Social activities

                     Masi Magam Festival Date : 24.February, 2013Venu: Mahaballipuram Introduction: Irulars are adivasis are living adjoining the forest depending on the forest for their livelihood. They have their own culture, which is unique in nature. Every year in Tamil month of Masi (11th month of Tamil calendar) celebrated magma festival, which falls on full moon day of masi. All the Irulars will assemble in the sea shore of historical place of Mahaballipuram. They worship their goddess Kanniammal. Their faith is that on that day after the prayer they will take Kanniammal to their house. There are 7 Kannis, which means virgin girl. The seven Kannis are- Manjal kanni,(turmeric girl), Santhana kanni(sandal girl), Kadal kanni(sea girl), Agaya kanni(sky kanni), Suzhal kanni,Ohankara kanni, Ratnakara kanni etc. The day of Magam (one of the star in Hindu tradition) especially in the month of Masi gather in front of the temple called “Allava kovil”, which is located on the sea shore of Mahaballipuram. There is a “vellikambam” (pillar), which situated in front of the temple, where all souls will be present on particular day. This is the reason for the significant of the festival. It is paying homage to all the ancestors.On the day of Magam festival all Irulars will gather at Mahaballipuram despite of their distance. It is overnight celebration. The method of worship is unique. They make steps on the sand; it will be 7, 16 or 21, which will be depends up on once vow. All the family will engage in auspicious activities such as marriage, spearing the ear and shaving the head etc. In olden days people had to walk for even 15 days to reach Mahaballipuram. The entire community will stay on the beach. It is time for joy and celebration. In other words informally organized larger social network. ITWWS’s intervention: Irular Tribal Women Welfare Society identified Masi Magam festival as an occasion to create awareness among the Irular community as well as among the government officials. During the last more than 20 years ITWWS organizing cultural activities on the shore of Mahaballipuram, it aims to sensitize the people and raise the issues to the government. It is widely recognized by the Irular community. The federation members will perform various cultural activities and share their experience of community development. The government officials will be invitated and witnessed the Irular’s culture and able listen to their issues. In other words, it is informal dialogue between Irular community members and government officials. The festival began around 7 pm. The celebration started with lightening the “kudavizhaku” it was lighted by Ms. Vasantha(President ITWWS), Mr. K.K. Rajendran (Chief Executive Officer),s. Malika (treasurer ITWWS), Mr. Kutti (president periya putheri panchayat), Mr. Sakthi (president Kunnapattu panchayat). Ms. Vijayalakshmi (educational sponsor coordinator) delivered welcome speech. She welcomed all guests and participants. Tamil Nadu Kuranjee malar Sangam children sang prayer song. Tamil Nadu Kuranjee Malar sangam members danced for prayer song. Beneficiaries from each sectors of ITWWS interventions presented their growth in-between federation member’s cultural programs and the felicitations by the guest. Program got over by 12.30 midnight followed by the preparation for pilgrimage activities like Poojas for wishes and Marriage has been started. Believe that Kadal kanni will be taking bath at the time of Sun Rise so the same time Irulas will be taking bath in the sea assuming that with her blessing they take her home.
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