Nilgiris Culture, Traditions and Festivals
Nilgiris Culture, Traditions and Festivals
Ooty Culture: India, the land of different cultures. You step out of your front door and you will hear a dozen different languages than your own. Yet they are all Indian in their own way. A harmonious co-existence of people from different back grounds and different traditions. So why should Ooty, being a part of India, be any different? You find people from different parts of the country living there. People from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and AndhraPradesh make up a major chunk of the local population.
Ooty culture has been heavily influenced by the presence of these migrants. Although Tamil is the main language and also widely spoken, you will rarely come across a local who cannot speak Kannada and Malayalam as well. Tulu is also spoken by a small section of the population. Telugu has also become popular in recent times. Due to the heavy influence of tourists all round the year the people have also become quite fluent in English. Hindi is also spoken by a small cross section of the society but with their strong accent it might be a little difficult to follow. Then you have the local tribes who have been living in Ooty since time immemorial. They follow a distinct culture of their own.
Despite a heavy outside influence they still celebrate their own set of festivals and follow their own traditions with as much gaiety and fervor as they used to and the whole city joins them in their celebrations. Well, when you come to think of it, it is not so different in any other part of India. But for the people of Ooty even small happiness in their lives is one big celebration. A big celebration where all are invited. Life is one big party for them. From a sleepy little town Ooty has changed a lot over the years. Small scale industries like weaving have added important value to the society and economy.
With heavy income inflow throughout the year, mainly from tourism, the standard of living of people have considerably improved over the years. Over the years Ooty has become an important education hub in South India as well. With all this modernization going on and people slowly getting adapted to a city life, one might expect not to find much of the old glamour and charm that once existed. No sir. You are wrong. Nothing comes at the cost of your individuality. And nothing comes at the cost of Mother Nature as well.
Although a lot of improvement and modernization is happening in Ooty all the steps are taken keeping in mind the delicate eco system. The people know how important it is to preserve the ecology around them. The normally calm, cheerful and friendly people will be at arms if they find anybody tampering with nature around them. So be sure to stay on their good books and not to throw any plastic or such waste carelessly around. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry, or embarrassed in this case.
Festivals in Ooty, Nilgiris
Ooty Festivals: Ooty being a multi linguistic, multi cultural, multi ethnic society, like any other part of India, has a myriad of festivals spanning the entire year. But most of the festivals are held during the summer. The presence of local tribes like the Todas and the Kuravas, add on to the number of festivals celebrated in Ooty. The festivals of their local deity have become a regional affair overtime. In the list of religious festivals celebrated, Thaipoosam festival and the Mariamman Temple festival are the foremost and the most famous.
People from different parts of South India come to Ooty during these festivals and since they are held during the summer, it is an added attraction for the tourists as well. The temples are colorfully decorated and special poojas and community lunches are also organized. It is a visual treat for any person who is new to this way of life.
In addition to the religious festivals there are a lot of fairs and festivals organized by the department of tourism. The main event organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is the Summer Festival. This is held in the premises of the Botanical Gardens in Ooty. The festival mainly comprises of a flower show and dog show among many other attractions like a lot of stalls selling locally made handicrafts and shawls etc.
Many events like boat races, trekking competitions, painting completion for the kids and so on are also held as part of the summer festival. In addition to these you have performances by local dance groups and folk dances as well which is a visual treat and also give you an insight into the local culture of Ooty. During the Summer festival the whole town of Ooty is one big festival ground. There are tourists who visit Ooty specifically during the summer festival to maximize the thrill they get out of the Ooty experience.
But if you are planning on such a visit be sure to book your Ooty accommodations in Ooty resorts and Ooty hotels in advance. Although the place is abundant and can cater the need to any section of the society as far as accommodation is concerned, the festival season can get really crowded with tourists. Why take the risk? A place leaves a complete impression on you when everything goes perfect. If you go to a place which is absolutely stunning but the people less friendly or indifferent you donâ t get that inner satisfaction.
On the other hand when hard core party animals visit a very calm and quiet place then they feel that something is missing. But Ooty has a way to cater to the needs of all kinds of people. It is a place where you find a rare blend of peace, calm and serenity of nature, with the most helpful and friendly minded people you will come across and if you are visiting Ooty during the festive season, then you can have a big party yourself as well.