A mirror to local traditions and culture - The New Indian Express

A mirror to local traditions and culture

Published: 24th January 2013 09:01 AM

Last Updated: 24th January 2013 09:01 AM

A calendar to keep alive the  cultural traditions of an area  and pay homage to its illustrious sons. That is what  ‘Oachira Visesham’  does focusing on the  native rituals and celebrations of ‘Onattukara,’ a vast agrarian area coming under the taluks of  Kayamkulam, Mavelikkara, Karthikapally and Karunagapally.

Brought out by  ‘Oachira Visesham,’  a quarterly magazine of Laurel Publications,  along with a special annual issue during the ‘Oachira Vrichikolsavam,’  it is produced in glossy colour with beautiful pictures of local festivals of the mid-Travancore region.

It has all the regular items  in a normal calendar  and more which are not found in other calendars. For instance, it gives  information on major events taking place in January like Sivagiri pilgrimage, Thiruvabharanam ghosha yathra and not so known events like Gajamela at Anayadi Pazhayidam Narasimha Swami temple and Kodiyettu at Puliyoor temple. It has also featured celebrations covering Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts. Prominence is given to the birthdays and death anniversaries of noted personalities of yesteryear like Kumbalathu Sankupilla, A R Rajaraja varma, S Gupthan Nair, Thachadi Prabhakaran, Thopppil Gopalakrishnan, Sooranad Kunjan pillai.

Saints like Sreeramakrishna Paramahamsar and Swami Vivekanandan, social reformers like Sree Narayana Guru, Sahodaran Ayyppan, Chattampi Swamikal, Ayyankali, B R Ambedkar, Dr Velukutty Arayan, C K Kunhiraman, K Kesavan Potty, P K Kunju, artists like Rajaravi Varma and P Padmarajan all have found a place in the calendar.

Their photographs are also placed along with the references. The calendar is given free of cost to the readers of  ‘Oachira Visesham’ during the Vrichikolsavam festival at Oachira temple where lakhs of devotees  worship at Parabrahma temple. The annual issue also carries articles by noted writers on various subjects. The quarterly, which  has completed 22 years of publication, is a mirror to the changing face of Onattukara. However,  honorary editor  T Prasannan is worried about the fast changes happening in the culture and traditions of Onattukara.

“Once during the harvests, people celebrated  festivities like ‘kettulsavams’ with parading of colourful hay models of oxen. But now it has degenerated into mere road shows exhibiting the pomp of the neo- rich,’’  he said.

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