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Recreating Aadi Perukku on collage campus

Recreating Aadi Perukku on collage campus

Author: Express News Services
Publication: The New India Express
Date: August 4, 2006

Chennai girls and Thavani? Seems to be a rare combo, but those at MGR-Janaki College thought it was time this combo was made into a dress code, at least on the occasion of Aadi perukku.

While students wore half-sarees, teachers came in glittering silk sarees to celebrate this rural festival. The festival was celebrated with pomp, with the place virtually turning into a village.

Technically, Aadi perukku is a day when the river Cauvery flows to its brim (through 18 steps). But here, a small fountain on the premises served as the Cauvery where the thavani-clad girls placed lamps to signify one of the ceremonies. Meanwhile, another group was having a ball (Kol rather) as kolattam was in full-swing pepping up the mood.

And true to village culture, a special Amman pooja was also being conducted and the girls carried sprouts (Mulaipaari). Devotional indeed!

So, who said "variety rice" was something that belonged to the menu cards of dim-lit city restaurants?
Though the girls did not risk it with trying out the Punjabi or other continental delicacies, the aroma of typical Tamil varieties, made of tamarind, lemon and curd filled the campus. And students from all department shared their food with each other.

And, all along, the feel of rural Tamil Nadu was intact with the Valayal Kadai (bangle shop), kili josiyam and javvu mittai among (candy similar to chewing gum) attracting maximum patronage from the girls. May be, the village guys, clad in veshti and passing the occasional comment, were the missing element!

For one day, these students can have a feel of a village. The entire exercise was an effort to tell the girls of the college, "these Tamil festivals still exist," said organisers.

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