Food

Jingles and drumbeats

This village festival brings together traditional folk songs and dance, rural food and games to an urban audience

Walk into the Kalakshetra Grounds this week and you will be greeted by rhythmic parai beats and the reverberating sound of anklets. Artistes energetically perform the temple dances of poikaal kudhirai attam, karagattam and mayil attam, cheered on by an enthusiastic audience.

Jingles and drumbeats

The first edition of Gramiya Utsav is set to a rousing background score.

Jingles and drumbeats

Organised by BIG B Entertainment, this village festival aims to bring together the essence and flavours of a village carnival for an urban audience. The format gives visitors a feel of the village life — a window into the cultural heritage of the State.

Beginning from 11 am, the artistes perform every hour, with 30-minute breaks. The last performance is at 7.30 pm.

“We have organised traditional games such as gilli danda, paandi, and also the fun-filled uriyadi,” says Malini Vijayakumar, one of the organisers. Especially played during Pongal, uriyadi involves an earthen pot, hung high up in the air, that contestants have to smash with a bamboo pole, their eyes blindfolded.

Popular with kids in villages, gilli danda is a bat-ball game, while paandi or nondi, is nothing but the regional version of hopscotch, with the players singing folk songs as they play.

Visitors can also shop for textiles, home furnishings, home décor, antiques, garden décor, footwear and jewellery. “The focus is on textiles produced in handlooms of Tamil Nadu, and the goods are directly sold by the manufacturers,” she says.

Crowds throng the kili josiyam and eli josiyam stalls (somewhat similar to tarot card reading, where a trained parrot or rat emerges out of a cage and picks a card) and the kai rekai stall (palm reading). The tiny tots, however, are more desirous of holding the parrot rather than listening to the predictions of soothsayers.

Gramiya Utsav is on till February 2, at Kalakshetra, Thiruvanmiyur, from 11 am to 8 pm. Entry is free. For details, call 9566244871.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:03:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/gramiya-utsav-chennai/article30682685.ece

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