“The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals “- Siddharth Katragadda
Another field trip! This time it was to Nundhala, a neighbouring village where students got first-hand experience of the rich culture of the local tribe called the “Badagas” who were celebrating the Hettaiamman festival there.
The entire village was decked up and all the houses wore a freshly painted look. The pathway leading to it was lined with small shops selling interesting colourful things – imitation jewellery, accessories, toys, food stuff and other bric-a-brac. There were games set up for the children and visitors, ensuring that the day wasa fun-filled one.
People of the Badaga community have always been known for the warmth and hospitality. This occasion was no different. Our students were warmly welcomed at every house in the village, offeredTea, juice, snacks and other delicacies. The students were overwhelmed by this genuine display of hospitality towards strangers – a total ‘culture shock’ for those students from the mega metros.
The focal point of the festivities was the Hettaiamman temple at the village and the Annadhanam (the sacred tradition of offering food) that was organised for more than 20,000 people who attended the celebrations that day.
For the students, it was an eye opener, as they interacted and shared their experiences with the villagers. More importantly, they also captured with their cameras, the spaces, faces and precious moments of the day!
Here’s what some students had to say about their experience of that trip:
The field trip to Nundhala was a first-time experience for me. Ithad an amazing feel good factor about it. The whole village was in a festive mood. The experience was just lovely. – P.Vivek Vardhan
Nundhala was a nice place to visit and a good experience interacting with new people. This was the first time I was seeing so many people gathered in one place. The small shops on the roadside were too good! The people in the village were so kind and they gave us such good food and everyone who visited their houses was greeted so well. They are extremely friendly to everyone and treated even strangers like family. It was a good trip. – Jawahar Preethamraj