Sunday, December 15, 2013

Rise of Patriarchal Society - IX

In one of my posts on Dravidian words I wondered about a Telugu festival called badukamma. I made an assertion that the festival looks too patriarchal and could be a northern import. Well, my knowledge is limited in this regard, I suppose. Closer home, there is a similar festival called Tiruvadira in Kerala. The festival was caste specific hence my ignorance.

It appears the festival was traditionally celebrated by Brahmin, Kshatriya and Nair castes. According to the Wikipedia article;
It is largely a festival for women; unmarried women observe a partial fast on this day to get good husbands and married women take a fast from the preceding day (Makayiram nakshatra) and on the day of Thiruvathira for the well being of their husband and family.
It appears there is a similar festival in Tamil Nadu too. Tamils celebrating one of the highly patriarchal festivals isn't surprising considering the region was the first to develop a caste society owing to its earliest kingdoms. As a matter of fact, it has still remained the most casteist among Dravidian states.

But I believe this festival in Kerala shows that it is not a native festival. If you consider the term 'husband' didn't hold any meaning to Nair women before mid 19th  century (or much later), the idea behind this festival appears to be absurd.

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