In a fitting finale, to the Bathukamma celebrations organized across North America under the aegis of TDF – USA, Telanganites living in Metro Atlanta celebrated Bathukamma on October 1, 2006. The event was attended by over 120 people.
Telangana Development Forum (TDF-USA), Atlanta Chapter, organized the event. Telanganites poured in from different parts of Metro Atlanta bringing colorfully decorated batukammas with them. The efforts of women and girls in decorating the Bathukamma’s were very visible.
People attended the event and celebrated Bathukamma with great enthusiasm and gaiety. People of all ages participated in this event; elderly women, local residents as well as visitors from India have organized the Bathukamma’s and brought in lot of vibrancy to the festival.
The Goddess Gowri seemed to be pleased with the efforts and blessed the event. It was a very nice sunny day, perfect for an out door celebration. People purchased various colorful flowers for Bathukamma preparation. This activity brought back nostalgic memories from “back home” where children used to collect various wild flowers like Gunugu poolu, Thangedu Poolu and other domestic flowers like Beera Poolu and Cutley Poolu from the fields, not necessarily their own. The ladies creatively substituted locally available flowers like different color roses, chamanti, banti etc in decorating the Bathukamma’s, as Gunugu poolu, Thangedu Poolu are not available in North America.
Bathukamma Picnic started around 12 noon with people trickling in slowly. Every one brought different kind of rice items (Saddulu), snacks and curries with Telangana flavor; it was reminiscent of a rural Telangana get together. The conversation in Telangana Telugu, with distinct accent transformed Sharon Springs Park into a village of Telangana. If you closed your eyes, you would be transported back in time and would feel as if you were back in any village of Telangana.
Headed by Mr. G.S. Reddy, Ratan Elugunti, Srijan Joginapally, Venkat Veeraneni and Madhukar Pasham organized event on behalf of Atlanta-TDF chapter. All the visitors were appreciating the efforts of the organizers for the first Bathukamma celebration in Metro Atlanta. They said they have never imagined they would play bathukamma in America when even younger generations in India are forgetting this vibrant, colorful festival.
After the event kicks off, the games for children were conducted followed by delicious potluck festival lunch. Then followed the games for men and women. Everybody in the family enjoyed them and had fun. You could feel their enjoyment by looking at their smiling faces and loud laughs.
The actual Bathukamma started around 3.30 pm keeping in mind the tradition. It was colorful with women in traditional sarees, girls in langa/voni, with Bathukammas made of locally available flowers, which were placed in the center and women played around the Bathukammas. The elderly women performed bathukamma Pooja (Gowri Pooja) and distributed Pasupu Kumkum to all other ladies. The male folk gathered around, encouraging ladies to go in the truly traditional way of telangana. It was a visual treat when women danced around Bathukammas with Bathukamma songs in the rhythm of “Bathukamma Bathukamma Uyyaalo.. “. Women folks danced more than an hr to the tunes of Bathukamma songs.
As the conclusion the prizes for winners for various games and Bathukamma decorations were given followed by the thank you note by organizers.
Ratan Elugunti family’s dedication in event arrangements, Srijan Joginapally’s scheduling and coordination, Madhukar Pasham’s infectious enthusiasm and bountiful energy, Venkat Veeraneni’s dedication, who squeezed in time between “Parenting Classes” and unexpected work pressure in the office, contributed in ensuring seamless and smooth functioning of the team. G.S. Reddy TDF- Atlanta’s “pedda dikku” guided the celebration. Sudhir Kodati’s subtle but persistent support and advice were invaluable to the team, Unfortunately Mr. T. Ramachandra Reddy, Chairman; TDF Board of Trustees’ could not attend the event as he was in India.
All said and done, it was a very great event that far exceeded every ones expectations. All the participants were very pleased with the event and were enquiring to know more about TDF and future events.
TDF-USA is a not-for-profit organization created to provide a platform for Non-Resident Telanganites to come together to discuss various problems faced by Telangana people. Please visit
www.telangana.org for information about