Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mundhan's DUBADDI (दुबडी) : Unique festival in Jaunsar Bawar

Mundhan's DUBADDI (दुबडी) : Prayers & Festivities to celebrate Rainy season Crops
Mundhan is an important village in the Jaunsar Bawar area in many aspects. It is even today remembered as the former seat of one the four Chantarus, chosen four who occupied a higher place in the society, had final say on any issue and defiance by any one used to result in punishment. This was the only Brahamin village to have this privilege. Though the pre-eminence of the Chantarus ended with the country gaining freedom from British rule, the villages/ families once donning the title of Chantarus, retained the respect and influence in the society. A part of Koru Khat, Mundhan village headman is also the Syana or Mukhiya (Chief) of the Khat again only Brahamin village or family in the area to have this recognition.
Mundhan is also famous for its annual Dubbadi festival. It is the sole village in the entire Jaunsar Bawar where this festival is held. Dubaddi comes towards the end of rainy season and signals ripening of crops readying it for harvesting. The festival has its own unique characteristics and has been able to generate a lot of enthusiasm and interest. The whole village celebrates the festival with prayers, alms giving, especial religious songs, Jaunsari song & dance, ‘Mandawana’, etc. Not only village-folks in and outside but also relatives, friends, guests from all the neighbourhood villages and the Garhwal region participate to add to the glory of the event. The village once again came to life with the with its unique annual festival Dubbadi held recently.

How Old is Dubaddi Festival ? It is believed that the festival came to village with migration of Shetwan clan from Garhwal many centuries ago to Mundhan. This is evident from the fact that there are several villages in the Garhwal region which have been celebrating the Dubbadi festival for ages, such as Khairad, Marod, etc villages in the Tehri Garhwal district. The festival in the Mundhan village is mainly associated with the Shetwan clan and every other clan joining with them from the village.

Why is the festival celebrated? This is a question to which different answer may be elicited. However it is a fact that the entire Mundhan observes this with fullest faith and gaiety. It is said that the festival comes as a thanks giving to the Lord, called Dubbadi Devta, for His blessings in the form of good Kharif crops. Those who own land and have better crops commit to ensuring that nobody in the village goes hungry.

How is Dubbadi celebrated? On the appointed day ., a male member each fasts on behalf of his family in the village through the day. At around round 4.00 p. m, each such person would bring a Pooja Thali from his home to assemble at the Panch ka Aangan ( the village ground) to start the festival with proper ceremonial prayer offerings. The Pooja Thali is decorated with Dhoop sticks, ghee-of cow milk, ethnic dishes The grain bales/leaves of seasonal cops like , Kawani, Chaini, Shaathi(paddy), Jhangora, etc, are also placed in the sanctum- sanctora of the village called Thari/Thaur.

Typical Pooja
The prayers and worship begin with recitation of especial Mantras and religious songs which seeks blessings for good crops, sufficient rains, happiness for one and all. This is accompanied by the dedicated drum- beats and playing local musical instruments. After the ceremonial Pooja is over, the dishes are distributed among the poor and downtrodden who take it to their homes. The fasting persons offer a part of the worship/ prayer articles- dishes to their Kul-Devta ( Clan Deity) before returning home.
Cultural evening precedes Ramlila or Mandawana
On this occasion every one congregates at the village ground duly bathed wearing new clothes. As the formal prayers and worship offerings is over, the assembled persons break in to traditional songs and dance. After the song and dance, the guests are invited for dinner by the village folks in the true Jaunsari warmth. The event is marked by either performing Ramlila/other play or by organizing Mandawana , in which through especial drum beats Pandavas’ spirits are solicited to dawn on certain persons-both male and female. The regular hosting of Mandawanas are supposed to bring happiness and ward-off ill-fate with Pandavas blessing them alls.

Gaiety Next Day
The guests are especially attended to the next day with every household hosting them together for tea snacks in the morning. One person from each family is also be invited to accompany the guests for house- to-house round called “hailla”. Especial dishes like Aske, Ulluwe-pinnunwe, Halwa, kheer, Puri etc are prepared. Hoats are sacrificed to add to the festivity.
Girls/women from Neighbouring Villages attend
The event is also unique as it witnesses the participation of girls and ladies(rainthudias) too joining the male folks from nearby villages- Gadol, Rampur, Singhor, Chillad, Bhadou, Dabra, etc. The girls and especially ladies rarely go to other villages for fairs or other celebrations in the Jaunsar Bawar area. In this way the practice here shows the way to the other villages towards provide equality to women. Apart from the nearby villages the relatives and acquaintances from several villages in Garhwal also visit Mundhan in a large number on this occasion.
Thus Dubaddi not only marks reaping harvests of real hard work but also sends a strong message of gratitude, equity, warmth & sharing, cultaral linkage with the roots. It also show-cases how girls and women too can to be given a better place in the society.


narendra said...

exelent work n resrarch

sunil said...

This information is very good about this fair and locality according to me jaunsar is a good area for it's beauty,custom cultural and traditions. I hope that our area should be developed as much as we want. we should be given true information and knowledge about place and location.

wish you all the best.