Initiating College Students Into Tradition
Aadi Perukku is a monsoon festival, celebrated by Tamils on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi (mid-July to mid-August). This ancient and beautiful festival is rich in rituals and tradition that pays tribute to water’s life-sustaining properties. Dr.MGR-Janaki College of Arts & Science for Women, Chennai came to us with the assignment of reaching out to the younger generation with the traditional values of this native celebration.
How we did it!
We understand the mind-set of vibrant, intelligent youngsters of today. Lectures on the subject would not work. We conceived the event in a different way, planned and executed it to perfection. We also generated plenty of publicity and photo opportunities which the media simply loved and we received good coverage.
We decided to recreate the experience with all its traditional magic. We transformed the college premises into a space filled with rustic charm. A beautiful rural market set-up was created and this triggered the imagination of students. Here, we placed the various elements of a traditional milieu bangle sellers, tender coconut sellers, parrot fortune-telling, cotton candy vendors, porridge vendors, etc. A special pond was set up for the Aadi Perukku rituals and for floating traditional clay lamps
Students were divided into groups for various activities and we had an overwhelming response of nearly 4000 students. They enjoyed being part of the celebrations and it was a whole new experience for them.
Students not only learnt and immersed themselves in this rich tradition and indigenous celebrations, they also got to showcase their hidden skills. This included folk arts performances, designing creation of rural markets, team work and togetherness, etc. We were proud to be part of this initiative that is the revival of gradually disappearing festivity that is unique to Tamil people and culture.
This event was well-showcased by the media. Since the whole event was so colourful, it became the subject of many photo opportunities. There was a lot of excitement and interest generated in the media due to the beautiful theme and innovative activities.