Stories and Culture

Due to constant moving, lack of time and inter caste/religion marriages, a lot of family stories, rituals and food are being lost, forgotten, added and substituted. Many are just following a certain ritual only because they have seen their parents and grand parents do it. Generation by generation we are forgetting the stories behind the rituals and festivals.

Living away from home, is making me (Koshy Brahmatmaj) realise the importance of each and every festival. I want to know more about it. The stories, the activities, the family gossip. during any festival i find myself talking to my mother for long hours just wanting to know more about it.

Talking to my cousins made me realise how little we know about it. I realised that if we don't make a conscious effort to save this information, it will be gone. Holi will just be playing with water, colour and eggs and Diwali will just be about bursting crackers.

For this course, I am concentrating on Holi. I chose holi because:

  1. it is just around the corner
  2. it is my favourite festival
  3. it is the only festival when all my relatives come together in Mumbai
  4. it requires a lot of preparations.

I have started out with collecting information. Have received a story and a lot of recipes. while thinking of how to give out these stories and recipes, i thought of giving them as gifts on holi. I am thinking of products for my relatives i meet on the day of Holi. the age group varies from 5 yr old to 64 yr old. As i am concentrating on my cousins, the age group narrow downs to 5 yr old- 35 yr old.

gift products i am thinking of are:

  1. Colouring book with very short stories for the 5-6 yr 
  2. illustrated story books for 6-14 yr
  3. stories behind the food we eat for 14-20 yr
  4. recipes for above 20 year
A certain recipes are very difficult, like that of Pua. I am thinking of making a tutorial video of it and then circulating it amongst my cousins.

Research Methodology
  1. For researching on this topic I realised I should know who my family members are. I started of by making my family tree. I tried covering 3 generations of my family from my paternal side. I began by noting down whatever I knew about my family. Then I spoke to my father and his first cousin. I managed to get quite a lot of  information through them. I thought of speaking to my grand father but because of his ill health I couldn't.
  2. To pick up one topic to start researching on i started off by noting down what other than blood keeps us together. I realised that it was our common love for food that keeps us together. and even love for festival. I picked up Holi because it has a lot of food.
  3. My family made my research work easier by already having a group on facebook. All I had to say was 'Hey, I am doing a project on you I need your help.' and everyone was popping up on my chat ready to answer whatever I asked.
  4. I started off by asking what comes to their mind when they hear holi. What holi means to them? What all do the know about Holi? stories? food recipes? significance. Men in the family and all my cousins were the most clueless ones. The women in the family helped a lot.

The information I received so far:

out of the information I received I made a booklet on Holi. This booklet will go in a box of Narayan Family rules, rituals, food and stories. This will contain many more similar booklets. 

Now the question is how do I give out this information?
As i mentioned earlier, i was planning on making colouring book, illustrated story and recipe tags as gifts. while doing some last minute research i found out that in evening on the day of Holi, elders in the family give out rumaal and money to the young members of the family. i thought of giving out the copies of The holi booklet to each family along with  rumaal and money.

the other thing i thought was that maybe the gifts given on holi would be booklet of the festival coming right after Holi. Booklets about holi could be given during Makar Sankranti. this way, we could be be prepared for each festival.

No comments:

Post a Comment