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Why Hariyali Teej (Teeyan) is an Emotion for Indians : A Personal Account

People celebrating Teej in India. Wikimedia
by Dr Bharti Raizada
Chicago, July 25, 2017:
I was born in a Punjabi family and grew up in Rajasthan, therefore I saw both Rajasthani and Punjabi traditions and cultures and I still have vivid memories of Teej celebrations by our neighbors.
This year, Hariyali or Choti Teej is on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.  It falls on the third day after Amavasya and is two days before Panchami. Amavasya is on 23rd so Teej is on 25th and Nag Panchami is on 27 July 2017. It is celebrated on Shukla paksh Tritiya of  Shravan month which is the season of rains.
Hariyali means greenery. Hariyali  Teej is celebrated mainly in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Married girls go to their parents’ house and enjoy this festival with their friends. They wear new, mainly green colored, beautiful clothes, wear green bangles, apply mehndi or henna on their hands and feet, and enjoy singing Teej songs, music, and folk dancing.
Good food and sweets, specifically Ghewar, are prepared.  Jhula or swing on a Bargad tree is an important part of this festival.  Sindhara is the name of gifts, clothes, sweets, jewelry etc. which are given by girl’s parents to their daughter and her in laws and gifts given by mother in law to her daughter in law. Women offer prayers to Shivji and Parvati Devi for a happy married life and observe nirjala vrat or fast. They eat after Chandra Puja.
Other Teej are Kajari, Hartalika, Akha or Akshaya Tritiya.
In Punjab, it is celebrated as Teeyan and Giddha dance is performed. Sweets that are popular among Indians are Halwa,  Kheer, pude, malpua and to celebrate its beauty, women wear multicolored clothes and jewelry.
In Chicagoland, Punjabi American Organization is organizing Teeyan Da Mela for last 13years and this year it was on on Sunday, July 23rd at Waterford Banquet Hall in Elmhurst, Il. The celebrations were dedicated to Late Mrs. Jaswant Kaur Dhaliwal.
About 500 women attended the event. There were clothes and jewelry stalls. Lunch, dessert, tea, and coffee were included with ticket, which was $15 per person. There was live DJ, Giddha, Punjabi songs, Dholki and open dance. A fashion show was organized by Panache.

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean