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Monday, January 21, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Thiruvizha – a Cultural fete – 2013.

Thiruvallikkeni Thiruvizha – a Cultural fete – 2013.

20th Jan 2013  turned out to be a great engrossing day for the residents of Thiruvallikkeni thanks to ‘Thiruvallikkeni Thiruvizha’ organized by Sri Ustav & Goldwinner. 

It was not just another fete… it was one with a difference ~ a festival to celebrate the cultural heritage of the place.   In a place inhabited more than 100 people tend to celebrate the greatness of their place ~ the nativity. Not all would have a rich past and rich heritage ~ there are Nations with few hundred years of history.

Tamil culture and history dates back to centuries of years. It is their rich heritage that stands out.  Heritage is the full range of our inherited traditions, monuments, objects, food habits  and culture.  Most important, it is the range of contemporary activities, meanings, and behaviors that we draw from them. Heritage includes, but is much more than preserving, excavating, displaying, or restoring a collection of old things.   It could be those things of the past, -of songs, recipes, language, dances, and many other elements of who we are and how we identify ourselves--are as important as historical buildings and archaeological sites. Cultural heritage  is the legacy of physical artifacts  and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.

Thiruvallikkeni  (Triplicane)  in some ways is  more ancient than the city of Madras.  The city has been celebrating its birthday in the recent few years. Triplicane has a glorious past, a tradition and culture still existent and surviving in the present and has great hopes of sustenance in future.  This is the place located strategically closer (less than half a km) from the Marina beach off the Bay of Bengal.  It owes its name to the sacred Lily pond (Thiru alli (lily) keni (pond) of Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple, a great Vaishnavaite centre – brundaranya kshetram of the puranic scriptures.

It has had great personalities and contributed to the freedom struggle – Dheerar Sathyamurthi, Mahakavi Subramaniya Barathiyar lived here.   Thilagar Thidal was the place where great leaders like Subhrahmanya Siva, Bharathiyar, VOC, Nethaji and Gandhiji had all delivered lectures.  It had produced Mathematics genius S Ramanujam, Writer Sujatha, Cricketers, MJ Gopalan, WV Raman.  There are many great temples around this place each fostering the great tradition, art and culture of the Nation.

This year the Triplicane Cultural Festival was well organized by Mrs Uthra Sarang, Mrs Shobhana, Mr SR Parthasarathi and a group of enthusiastic volunteers.  There were stalls – there was competition for drawing kolam on the streets – a procession highlighting the culture.  A simple yet attractive podium was erected in front of the Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple.  

The Chief Guest for the evening was the Mayor Chennai Corporation, Mr Saidai Duraisamy.  Others on the podium were Mr NKT Muthu, popularly ‘Vizha Vendan’; Mr N Ramakrishna Achar, a great Sanskrit Scholar, Mr TA Sampathkumar, President, SYMA.  Mrs Uthra Sarang welcomed the Guests and the evening programme started with lighting of kuthu vilakku by the Mayor.   Yours Truly compered the Programme, introduced the Guests on stage.

His worshipful Mayor of Chennai Mr Saidai Duraisamy spoke at length on the need for preserving our culture, the need for having clean food habits and taking care of one’s health by eating right things.  Mayor distributed the Prizes to winners of the competitions held earlier. 

Yours Truly dwelt at length on the glory of Triplicane, of its Temples, the role it had in the National struggle for freedom, the way its streets are named,  its significant people, its historic buildings, and more.  TA Sampathkumar spoke of the social service and the role of SYMA in Triplicane.  Thiru Ramakrishna Achar spoke at length on the culture, the religious activities, how they are inter-mingled and the need for remaining religiously oriented to ensure effective maintenance of our tradition. Mrs Uthra Sarang thanked all those who had helped in putting up the grand festival. 

Children of Mruthya Lahari organized Mrs Mythili Sampath performed dance on the stage, which was appreciated by all. 

The programme was complete with the ‘Theru Koothu’ on ‘Maveeran Vaali’ [the legendary Vali of Ramanayana] by Kalaivani Nataka Mandram ~ D Kanniappan & Co from Vikravandi.  People were there are large numbers encouraging the stage performance. 

A great day for Triplicane itself.  Kudos to the Organisers for the neat good show and the effort in promoting the culture.   

With regards ~  S. Sampathkumar [Secretary- SYMA]

PS:  A pinch of politics. 

Electorally, Triplicane is no longer an independent constituency; it is ‘Chepauk- Thiruvallikkeni’ constituency now.  In the very first general elections to the State Assembly of the Madras Presidency held in 1951 ~ Mr AM Sambandham of INC won the Triplicane constituency  by securing 14168 votes; in 1967 when it was Tamil Nadu, Mr VR Nedunchezhian with38721 votes was elected as MLA.  

Photos from the Festival: Courtesy : Mr Thirumazhisai Kannan

enthusiastic participation in kolam competition
Cow leading the procession
the stilt [kokkalikkattai]
poikal kuthirai
singing group ~ Soundarya Rathinamala
children dancing
Mayor inspecting the kolams
Me speaking
Mayor speaking
the crowd at the venue
dance programme by children
Vali vatham Therukoothu

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