Sunday, December 05, 2010

My angel on the tree

I think I need to start blogging tweet style or this blog could turn into a relic! That aside, I've put up a few Christmas decorations around the house, it is early but since everyone here has their houses decorated so beautifully, I decided to give in. Of course, mine's not as elaborate as theirs, but it makes me happy!

Back in the days, I don't think we ever put up the tree, lights, other decorations and the star any day before the 22nd or 23rd, the day when the Christmas holidays began in school. The Star was important, there were multiple ones but one central one outside with lights, these are the big colorful stars made of cardboard paper you see in houses in Mangalore, naturally the top of the tree had to have a star too or an angel, the youngest member of the family always got the chance to put that up. The nativity crib was something we didn't put up in the beginning, but later on it was the most awaited (NOT! since it takes so much patience) activity right on Christmas eve.

Around the same time we also made kuswar at home because it was impossible for the mother to do it all alone without help. No more home-made rice ladoos, chaklis, banana chips, kokkisa, neu-reo, keedyo, gulleo, thukdi or sharing tray fulls of kuswar with the neighbors and relatives. I don't know if anyone in Mangalore makes all this at home anymore, I hope some do.

Bringing down the tree and other decorations and carefully packing them was something no one wanted to do, but usually right on Jan 6th someone would half-heartedly kick start that initiative.


Lobo said...

Even we used to put up stars, nativity set(big one) etc. Nowadays only the star. My mom, dad, brother, cousins used to prepare hell lot of kuswar starting weeks before xmas and distribute to entire neighborhood in Bangalore where we stayed. After the first year, we started getting "kuswar" from everyone in our neighborhood on their festivals. This was fun because we had one xmas and they had many festivals a year!!
It's all gone now. Most of the houses have vanished and apartments have come up, it's also turned into commercial place. Though we have one or two familiar faces here and there, we don't follow that tradition any more. Also, the kids are out of town working now so Mom doesn't get any help and doesn't have the strength to do it all by herself.
It's kind of sad to think of... it was a lovely neighborhood.

RZD said...

Thanks for sharing. It's true about the sharing of food and sweets though, I know our non-Christian neighbors still do it for Ganesh Chaturthi, Ayuda Pooja and some other of their festivals, we just give store bought cakes to everyone! I guess we should be grateful for our memories of those days :)