Thursday, December 8, 2016

Here’s All You Need To Know About The Essence Of Khudurukuni Osha!

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Festivals bring with them loads of fun, merry-making and waves of nostalgia. Each of them pragmatic with an interesting story traced back to ancient times. One such festivity celebrated by Odias is Khudurukuni, also known as Bhalukuni Pooja during the month of Bhadrab (Aug-Sept) on Sundays. During this festival Goddess Mangala is worshipped by young girls primarily who seek the safety, prosperity and good health of their brothers. This portrays the sanctity and beauty of their relationship.

Modern day celebrations of Khudurukuni Osha include young girls waking up early in the morning and collecting various flowers. After taking bath, they pray to the Sun God by building small temples of sand and decorating it with turmeric powder and flowers. Thereafter they sit down to stitch massive garlands for the Goddess to be worshipped in the evening.

The prime offerings are Khuda Bhaja (Broken Rice)hence the name Khudurukuni, Ukhuda (flattened paddy sweetened with molasses). The girls also chant hymns and prayers about the glory of Maa Mangala.

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It is believed that in early days traders from Odisha (then Orissa) travelled far and wide (mostly Java and Sumatra Islands) in ships (Boitas) to do business. Their family members used to bid them adieu and pray for their good health and safe home–coming.

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The name “Tapoi” is prevalent in this festivity and this is how her story goes. Tapoi was the only and the youngest sister to her seven brothers. They belonged to a rich trader family. Being the only sister she was loved and pampered by her parents and all brothers and their wives alike. All her demands were fulfilled in no time. Once she demanded a golden moon (a moon shaped ornament made of gold), to which her family obliged despite few hiccups. By the completion of the golden moon, both her parents died. Thereafter, the family’s financial condition worsened a lot and when the time of maritime voyages arrived, all the seven brothers went out for trading cautioning their wives to take good care of their sister, Tapoi.

However influenced by the fallacious ideas of a Brahmin widow, all her sister-in-laws barring the youngest one started ill-treating Tapoi. Despite being treated very badly and inhumanly, Tapoi patiently waited for her brothers to return. But it was only her youngest sister-in-law who was affectionate and supportive towards Tapoi.

Treated in an ill mannered way, Tapoi while wandering one day saw some girls worshipping Maa Mangala. By getting aware of her distress, the young girls said Tapoi that if she wants to get respite from all her sufferings and seek the safe return of her brothers, then she must pray devotedly and seek blessings of Maa Mangala. She was also advised by them to fast on those particular Sundays. She offered Khuda to the Goddess as she had nothing else to offer.

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Soon her prayers were answered and her brothers returned. On knowing their sisters’ plight, all these brothers unanimously decided to teach their wives a lesson. The brothers decked up Tapoi as a goddess and therafter the wives were informed to visit the ships and welcome their husbands back home. Tapoi then avenged her sufferings by cutting each of the wives’ nose except for the youngest one.

Since then Goddess Mangala is worshipped by all young girls during the Khudurukuni Osha for the well-being of their brothers.