Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cows And Pongal

All the Hindu homes in the neighborhood were decorated for Pongal. The neighbor out our bedroom window always has the biggest and best executed design. At twelve midnight the street was bare, but by five AM her home was ready.

"Our" cow was right outside our balcony with decorated horns and a cry for , well a cry for something. We still do not understand Tamil. We took down money and our neighbor sent her maid down with a large platter spread with food for the cow.
At the women's college the cow wore flowers on her head but there was another cow

who experienced a very different day. There is a tradition in the villages to subdue the cow.

A money prize is given to the man who stops the cow in his frenzy by using only his bare hands. As near as we can tell the prize is not large. The participants seem to be driven by a sense of honor. The scene is a little like the bull run in Spain but many more people are involved and there seems to be more injuries. The "sport " is called jallikattu and it was reported that three died but then the news said last night that eight died. In all 275 were injured. If you are brave look up jallikattu on YouTube, but don't watch the clip to the end. The camera travels in the ambulance and operating room.

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Jenny said...

ha - good for the cow

Elizabeth said...

Crazy! I love that you record all these cultural tidbits too.