CHENNAI: A village is an emotion of uzhavar (farmer), unavu (food) and unarvu (feeling). And all that comes to one’s mind when you think of a village festival and it’s native delicacies, traditional sports, cultural performances, gathering of families and people dressed in their finery. Based on this concept, a village-themed ambiance has been set up at Dr MGR-Janaki College for Women. The event was launched by Brand Avatar, a branding and event management company in association with Grand Catering Company.
The four-day festival ‘Village Ticket’— Uzhavar Unavu Unarvu will be open from July 26 to July 29. Among the highlights will be options of 300 authentic food recipes cooked with traditional techniques from 32 districts of Tamil Nadu. To give us a hint of what to expect, regional delicacies were prepared and brought to the city. We were served a variety — nungu (ice apple) sarbath, karupatti (palm jaggery) mysore pak from Tirunelveli to Ambur biryani by Grand Catering company.
Over 30 parambariya (traditional) performances will be showcased on the stage. The extensive list of folk dances include mayilattam (peacock dance), villu paattu (songs), oyillattam, theru koothu (street drama). This will be in the backdrop of a picturesque set up with bullock carts, panchayat model, open courtyards, thinnai, potti kadai and tea kadai (stalls). The motive behind the festival is also to honour and reward the farmers for their positive impact through traditional farming methods. This also includes village artists, who have treasured the traditional art forms of village and the cooks who have passionately retained the diverse spice and flavours of the root.
Speaking about the festival, Brand Avatar’s founder and CEO Hemachandran says, “Village Ticket will be a gateway for the current city-born generation to know, learn and experience the rich cultural practices, healthy food habits and lifestyle followed by our ancestors. Besides giving insights into agriculture, it will be a platform for the farmers to showcase their produce free of cost, and get an opportunity to interact with the consumers.”
Among the panelists was Tamil Nadu Farmers Association Joint Movement President, PK Deivasigamani. He emphasised the need for reaching out to the youngsters and educating the importance of agriculture and farming. “Every city dweller must understand the hardships that every farmer puts in for the sake of producing food. Agricultural problems are never-ending. When the price of a kilo of tomato drops, people are happy. But the farmer who toiled for years cries the most. We want the public to see us as one among you,” he says.