Paramparaa – The Tradition Continues…

Golu get-together galvanises Indians in U.S.

(Sridhar Sampath)

After two years of hiatus, Hindus all over the USA celebrated Navarathri with great enthusiasm and devotion. The traditional golu by South Indian families and temples and Gujarathi Garbha events were back in full celebratory mode this year.

Golu events in the USA are vastly different from those in India in scale, size and scope. Typically golu events in India are confined to neighbors in a small neighborhood consisting of few streets while in the USA golu events are typically scattered across the entire city. Golu visitors in India are usually small in number, typically served a light snack of sundal (spicy channa) and are spread over all days of Navarathri.

In the USA Golu keepers spend a lot of money and time making exquisite and decorative golus which are fairly large in scope and size. The golu visits are typically restricted to only the weekends and golu hosts forgo the traditional chana sundal to prepare an elaborate party meal consisting of several dishes. It is not unusual for a host to be spending the whole day in preparing the meal to welcome the many families visiting the golu that evening.

Because many events are spread over vast distances across a city, hosts and guests have to start planning in advance as to who is hosting when and which events to attend. A host who has taken a whole day to cook/host has just one more day during the weekend to visit anywhere between 10 to 20 other golus scattered across distances of 50 kms. In the USA. hosting and/or visiting golu events can be very challenging logistically due these. However, year after year, Indians have celebrated not just to have fun but to keep the tradition alive and pass it on to the next generation. We bid adieu to this year’s Navarathri which brought out all these aspects in full fervor.

Collage of pictures of some of the golus in and around Greater Houston area