Karnataka homes hail Dussehra with Bommai Kollu

November 14th, 2007 - 2:23 am ICT by admin  
Bangalore, Oct. 17 (ANI): The hallmark of Dussehra festival in Karnataka may be the famous royal celebrations held in Mysore city but the traditional “Bommai Kollu” or the display of dolls by young girls at their homes, holds its own charm.

“Bommai” is dolls and “Kollu” stands for displaying. These dolls depict gods or village scenes and weddings.

Bommai Kollu is done by constructing wide tiers or steps in any number, seven at the maximum. The number of tiers or steps should be evenly arranged, like, one, three, five, and so on. One can erect nine steps, provided, space and time permits. A variety of dolls are displayed artistically and arranged beautifully on the steps.

“In Mysore, people collect all kinds of dolls and being a Mysorean I too have an affinity with dolls. To celebrate the festival with dolls is a tradition in Karnataka. I have all types of Barbie dolls, toy vehicles and kitchen sets and other things. I have collected them over a period of eight years,” said Roopa Raja, a resident of Bangalore.

With Dussera round the corner, many young girls in Karnataka are busy arranging the traditional Bommai Kollu at their homes.

It is their way of lending an additional touch of merriment to the Navaratri, the nine-day festival devoted to Goddess Durga and also known as Dussehra festival.

Elders at homes meticulously arrange stools and tables of varying sizes like a gallery after which the girls take out their toys and arrange them.

At the foot of the display, usually a theme-based toys or dolls display is an added attraction at most of the Bommai Kollu (Kollu, in short). This could be a zoo, a park, a railway station or a bus terminus with the building made from shoe carton.

Kollu can be as simple or as elaborate as one likes and depends on the space in one’s house. The lady of the house invites other women and children in the neighbourhood to watch the Kollu and it’s followed by a feast of festive delicacies. The visits are exchanged.

“Dussehra is one of the main festivals in Karnataka. For this, the celebrations start during Navratri itself. During Navratri, we visit friends and buy a new doll every year,” said Shravani, another resident.

Apart from the regions of old Mysore State, Bommai Kollu is also a favourite among many families in Tamil Nadu. Bommai means doll or a toy in Kannada as well as in Tamil.

Kollu display is on for all days of Navratri and only after the Vijaya Dashami (the last day of Dussehra), the Kollu is taken away. Usually, most of the dolls are stored back with much care for the next Dussehra. (ANI)

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