JP Global Academy conducted Navarathri contest among the neighbourhood communities called Golu Galatta. Apart from the display of the dolls they had to answer certain key questions on various aspects of the Golu. We are much fascinated by the interest, enthusiasm evinced by the community and are impressed on the aspects of social inclusion and the use of technology in the entire affair.
Here are the reflections of few of them:

Mrs& Mr.Murali
1.Since how many years you have been arranging the Golu ?
May be for about twenty years now. Barring the years in which it was not possible owing to personal reasons, we have been regular in keeping Golu. We were living in Dubai, UAE earlier and we used to keep Golu with dolls taken from Chennai and locally procured ones, besides our own creative structures like park etc. After returning to India too we continue the practice with more fervour since attractive dolls are easily available and space is also not a constraint.

2.What is the significance of Golu ?
It assumes greater significance in a family where there are girl children since we inculcate the habit of praying all the three goddesses (Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga) and continue the tradition, culture and values of worship to our next generation. All the nine days are devoted to these goddesses and prayers are held by inviting families in and around our house to join us in offering prayers. There is immense satisfaction in collective prayers, which we strongly believe.

3.Do you have thematic presentation ? Why?
Yes, we do have thematic presentation as it goes beyond telling the stories orally. Be it scenes of Ramayana or Lord Krishna’s various leelas, children as well as adults enjoy the colourful depiction of themes we choose. We derive satisfaction at the end of the day if the thematic presentation wins the hearts of the viewers when they carry the memories home besides appreciation poured in. The contributory reason for thematic presentation is to give visual account of moral stories we intend to teach our children. One friend presented us with a doll of crow filling a water pot with pebbles to bring up the level of water therein! We were able to narrate the story to a three year old to teach him the lesson of perseverance generating success.

4. What is the current theme representing?
We were able to secure colourful dolls representing various important events of Ramayana and chose the same as prime theme for this year’s Golu. We felt that the story of Ramayana has all the characters and narrates the theme “At the end good virtues will win over evil” subtly. Since we had plenty of space, we were also able to display souvenirs collected across the globe for the children who visited our home and that has been a major hit additionally and brought back nostalgia.

5.In the modern day technology development has it any impact on Golu ? Please explain.
It certainly has an impact on the children as our next generation is able to understand the values of our culture and faith in our system and adapt unity and harmony among the people living in the community. Discipline and collective prayers and sharing tendency are automatically taught. In addition to displaying dolls in pushpaka viman which if the forerunner for aero planes, there are stories to teach science and technology if one is innovative by designing structures for Golu at home. Enthusiastic participation by growing children motivates elders to additionally teach them to come out with flying colours in their chosen academic fields.

6.In the context of social isolation in terms of caste and religion does Golu help to make it inclusive or exclusive ? Your thoughts on the same.
Golu may be kept by certain segment of people following a particular religion but the items required for manufacture, design, structure and sell the dolls etc are done by persons of all religions as it could be proved if one opts for visiting the vendors’ area. It certainly gives them a livelihood irrespective of caste or religion. It that way it is an inclusion and it would continue to be so. We invite people of all religion to our home and there is no isolation. The artistic presentation and social gathering and social harmony are the end results of our endeavour. The ever increasing number of visitors to our Golu over the years is a testimony for the increase in the friendship in our neighbourhood.

Mrs.& Mr.Venkatramani
1) Since how many years have you been arranging golu?
For more than 35 years we are arranging golu.

2) What is the significance of Golu?
The significance of golu can be boxed into 3 categories spiritual, Economy and Social.

Spiritual :
This being done as a part of navarathri festival is devoted towards the goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi.

Economy :
This also has a significant connection with the agricultural economy of ancient India. It is said that in order to encourage dredging and desilting of irrigation canals and river beds the golu was aimed at rising demand for clay.

Social :
During this season relatives and friends make it a point to visit each others home.This occasion also promotes creative expression for women and for family to work together.

3 ) Do you have thematic presentation ? Why?
Thematic representation helps us give unique colour to our golu each year.Over the years we have been trying to take a leaves out our puranahs and depict them through the golu arrangement.This helps in the current generation being aware of the history ,puranahs and Upanishads.

4 ) What is the current theme representing?
For this year the following themes were included.
a)Scenes from Ramayana which depict the birth of Rama through to the eviction of ravanna
b)Scenes from Krishna Leela from the birth of Krishna to eviction of Kamsa
c)Birth of subramanya and scenes from thiruvilaiyadal
d)In addition to the above the famous Dussehra festival of Mysore has also been included.

5 ) In the modern day technology development has it any impact on golu Explain?
The advent of technology if rightly used in the golu arrangements can add effectiveness to the stories depicted. for eg making use of led strip lighting, focus lighting , remote controlled based illuminations can visually in act the scene enhancing the overall experience.In addition to the lighting aspects of the golu, robotic technology can also be widely used to make the erstwhile static characters to perform the story.

6) In the context of social isolation in terms of caste and religion does golu make it inclusive or exclusive ? Your thoughts on the same.
Hinduism includes the diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions but has no ecclesiastical order or unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body , no prophets nor any binding book.In effect what Hinduism provides is a list of guidelines and a way of life. The golu kind of re enforces these values and help us rise above caste and religions.

Golu in Tamil means Courtyard ..it is an important festival for ladies.It commences with kalasapooja on the first day of pursttasi Navaratri and continues for nine nights and one day that is tenth day called Vijayadasami Main significance is in connection with agricultural economy of ancient India ..it is said that in order to encourage dredging Nd desilting of irrigation canals and river beds the kolu celebration was aimed at raising demand for clay frm such activities..it is important occasion for socializing..
During this season relatives friends in south India make it a point to visit each others homes.
It is an important occasion that promotes creative expression for women Nd for the family to work together on an aesthetic aspect by bringing joy to lot of people

1. After marriages I keep for the past 42 years

In this modern technology caste and religion is no bar and makes everyone inclusive and take part in the divinity
My friends comes from different languages and different diversity. I invite them for my Golu and everyone eagerly participates and I firmly believe that to be divine and to be in divinity no barricades or boundaries…

Mrs.Hemalatha Srinivasan
1.I have been arranging Golu for the past 32 years. (From 1985 since I got married)
2.significance of Golu: It is an important celebration for us because Golu setting is not just an activity but a bonding moment for our family. We all spend more time together.
3.Yes. Every year we have thematic representation. Apart from traditional Golu we are able to use our talent and creativity for setting a thematic representation. So we do it with utmost interest.
4. Current year’s theme is “wealth out of waste”. We all helped our daughter to prepare a theme park with different rides like Merry go round, Giant wheel, Horse ride, Rollercoaster, Tunnel for train, Haunted house, Snow-white castle etc
Using only plain paper and nothing else.It is a three dimensional replica of an amusement park.
5.Modern day technological development has helped us to do new innovations in Golu setting. We are able to visualize our ideas with the help of technology.
6.Social isolation in terms of caste and religion does not have any impact on our Golu.We use to invite people belonging to various castes and religions and same kind of respect is given to everyone who visit our Golu. எங்களுக்கு எம்மதமும் சம்மதமே.