Monday, September 9, 2019

We have done it all -

Two girls from Mount Carmel College,Bangalore  - Harita and Meghana!  One is known to BuDa for many years and the other was experiencing the tough life fresh.They  stayed in Angadibail forest for thirty days without internet, without electricity without shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste ,without fan  far away from comfort zone.Went back home grown ,stronger, and changed .Angadibail forest..Beera ,Rangi (you named her !) and Eshwaranna  are going to miss you girls. Thankyou ! We also thank Advithi who supported you with your project in the forest  -BuDa team    

silent nights in the forest 

Sometimes wanting to stay back,
Sometimes wanting to go home,
Sometimes wanting to feel the forest,
Sometimes wanting to feel family,
Sometimes learning,
Sometimes  pushing ourselves
I go back home GROWN, STRONGER and CHANGED .
Taking things,
Taking memories
Taking love
Love for stars,
Love for forest,
Love for nature,
Love for earth,

We both believe the poem is not enough to describe the internship in Angadibail. Probably it is just 0.01pc of our adventurous experience there. For us city girls, the time there we had was a blessing- away from home, packed off in and around the small house amidst the lush green forest. 

While we woke up to screaming alarm clocks here in Benguluru, the horseflies annoyingly buzzed and woke us up every single day without fail! Walks with our ‘Beerappa Swamy’ to get milk was what we loved to do- first thing in the morning.

Eshwaranna teaching us how to arrange paddy hay 

Kutri- stocking paddy hey for the cows

our cooking routine 

Harvesting ground nuts 

From experiencing night forest walks to eating jackfruit papads, from learning constellations from Miya Bhai to suspecting a cat to be a leopard in the dark, from building mud walls to helping Eshwarnna prepare for the monsoons, from walking in search of network to call home to walking to a far neighbor’s house to see election results, from doing coconut harvest to ‘weightlifting those sacs’, from surviving the nights on solar lanterns to waiting for the first rain of the monsoons, from fighting paddy allergy to having full-moon light dinners, from cooking on fire to eating charred food, from waiting for guests for the kokum harvest to craving for the silence of the forest each night, from mixing kokum preserve in the hot sun to drinking lemon grass tambuli- WE HAVE DONE IT ALL!!

Eshwaranna explaning Mann  kaayi -a medicinal mud ball he found in the monsoon 
Advithi helping us in illustrating summer medicinal plants of Angadibail 

Our internship was to document ‘Summer medicinal plants of Angadibail’. That we would say was just less than half of the things we did there. From enjoying every meal to learning the value of food- we learnt it all. The ride was super bumpy filled with lots and lots of new things that we learnt. Realizing the forest has treasures at each step we take, understanding the medicinal value of ‘weeds’, listening to calls of various animals to going to have a hot water bath every night after a long day’s work- the experiences have made us more stronger, responsible, confident, humble, calmer and most importantly turned us into fighters- we are ready now to take upon any challenge we face!

Kokom harvest festival

We are forever indebted to the organization and everyone who help us survive those tremendous thirty days


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Roti, Kapada aur Makaan - what else? Mungaaru -2019

A beautiful note by our Mungaaru participant: Pallavi Raut 
Photos: BuDa Folklore 

A trip that reminded me about what are the basic necessities and how we take some of the luxuries for granted.
A trip that brought me down to earth literally! 

A weekend with team ~~BuDa folklore is a true digital detoxifier. 
Clean air, ample fresh water, good food(yummy too!), clothes - muddy from hard work(and play), a cozy house and a community of people with a similar mindset! What else does one need!
No electricity, no gas, no mobile network!!!! But so much fun!

An experience all urbanites, ever digitally connected but rarely actually connecting, must experience.
One'll have a two-way realization.

First is that a human being really has very few needs(not wants!). We're unnecessarily adding on too many things to our lives and becoming hooked onto them as we go higher up economically. And while adding this we're leaving behind sensitivity, self-reliance, empathy,  awareness of the neighborhood, physically hard-working capability, ability to appreciate simple pleasures and a whole lot of garbage.

Secondly, one gets to learn about the day to day difficulties faced by our rural counterparts. 

Where there is fresh air, there's also smoke from cooking and heating water with wood. 
The tremendous amount of work involved for growing grain of rice(The event, 'Mungaru', is all about paddy plantation). 

The distances one has to go for buying basic things or reaching basic facilities if living on the farm.(Forget about Big Basket, Swiggy and Amazon!!). 
Grinding in millstone instead of a mixer in case of no electricity. 

Exposure to only one community leading to a more judgemental society in some cases.
There are pros and cons for everything. Finding a balance is key.  Asking young men and women in villages not to go to cities is not fair, they too should get a chance to taste economic freedom and luxury and different cultures but not at the cost of forgetting the roots like what has happened to a lot of us. 

Such drops of efforts like the one being done by Buda may go a long way in bringing some of the urban folks, who are done breathing smoke and waiting long hours in front of red light, back to villages with new energy, ecological awareness and ideas that will help fuse the gap between urban and rural. Especially if the ideas are executed with local people's trust and by making use of their expertise, skill and knowledge.

The highlight of the event for me was seeing a teenager find it more meaningful to celebrate her 16th birthday with a group of strangers far away from family and friends just to be able to sow some paddy and hear some folktales and be in midst of mother nature.

Thanks, team Buda folklore for giving me a heartwarming and eye-opening experience!

Mungaru acknowledgments

Thanks, Sumeru for insisting I go. Thanks to Sara for introducing all of us to BuDa folklore and Savitha akka.

Thanks, Vinay and Mihir for making this happen and enjoying this as much ( or more)!

Thanks, Savitha akka for such a wonderful idea to give us this exposure and experience. May your organization grow and have a wide reach!

Thanks, Shanti amma for your passion to learn, document and share local and folk traditions, stories, recipes, medicines.. the list is endless...!!!

Thanks, Gowri Akka and Shalini Akka for giving us wonderful food sitting in front of that smoke all 3 days!

Thanks to Pranav for hot water and all the volunteering!!

Thanks to Madhavi and Joel for salads and juices and for serving and so much of fun singing and talking!

Thanks to Atmeeya and Uday for so many trips to get vegetables and to drop and pick up and for kabaddi!

Thanks to Ishwar Anna, Gopi akka, Padmavati akka and nuggli akka for teaching us baby steps in paddy farming and for making our stay authentic with folk songs and stories!

Thanks to Pavan, Anu, Om, Shakthi, Anish, Sharad, Chhavi, Prakash, Pradeep, Pankaj, Yogi, , Bhavna, Mithali, Aastha, Abhimanyu,Divya, Elbin, Aditi, Pratyush, Meenakshi, Purushi, Jyothi,Prarthana from aravani project.
Thanks also to cat( rangi) and the dog(beera) for adding to the eclectic mix!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The story of a waste disposal tradition - maari hore

 When you travel in the car on the highways of the Western Ghats and Coasts of Karnataka you may suddenly notice these strange pile of disposals just beside the road... These are not ordinary garbage disposals. It has got a cultural history and interesting rituals and belief followed by locals.

Near Sagar western ghat highway 2019 June 

Near Sirsi highway  -July 2019 
This waste bundle is called 'Maari hore" (ಮಾರಿ ಹೊರೆ )in Kannada. 'Maari' is the folk  Goddess/Deity of misfortunes and epidemics diseases., who is worshiped to seek her blessings for prevention of diseases like smallpox, cholera, plague and also natural calamities. The word ‘Maari’ refers to contagious diseases in Kannada. It appears that originally the concept of Maari worship was conceived to drive out epidemic diseases.

The symbolic extradition of Maari, the epidemics, still prevalent along the Western Ghats and coasts of Karnataka. 

The villagers of the next village used to carry the disposals on their head after conducting Poojas (ಉಡಿ ) extradite the idol and the bundles to the outskirts of their village. And this chain continues along with the villages until the bundle reaches the sea or a river 

 No festivals are celebrated by the village in which Gadimaari is placed. While lifting the garbage (maari), salt packets offered to get rid of minor diseases and piled up by devotees around the year are also cleared. 

She is also known adugoolajji (ಅಡುಗೂಲಜ್ಜಿ )or gadi maari (ಗಡಿಮಾರಿ)

Gadi maari :

Near Sagar highway july2019

Gadi Maari is always kept at the boundary of the village (Gadi means boundary and maari is the goddess of the epidemic ) As time passes the village grows beyond the border but the tradition retains the jurisdiction.

The image above shows rural custom of leaving the idol of Gadi Maari at the outer boundary of the village after due worship. 

The photos were captured in a different year mostly on the highways of Sirsi, Siddapur, Yellapur, Ankola, Kumta, Honnavar, Sagar, Shivamogga.

 What is this Maari hore ( waste disposal bundle )contains? 

The entire dump is called maari hore. Interestingly earlier these garbage bundles (maari hore) contained all eco-friendly discarded broken household items. Mostly it contained broken woven cane baskets, broken woven cane cradles, rice winnowing flat basket) brooms, broken earthen pots, waste cloths and loads of salt packets .. Deities also offered coins, green bangles, coconut as UDI


Recent maarihore contains mostly plastic waste ..Recently vehicles are hired to lift the Maarihore when it reaches to the towns and they describe the reason that Maarihore becomes a huge pile when it is almost reaching its destination.

Photo :Nandan Aigal

Photo: Nanadan Aigal

 The maari hore is also evolving ..earlier it was just a bundle of eco-friendly disposals. Now we can see the wooden statue of the female goddess and a male god along with disposal   ..there is a big wooden toy cart also be offered as an imaginary goods carrier ..  

Near Sagar high way June 2019
Sirsi highway july 2019
The concept of maari hore is a great example of effective waste disposal management. The waste travels from village to village until it reaches the sea or a river. unfortunately now maaarihore is no more eco-friendly garbage bundle contains all kind of plastics .. but the rituals and faith continue 

Aug 2016 ankola,achave 

Photos: BuDa Folklore 

Thanks to Nandan Aigal
 Ankola culture history and ecology. 

Traditional Baskets and other weaving crafts with natural fibers in Uttara Kannada-western Ghat region

  While  weaving craft with natural fibers  is one of the widest spread crafts in the history of any human civilization, it is hard to say j...