Nizamabad MP and Telangana Jagruthi founder Kalvakuntla Kavitha is spreading the word across countries on the state's own 'Bathukamma' festival, which is considered a symbol of the state's cultural identity.
The Bathukamma festival is celebrated by women of Telangana, with flowers that grow exclusively in each region. The festival takes place during the latter half of the monsoon, before the onset of winter.
The monsoon rains usually bring plenty of water into the fresh ponds of Telangana, which results in wild flowers blooming in various vibrant colors all across the uncultivated and barren plains of the region.
The most abundant of these are the âgunuka pooluâ and âtangedi pooluâ. There are other flowers too like the banti, chemanti, nandi-vardhanam etc.
The flowers are carefully arranged in a brass plate (called taambalam) in circular rows and in alternate colors. The Bathukamma grows in size and the bigger it is the better. The white gunuka flowers are colored using water paints and Bathukamma gets colorful circular layers of them along with tangedi in between. Then it is placed in front of the deity of the home and a prayer is conducted.
After playing in circles around the âBathukammaluâ, before the onset of dusk, the women folk carry them on their heads and move as a procession towards a bigger water body near the village or town. The procession is extremely colourful with the decorations of women and the âBathukammaluâ.
Songs of folklore are sung in chorus throughout the procession and the streets resonate with them.
Finally, when they reach the water pond, the âBathukammaluâ are slowly immersed into water after some more playing and singing. Then they share the âmaleedaâ (a dessert made with sugar or raw sugar and corn bread) sweets amongst the family members and neighborhood folk. They return to their homes with empty âtaambaalamâ, singing songs in praise of Bathukamma.
Bathukamma goes global
While Telangana is celebrating the festival this year from September 30 to October 8, TRS MP Kavitha plans to celebrate the festival in nine countries across the world, to spread the word.
While she has already visited Dubai, London and the US to celebrate the festival, she is expected to visit six more locations.
After visiting Australia on October 8 and New Zealand on October 9, the MP plans to travel to Singapore the next day, before visiting Bahrain, Kuwait and Denmark.