With over 600 participants, on 28 September at Ermington Community Centre, Australian Telangana State Association’s (ATSA) Bathukamma festival took Sydney siders, who trace their origin to the Telangana areas of India, back to the times of the original princely state of Hyderabad.
Guests of honour included Rasamayi Balakishan MLA and Singer and Karne Pabhakar, MLC from Telangana State.
Bathukamma is a spring festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana, India. It is also called as Bodemma. This festival falls in the months of September/October called as Ashvin or Aaswiyuja.
Bathukamma festival is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri. It starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya. It concludes two days before Dusshera called as Durgashtami. On the final day, the closing ceremony of Bathukamma panduga is celebrated as a great festival ‘Pedda Bathukamma’ or ‘Saddula Bathukamma’.
Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers, in seven concentric layers and shaped like a cone. Bathuku in Telugu means life, and Amma means mother, hence Bathukamma, is celebrated for the glory, later signified as Goddess Gauri – the patron Goddess of womanhood.
Women celebrate the festival dressed-up in traditional silk saris, and wear jewellery. This year’s Bathukamma was very important, as the Telangana government has announced bathukamma festival as the State’s festival. This is the 9th Bathukamma festival in Sydney organised by Australian Telangana State Association Sydney. The festival showcases the integration into multicultural Australia.
Rasamayi spoke about the Bathukamma festival and its culture with his folk songs and entertained the crowd.
At 4.30pm, the bathukamma display was carried to Parramatta lake. After a small prayerful dance by the ladies, the bathukamma was floated into the lake.
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