color to mix with the sand to represent the greenery around. My mother-in-law had asked me to sow some fenugreek seeds in the sand to represent the green plants. I wasn’t sure if any seedling would grow in sand but it sure did.
Everybody would be equally busy setting up the Golu themes for this year(2013) .
Last year(2012) my mother in-law came to visit us around the golu time and she brought many golu toys for us .I was totally elated seeing the toys. Here i have my last years pics for all of you
Thanks for all your comments,encouragement and Interest ..That always helps me do better .
The Marriage set
I hope you all like my golu photos. Do send me you inputs.