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‘Preserve Kodava culture'

Staff Correspondent
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State-level Kodava Sahitya Samskritika Sangama held

Kodava women performing Ummathat at the State-level literary and cultural convention in Mysore on Wednesday.
Kodava women performing Ummathat at the State-level literary and cultural convention in Mysore on Wednesday.

The State-level Kodava Sahitya Samskritika Sangama, held on Tuesday and Wednesday, provided a platform for speakers to give a clarion call to preserve and nurture Kodava culture.

The first day of the convention featured Kodava folk dance competitions.

On the second day, speakers presented papers at a seminar with emphasis on arresting the trend of cultural degeneration.

They expressed concern at the erosion of Kodava culture and suggested ways to stop it.

Traditional ‘Ummathat' performed by women and ‘Bolakkat', ‘Kathiyat', ‘Pareyakali' and ‘Kolat' by the men stole the show.

The president of the Mysore Kodava Samaja, Kattera A. Cariappa, who spoke at the convention, exhorted Kodava youth to carry forward their rich legacy.

Speaking to The Hindu on Thursday, Mr. Cariappa said that Kodava women observed the dress code and related cultural practices.

There was a need to maintain unity among the members of the community, he added. The president of the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy, Rani Machaiah, said that the academy had embarked on a special drive to popularise “Kodavaism” by taking up various programmes.

The academy had invited three dance troupes from the Karnataka Janapada Academy to perform folk dances such as ‘Dollu Kunita', ‘Pattada Kunita' and ‘Puja Kunita' as part of an exchange programme, she said. “Do not degrade Kodava customs,” Ms. Machaiah said, addressing a large gathering on the second day of the convention.

Ms. Machaiah also expressed concern at the migration of Kodava people, particularly youth, from the district.

Of late, many farmers had sold their lands and moved out of the district, she said, and added that such a development could jeopardise the culture and growth of Kodava language in Kodagu.

Among the speakers, Pandanda D. Medappa spoke on the origin of Kodava literature and Ponjanda Appaiah spoke on Kodava folklore.

Former president of the Mysore Kodava Samaja Adengada A. Kuttappa and Pokkalichanda K. Ponnappa were guests.

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