Prime Minister to attend Bathukamma Festival

Tomorrow (Friday), October 12, 2018 at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall
Venkat Raman
Auckland,  October 11, 2018
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the ‘Maha Bathukamma Festival’ tomorrow at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall located at 489 Dominion Road, Mount Eden,

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (File Picture)

Organised by the Telangana Association of New Zealand, the event will commence at 430 pm with a series of religious and cultural activities.
Telangana Women celebrate
Telangana Association of New Zealand Kalyan Rao Kasuganti and General Secretary Surendar Reddy Adavalli said that ‘Maha Bathukamma’ is a floral festival celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of Telangana.
“Every year, this Festival is celebrated as per Shalivahana Calendar for nine days starting Bhadrapada Amavasya (also known as Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Amavasya) till Durgashtami, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar. Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri. It starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and the Nine-day festivities will culminate on “Saddula Bathukamma” or “Pedda Bathukamma” festival on Ashwayuja Ashtami, popularly known as Durgashtami which is two days before Dussehra,” they said.
About the Festival of Flowers
Women of Telangana mark the ‘Maha Bathukamma,’ denoting the arrival of ‘The Mother Goddess,’ during Navaratri (‘Nine Nights),’ which occurs during September-October every year. The Festival incorporates ‘Bathukamma Panduga,’ the second most important observance after ‘Vijaya Dashami,’ or the last day of Dassera.
Representing the cultural spirit of Telangana, ‘Bathukamma’ is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers, most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of Temple Gopuram (Tower).

Social Harmony
As well as being a religious festival, ‘Bathukamma’ lifts the spirit of the community to a state of solidarity and social harmony. The rituals and symbolisms of the Festival enshrine the ethos of gender equality and mutual respect and a harmonious balance of all castes and social groups.
During Bathukamma Navaratri, men and boys of households would pick flowers or purchase them, to be placed in decorative formats by women. Families invite their daughters who away as married or working women to their homes to participate in the Festival.
Vivacity at Sunset
The vivacity of the celebrations peaks as sunset approaches. Women, in their traditional attire, will carry their Bathukamma to the streets, place them at a public place such as a playground or a park and decorate them as they sing and dance.
The songs would reflect the history, heritage and traditions of the land handed down from generation to generation, each generation adding its own flavour to produce a synthesis between the ancient and the zeitgeist (spirit of times).
Hours later, the Bathukamma would be carried to the nearest pond, canal or river and immersed, symbolising a full circle of life, seasons and times.
Further details about the programme tomorrow can be obtained from Kalyan Rao on 021-1881446 or Surendar Reddy on 021-2679365.

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