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Rice in Indian Culture
 
India has the largest paddy output in the world and is also the second largest exporter of rice in the world. Paddy fields are a common sight throughout India, be they be northern gangetic plains or southern peninsular plateaus. The paddy cultivation plays a major role in socio-cultural life of rural India. Many festivals such as Onam in Kerala, Bihu in Assam, Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh, Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makara Sankranthi in Karnataka, Nabanna in West Bengal celebrates harvest of Paddy. Andhra Pradesh is historically known as the "Rice Bowl of India", while Thanjavur is historically known as the "Granary of South India" and the Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. Nanchinadu was known as the rice bowl of the former Kingdom of Travancore. In Kerala there is a place (which spreads into three districts) called Kuttanadu, which is famous for paddy cultivation. Kuttanadu is called the rice bowl of Kerala.
 

18
Aug

Harvesting rituals

1. In western Orissa (district of Sambalpur and Bolangir) a festive day is observed kncwn as Nua khia or Navanna (the day of taking new rice).
2. On this day the house holder offers homage to the ancestors and deities. Guests and relatives are invited to the house and partake of the rice of the new year with the house holder. (In some places of Sambalpur another festive occasion known as Bhai jauntia or invitation of brothers is observed. The married girls of the house are invited on this day).

File Courtesy: 
CRRI
18
Aug

Separation of Grains

1. Two methods of threshing are followed in Orissa. In one method the bundle of rice is beaten on a raised bamboo frame, and in the other the rice sheaves are threshed by the bullocks treading over them.
2. In this second method certain interesting practices are observed. Either on the first Thursday of the month of Margasira (Nov.-Dec.), or on the Dhanu samkranti day of the month of Pousa (Dec.-Jan.), the barn is cleaned, washed and plastered with cow dung.

File Courtesy: 
CRRI
18
Aug

Rice folk songs of Orissa

This popular belief is coroborated by an Oriya folk song:
"Megha barasila tupuru tupuru
Kesura maila gaja
Saru gacha mule bengatie basi
Bajae telingi baja."
i.e.,
"Drip drip rains the cloud
Sprouts the seeds all around
Sitting under the arum plant
The frog is beating the Telingi drums".
For rain making, the frog plays an important role in popular tradition.

File Courtesy: 
CRRI
18
Aug

Festivals of Meghalaya

1. The Garos of Meghalaya observe different festivals m the different seasons of the year.

2. Most of the festivals current amongst the Garos are associated with cultivation. Before the sowing of seeds of rice, they celebrate two festivals known as Gitehi pong and Michiltata The first is a personal sacrifice and the second was the collective ceremony.

3. To ensure the favour of the sprit Rokime i.e., mother of rice she is invoked in these two festivals. The Rongchugala or Gindigala festival is observed before the starting of harvest.

File Courtesy: 
ICAR, NEH. Umiam
18
Aug

Festivals of Mizoram

1. The community festivals of the Mizos are called Kut. Pawl Kut may be called a harvest festival. It is performed at the end of harvest held in the month of December.

2. On the other hand, it may be called a new year's festival. The aim of the festival is to bid farewell to the old year and to welcome the New Year.
3. Chapchar Kut is a festival of spring performed generally in the month of March or April. The festival is generally performed before the jhums are burnt.

File Courtesy: 
ICAR, NEH. Umiam
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