We are from the south of India. Or the so called Madrasees. We are dark skinned and wear sarees most of our lives. We move out of our beloved sarees only if we step into the United States of America! Our heads might be bald, but even then a married woman will wear flowers on that bald head of hers.
We are a brand of people who believe whole heartedly in the anti bacterial values of turmeric. This is the reason why we dab ourselves with a thick layer of freshly ground turmeric. The result is us looking like we just got a bout of severe jaundice. Unlike the other women who have a pink glow to their cheeks, we walk around with a yellow colour to our face.
We are like an island within the country of India. And deodorants have not managed to reach this island yet. We believe in bathing with water, in which neem leaves were soaked overnight. And the only brand of soap we believe in is something green, no not because it’s symbolic of herbal but because again it must be made up of been if it’s green in color.
Something that we tamilian women love more than our very own husband’s is our jewellery. No not artificial jewellery but jewellery made out of 916 hallmarked gold. So what if we are poor, which most of us are as we belong to middle or lower middle class families, then we wear jewellery that looks or even beats gold with its looks.
We don’t believe in simplicity. It is for the meager. Any woman belonging to a decent family would own atleast a hundred kancheevaram silk sarees. That too these sarees will be in colours not even a palette could possibly carry out so well. Dark and contrasts are what we like. The more shine and glitter it eminates the better we like it. Also not just silk sarees, we also have sarees that are 9 yards long. Like 6 yards of cloth wasn’t enough to trip and fall on, most tamil brahmin women drape this 9 yards sarees around and round them, making the fat look fatter.
Let’s talk about food. According to us tamilians, food is everything. Rice is our staple and chapati is for the old and the sick. Our lunches are literally rice with five different curry combinations starting g with dal+ghee, vathakozhambh, kaarakozhambhu, sambar, rasam, curd and a vegetarian subji to go with all these curries. It’s like you eat rice and more rice for each of the different curries, for every meal. Can you imagine the carbohydrates that goes in with all this rice. We also have a wide range of variety rices. How can we live without our lemon rice and tomato rice.
We wake up early in the morning, and the first thing we do is bath. Be it winter or summer, that is how our routine goes. Then we clean the area outside our entrance with water and draw beautiful designs called as kollam. This was basically done using rice flour in the initial days because it would be eaten by the birds like sparrows. Now since sparrows are almost extinct, the art is done using chalk powders.
Since we live in tamil nadu and water scarcity is synonymous with our state, all of us depend on the metro water that comes in our locality. We have specially designed containers that fit into the hips, to carry this water onto the house. The art of carrying these containers is one of biggest talents that we have.
These are all the things I found to be a beautiful part of the culture of the tamil people. These are their traditions and their beauty is not skin deep but much deeper than that once you get to know them. The best part is how they are successfully passing it on to the next generation in a very similar manner!
Do let me know what experiences you have had with these aunties.
This post is for blogathon #Letsblogwithpri hosted by Prisha from @mummasaurus1 for the month of June.
I would like to thank Noor Anand Chawla for introducing me. Do check out her blog to see what’s her take on life this week.
I would like to introduce my friend Cindy Ann Dsilva to this blog train. Do check out her blog.