Pray include Badaga Culture in Tribal Cultural Centre, Ooty

The following letter was addressed to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Chennai and this website endorses the views and concern expressed by Dharmalingam Venugopal and requests for a favourable and early action – Wg Cdr. JP

Respected Sir,

Pray include Badaga Culture in Tribal Cultural Centre, Ooty

The newly constructed Tribal Cultural Centre at Ooty, a parting gift of the late, lamented Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, is likely to be opened for public any time now.

Sir, it is learnt that the Badaga Culture may not find a place in the Centre. If it is true, it will mean a grave injustice to the Badaga community and to the Nilgiris.

In recent years there have been a misleading supposition that the Badagas do not belong to the original tribal communities of Nilgiris and that they were migrants from somewhere in Mysore. Nothing can be more preposterous and mindless than such claims or views.

This needless controversy has surfaced in the past few decades following some publications by foreign anthropologists. According to them Badagas might have migrated from Mysore as they believe the word ‘Badaga’ denotes ‘Northeners’. The assumption itself is highly questionable and without foundation.

Even assuming the correctness of such claims, according to such anthropologists the migration took place sometime in 1550s. That is, some 500 years ago when the world, as we know now, had hardly been formed. There was no United States or Britain or Europe; nor India or Madras or Tamil Nadu!! The people of the whole world was migrating and yet to settle down.

Is not five centuries enough to accept the Badaga claim as a native tribe of Nilgiris? Besides, there is absolutely no evidence as to who came first and who came later among the Todas, Badagas, Kotas, Irulas and Kurumbas, the main tribes of Nilgiri uplands.

The very question of Badagas or any other tribes of Nilgiris having come from somewhere is meaningless and needless. How many communities or castes in Tamil Nadu can trace their origin or where they originated? Unlike most other communities and castes of Tamil Nadu, the antiquity and social and cultural uniqueness of the Badagas have been well researched and documented by Indian and foreign scholars.

The Badagas claim for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes may not have been accepted. But none can deny their status as a Nilgiri Tribe.

Just as Tamilians include various tribes, castes and communities the Badagas too include several groups of people. A small group of Badagas even today marry from Mysore. One group of Badagas has obtained the Most Backward Class status from the state government while the rest are classified as Backward Class.

The needless controversy over Badaga history has already led to serious social, cultural, economic and administrative consequences in the Nilgiris. The discontinuation of enumeration of Badaga as a separate language in the last two census has led to a peculiar problem of not knowing how many Badagas, the largest social group, are there in the Nilgiris.

Preservation of socio-economic and cultural tradition of Badagas is paramount to the future of the Nilgiris and Tamil Nadu. Therefore, we pray your honorable self to consider this representation favorably and seek your kind intervention to :

a) Provide due space and content for Badaga Culture in the Tribal Cultural Centre before its inauguration.

b) Institute an enquiry as to why Badaga language, unlike in the previous census, had not been enumerated as a separate language in the last two census and restore its separate enumeration from the 2021 census onwards.

c) Constitute a high-level committee to confer a suitable categorization to the Badaga community, such as Mountain/Hill Tribe or Indigenous People, pending their representation for the status of a Scheduled Tribe.

Sir, your kind attention and intervention will certainly gratify the departed Chief Minister’s noble soul; for, the Badaga community was always very close to her heart.

Dharmalingam Venugopal Honorary Director, Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri, The Nilgiris . www.nilgiridocumentation.com


Comments and counter views:

Prof.Paul Hockings writes :
Dear Venu,
I applaud your appeal for the inclusion of Badaga culture in the cultural centre display, but you weaken your case somewhat in the early part of your letter by some very obvious errors. These suggest the writer doesn’t know what he is talking about. First of all, and of least significance here, Britain and Madras were indeed well-established entities five hundred years ago.

As for the word “Badaga”, all linguists agree that it means “northerner”, without any doubt. Badagas told Fenicio in 1603 that they were northerners. Since that date, it is not “foreign anthropologists” who have “claimed” this, but rather the many dozens of Badaga elders who have told them this, and ever since 1832: the literature makes this very clear, and Breeks in particular made it very clear in 1873. So calling this a “misleading supposition” is casting doubt without any supporting evidence to the contrary.

Future generations of Badagas don’t deserve to be bamboozled about their own history! Some elders have in fact told me not just that their ancestors came from Mysore, but from precisely which villages they came. The Todas have also told us that the Kotas too, a Scheduled Tribe, came from the plains, yet you make no mention of this interesting fact. A lot more could be said about this, but it is already in my books or in a 2016 volume on Indigeneity.
This said, the three points you make at the end of your request to the Chief Minister are altogether valid requests, indeed are the least that we should expect of him. The arbitrary decision to “hide” the number of Badaga speakers among Kannada speakers in recent censuses has been especially egregious, in view of the publications of grammars and dictionaries of the Badaga language by R. Balakrishnan, C. Pilot-Raichoor and myself that make the independent status of the language crystal-clear.
Let us hope that the state government takes some constructive action on this long-fesstering issue, and Badaga culture gains true recognition for its role in creating the modern Nilgiris!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dharmalingam Venugopal counters :
Dear Paul,
I know you will take offence but the stakes are getting higher and Badagas themselves seem so ignorant of what is going on.

You know there have been several instances (starting from Aryan-Dravidian debate) in India when 'academic history' unwittingly spilled over to 'popular history' leading to unwanted consequences. Such histories are also manipulated by vested interests to score their points. So many books have been withdrawn in such contexts. That's is what is happening to the so called Badaga migration. An average clerk in the district administration thinks Badagas came from Mysore some 50 years ago !! Some money making NGOs here also question the status of Badagas as Indigenous People

I mentioned 'misleading suppositions' to mean vague assumptions and not incorrect assumptions. For academicians Badaga origin may continue to be a matter for investigation but it has caused a lot of confusion to the present outsiders and Badagas. No one really bothers to read your's or other's book. It is just word of mouth or some silly newspaper article. That is the reason why I have to do what I am doing now.

Of course, my history is poor but surely the world of today is vastly different from the world of 1800 or 1550s. Why dig up the roots of just one small community? Does it serve any purpose? On the contrary it can and has already caused a lot of trouble.

If I were a migrant from the hot plains of Mysore I would rather settle in the warm lower slopes of Gudalur than claim up all the way, risking wildlife and other unknown dangers, to settle in some remote and cold heights.

Badaga no doubt means Northener. And Badagas evidently had a great sense of geography, astronomy etc but was the name given by outsiders or Badagas themselves to outsiders coming to the hills. It is quite possibly a term to denote those like the lingayats who came to the hills in different periods.

If there had been a original and mass migration it would have found a place in our proverbs, sayings and omens etc. When Counsel of the Ancients laid down over thousand do's and don'ts for the Badagas,why were they silent on the origin. Obviously it was too old for them too !!!

I hope you understand the prevailing circumstances which make it imperative for me to bring out these issues. Of course, it is a thankless task.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Prof.Paul Hockings responds :-
Dear Venu,
I appreciate your well-reasoned letter. My books are directed at the educated public, which is including more and more Badagas. I don’t expect a casual reader in Coonoor to know what is meant by ‘uxorilocal residence’ etc., But people who are serious about this will look it up or know already. The audience I am addressing is not just people in the Nilgiris, either, but the increasingly large diaspora and especially their children who have hardly set foot in a Badaga village. These are the people who later in the century will be wondering about where their fathers and mothers came from.

And this is not an idle thought on my part. Anthropology may not be very popular in India — and one can make a strong point that the studies have been done by ‘foreign anthropologists’ for the simple reason that Badagas are not interested or trained in this. (I know about Verghese, but he studied Kotas, and moreover has been dead for many years.) It is very normal for students of Indian origin going to universities in the West, as thousands do, take some anthropology courses because they are required to take a certain number of social science courses. This often can lead to term papers or theses on Nilgiri topics.

But when they come to look into the available library resources, nearly everything is by me! And if their interest is ‘the origin of….’ they find such nonsense floating around in the heads of their friends and relatives as the idea that the Todas came from Greece (else why would Prince Peter of Greece, a good anthropologist, be interested in them?); or a recent claim on a website that “the Badagas have been on the Nilgiris for 8000 years”; or an idea that Ari Gowder shared with me that the Badagas must have come from Bengal because he saw similarities between the gudikat and decorations at Buddhist funerals in Bengal….. These baseless ideas will be useless to future generations, especially those who, we may assume, will be interested in studying the Badagas seriously. So I am doing the best I can to present all the relevant evidence for my conclusions — which can always be modified by new evidence.

Unfortunately, Prof.Hockings seems to feel that everything  what he claims to be correct about Badaga Origin must be accepted unless new evidence is provided. He has quoted Ari Gowder out of context. He laments that ‘I don’t expect a casual reader in Coonoor to know what is meant by ‘uxorilocal residence’ etc….or a recent claim on a website that “the Badagas have been on the Nilgiris for 8000 years”‘. I would like to remind him that Badagas are no more the docile head nodders to accecpt any thing said and claimed by ‘outsiders’ as gospel truth (pun intended) any more. They are highly educated and rightly agitated about false claims. Proof and evidence will follow about Badaga Origin in future. Let there be healthy debates that can correctly come to a conclusion. I am, being an ‘educated’ Badaga whose website has more than 480,000 hits, toally convinced that Badagas are one of the original inhabitants of the Nilgiri hills and their origin may  be thousands of years old. – Wg Cdr JP

BADAGA CALENDAR

 Sent by Dr.RK Haldorai

BADAGA CALENDAR – A Further Probe

Revd. P. K. Mulley
[Kotagiri ,January 2017]

It was W.H.R. Rivers, the pioneer of Toda anthropological studies, who first documented (1906) the Badaga names of twelve calendar months (albeit in Toda form). He also indicated that the Todas probably borrowed them from the Badagas. Rivers did not know that the Kotas too, followed the same calendar. What is of great interest is that this calendar, according to Rivers, signalised the beginning of the new year with the new moon in October. Rivers, further stated that the full moon is counted as being on the fifteenth day after the new moon, and the new moon as being the sixteenth day after the full moon. F.J. Richards, I.C.S., tried to pursue this subject (1920), but did not make any headway in this regard.

K.H. Madha Gowder of Achanakal (1979) who prepared a Badaga calendar also suggested that the tenth day of the present day English month should be treated as the beginning of every new month, but without any conceptualisation. He posited that kuuDalu is the name of the first Badaga month. Prof. M. Basavalingam of Kil-Kotagiri, a Lingayat Wodeya antiquarian (a former Professor of English as well as a monitor of astrology) and a noted Tamil Sangam Period historian sought (1982) to make a correspondence of kuuDalu with Tamil maargazhi and stated that the Badaga new year commenced during December-January. Prof. Paul Hockings, the doyen of Badaga anthropology, first in 1989 and subsequently in 2013, tried to investigate the subject, though not with any satisfactory result.

In the light of the above observations, I consider the recent attempts of Dr. R.K. Haldorai, to make a fresh presentation of the subject, quite a tenable one. However, I have my misgivings about kuuDalu or kuuTlu being the first month. The meaning of the name – “culmination or conjunction of the cycle”, obviously makes it the twelfth month rather than the first month. kuuTlu is also the name of the lunar house of the constellation of haalamiinu in Badaga tradition. If and when this astral position is duly synchronized, it may yet throw more light on Badaga new year. The ritual chronometry followed in the commemoration of BeragaNi Hethe during this month further reinforces this position. The Badaga new year most likely then, begins with the appearance of the crescent moon (kattihere) on the third day after the new moon in January. Haalaani, therefore is the first month and kuuDalu, the last one. Moreover, the Badaga month tay when considered as the cognate of das (ten or tenth in pan-Indian vocabulary) actually happens to be the tenth month in Badaga reckoning. Tay in Badaga lexicon is also coupled with kiru (tay kiru) or north eastern monsoon. This month then is incontrovertibly followed by hemmaaTTi and kuuDalu or the eleventh and twelfth months respectively and the cycle is completed. Let us not, in this context try to confuse the Tamil names of months with the Badaga names. The Badaga rhythm of the Nilgiri-year, it needs to be pointed out is certainly anterior to and unknown in Tamil calendar in vogue. It may also be mentioned that the names of the Tamil months seem to have historically undergone a process of distortion (Hart III, 1975) and hence of no use to the Badaga system.

The Badaga system contains some ancient features is also of considerable interest. Dr. Haldorai’s suggestion of Salivahana association (A.D. 78) in the evolution of Badaga lunar calendar is significant. But to promote the mediation of Kannada/Telugu ugaadi in the determination of Badaga intercalary month or saribarasa is not at all necessary. It is not difficult to insert a homologous month every two years and restore to Badaga calendar, the long-forgotten sitre for this purpose. There is an old saying in Badaga – “saribarasado sitre tinguva” (or sitre occurs during an intercalary year). A tender blessing is besought of BeragaNi Hethe to provide golden shade in the month of sitre (“sitreya tinguvado sinnada koDeya naalu”). In the same hymn, summer season is deemed to precede this equalising month. In times of yore, no marriages were held during the intercalary period. But since the time when intercalation was lost track of, a custom of new complexion has come to emerge. Marriages when the spouses are of even-number of years of age, came to be discouraged in the pretext of saribarasa! An authentic intercalary (re) structuring in the Badaga calendar also needs to be less influenced by the almanacs available in the market.

A detailed examination of the etymology of Badaga names of months may not be possible in this account. But the following note on aadhire is of some antiquarian and astronomical importance. This month corresponding to April-May, crucially coincides with the asterism of the same name. Being one of the 27 segments or ‘nakshatras’ it is puzzling to note that this congruent as such does not appear to find a mention in any of the known almanacs. So it may well be that, some original and systematic base can be discerned in the Badaga almanac.

The uujena (waxing moon) and the aujena (waning moon) recalled in Badaga tradition (cf. Emeneau, 1939) can very well be traced back to Sangam times. Sangam texts like Puram 65 and Akam 201 refer to uvaa or uvaanaaL, which linguistically indicate how the cognisance of the movement of moon in earliest times might have been adopted from a common source. Last but not the least, is the Badaga word muTTu (new moon) itself means “to touch”. Astoundingly, the definition of new moon itself, is the phase of the moon occurring when it passes between the earth and the sun and providing the celestial body a touch on its path or an ingress entry into the orbit.

 

Happy New Year

Wishing you all

a very happy and prosperous

New Year!

Hosa Barashana Ollithe Barali !!

Happy New Year – Badaga Calandar

Today(29 Dec 2016) is Badaga New Year Day

Dharmalingam Venugopal [Nilgiri Documentation Centre]

Today is Badaga new year day- day 1 of Kudalu, the first month of the year.

“The Badaga calendar is quite different from traditional Tamil and  Kanarese ones although they all divide the year into twelve zodiacal or solar months” says, Prof. Paul Hockings, an authority on Badaga history.

The other months of the calendar are Halaani, Nallani, Aani, Aadire, Peeradi , Aavani, Peratadi, Dodda Divige, Kiru Divige, Tai and Hemmatti. The last month is said to be unique and is not found in any Dravidian calendar.

The Badaga calendar,  followed from time immemorial, was first recorded by F.J. Richards , the then Collector of Nilgiris in 1918. In a short but authoritative article in 1920, the collector gave additional information about the Toda names for the months.

“ There is no evidence that the Badagas ever inserted one intercalary month every ten years, as was done elsewhere in India, but something else has been happening to change the calendar” explains Prof.Hockings. and adds, “ We can conclude that the Badagas had been recognizing a 366 day year, with the result that every 23 years their calendar became further advanced against the Gregarian one by about 17 days, because the year is actually much closer to 3651/4 days”.

The Badaga calendar was among the many indigenous knowledge and evidence of their antiquity which gradually vanished with the opening of the Nilgiri hills after 1800.

 

A beautiful Badaga Poem by Mathan Rameshbabu

A beautiful Badaga Poem by Mathan Rameshbabu [Muscat, Oman]

mathan-ramesh

அவ்வெ நீரட்டுவ சொக

ஹிம்பர ஒலெய
அண்டனொகெ நீரு காசி
அவ்வெய கைதாரி உரு உஜ்ஜி நீரட்டுவ சொக
திரிகி சிக்குவ ஜெனவு
கூடி பந்துனடதெ

Avvey Neerattava Soga

Himbara oleya
andaanoge neera kaasi
Avvaiya kaidhaari uru ujji neerattuva soga
thirigi chikkuva jenavu
koodi bhandhunadadhey

The beauty of Badaga language is not only the style, substance and simplicity but the way it can bring out the inner feelings so powerfully. In this short poem Rameshbabu conveys the great comfort one feels when the mother gives a hot water bath

A tribute to Ari Gowder

 

hbag-with-turban-edited_2c044c61

Ari Gowder

He was an undisputed leader of Badagas. It is accepted, with a tinge of sadness that there is no Badaga who has taken his mantle in leading the community even after 47 yrs after his demise in 1971.

Today is HB Ari Gowder’s 122nd birth Anniversary. He was the eldest son of Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Joghigowder] Bellie Gowder and [Jakkadha] Nanji in 1893.

Apart from being the first Badaga graduate and leading the Indian contingent for the world scouts jamboree in 1932 at Hungary, he brought many far reaching reforms in the Badaga community. He fore saw the importance of equality of women and the education of girl child. He encouraged Badaga girl students to go abroad in 1960s both on student exchange programmes and study tours.

Another great reform he was keen on was, equal share of property to both sons and daughters. This he ensured by setting a personal example and leaving behind a registered Will. His property was equally divided to his daughter in law, two grand daughters and a grand son, accordingly.

A great Indian, a great Badaga !

Ari Gowder2

HB Ari Gowda

You did so much for the family and community!

on this 122nd birth anniversary

Remembering with respect and reverence !

Mother Tongue – Avvaiya Maathu – அவ்வெய மாத்து

Avvaiya Maathu – Mother Tongue

Dr.R.Haldorai

Hethey Eeramaasi aadi bhandha erakkadha maathu
Beraganni Ayya aadi bandha bettadha maathu
Kaadey hethe aadi bandha gavadha maathu
Hethappa aadi bandha haaluna maathu
Muthappa aadi bandha muthuna maathu
Ayyanavakka aadi bappa kullana maathu
Hetheyavakka aadi bappa hesayadha maathu
Appanavakka aadi bappa Aaseyadha maathu
Avvaiyavakka aadi bappa alleya gavadha maathu
Aaduvamaga aasaga ollithadha aata kadhey maathu
Oruduvamaga ojey koottuva ollangadha maathu
Maney maney ella nudiba makkadha maathu
Mandha ella nudiba naayadha maathu
Seemay ella  aadi bappa jenuna maathu
Bettadha makka ella aadi bappa belladha maathu
Hatti haney ella aadi bappa harachadha maathu

Kannuga kaanadhey hora emba
Kiviga booyadhey hora emba
Adhu alimaana dhaariya hogindu hadadhey emba!

Kootta kudumba ella Badugu maathu  Aadiley
Makka mari ella Badugu maathu aadiley,
Maney mandhu ella Badugu maatha kullu maadiley
Avvaiya Maathu alimaana aagadhey hattara!!

[அவ்வெய மாத்து (Mother Tongue) டாக்டர் இரா.கு.ஆல்துரை]
ஹெத்தெ ஈரமாசி ஆடி பந்த எரக்கத மாத்து
பேரகணி அய்ய ஆடி பந்த பெட்டத மாத்து
காடெ ஹெத்தெ ஆடி பந்த கவத மாத்து
ஹெத்தப்ப ஆடி பந்த ஹாலுந மாத்து

முத்தப்ப ஆடி பந்த முத்துந மாத்து
அய்யநவக்க ஆடி பப்ப குல்லாத மாத்து
ஹெத்தெயவக்க ஆடி பப்ப எசெயாத மாத்து
அப்பநவக்க ஆடி பப்ப ஆசெயாந மாத்து
அவ்வெயவக்க ஆடி பப்ப அள்ளெய கவத மாத்து

ஆடுவமக ஆசக ஒள்ளித்தாத ஆட்ட கதெ மாத்து
ஓருடுவமக ஓஜெ கூட்டுவ ஓலங்கத மாத்து
மநெ மநெ எல்லா நுடிப மக்கந மாத்து
மந்த எல்லா நுடிப நாயத மாத்து

சீமெ எல்லா ஆடி பப்ப ஜேநுந மாத்து
பெட்டத மக்க எல்லா ஆடி பப்ப பெல்லத மாத்து
ஹட்டி அணெ எல்லா ஆடி பப்ப ஹரசத மாத்து
மாமூலெ எந்த மூதந்திர கோட தொட்டி பந்த மாத்து

கண்ணுக காணாதெ ஓர எம்ப
கிவிக பூயாதெ ஓர எம்ப
அது அளிமாந தோரியோ ஓகீண்டு அடதெ எம்ப

கூட்ட குடும்ப எல்லா படகு மாத்த ஆடிலெ
மக்கமரி எல்லா படகு மாத்த ஆடிலெ
மநெ மந்தி ஆ எல்லா படகு மாத்த குல்லு மாடிலெ
அவ்வெய மாத்து அளிமாந ஆகாதெ அட்டர

Kannerimukku Dhodamanae

LIVING GODS – வாழும் தெய்வங்கள்  – Raghu Joghee in Facebook
doddamane-rgphoto – Raghu Joghee

Doddamanae is the house which is constructed first in a hatty. All the rituals take place over there. The doddamanae in the hatty Kannerimukku which belongs to to Porangadu seemay is believed to be older than 500 years. The present heir to the Doddamanae is Ajjaya(81) and Kadigi Hethae (75) who haven’t renovated the house still and are devotedly believing in rituals and are following them still. They are no less than any god or goddess because of their reknowned devotion. Indeed, they are living gods.

Gratefully remembering my teacher

Recently, came across the following news item published in the Deccan Chronicle dt 27-07-2016.

OOTY: While a grateful nation is preparing itself to pay homage to “People’s President” A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, on his first death anniversary on Wednesday, here in the hills M.N.Bojan, a Badaga octogenarian, former President’s college and hostel mate at St.Josephs’ College in early 1950s, remembers how Kalam relished “Thupathittu or Yennaiittu” a traditional sweet of the Badagas of Nilgiris and how they enjoyed outings for coffee and chips in Tiruchy.

A retired teacher now, .Bojan (85), hailing from Kadanadu near here, is preparing for a `puja’ on Wednesday at his home to pay homage to his friend.

I was quite excited to see my teacher Kadanaadu Bhoja Bhaathiyaaru in the picture. He taught us English and couple of other subjects at Rao Bahadur Board High School, Hubbathalai in early 1960s.

Hope to meet him and pay my grateful respects in person! – Wg Cdr JP

Aside
Badaga Language is very rich and beautiful when woven into classical poems. Here are some samples. [We thank Dr.R.K.Haldorai for sending these beautiful Badaga poems]– Wg. Cdr.JP

Badaga Poems

Hannikoray R. Chandram  ஹண்ணிக்கொரெ ஆர். சந்திரன்

Bannadha Baaney
 Bannadha Baanay... Hannuna Mannay
 Kichchey Neeray Hachchaya giduvay
 Hakkiya bakkiyey harabha jaathiyey
 Onnara maadi manasuna bhaala nodu

Gadhdhu Kodhdhu soththu seththidha
 Kallana Gawda endhara
 Kamma elladhey geedhu hoththu
 Thimbhamana badava endhara
 Dhoddamana Kunnama Endhara
 Dhoddiththu maaththa hegiraara - Bannadha

Pattu paradhu bhaddhukkiley soga
 bhandhdhadhu elli endhara
 Kettu muridhu Kulidhalay
 Kedu yena endhara
 Kolu kodi hegirara
 Kusala maaththa nudidhara - Banna

பண்ணத பாநே … ஹண்ணுந மண்ணே
 கிச்சே நீரே ஹச்செய கிடுவே
 ஹக்கியே பக்கியே ஹரப ஜாத்தியே
 ஒந்நார மாடி மநுசந பாள நோடி

கத்து கொத்து சொத்து சேத்தித
 கள்ளந கவட எந்தார
 கம்ம இல்லாதெ கீது ஹொத்து
 திம்பமந படவ எந்தார
 தொட்டம குந்நம எந்தார
 தொட்டித்து மாத்த ஹேகியார – பண்ணத

பட்டு பரது பதுக்கிலே சொக
 பந்தது எல்லி எந்தார
 கெட்டு முருது குளிதலே
 கேடு ஏந எந்தார
 கோளு கோடி ஏகியார
 குசல மாத்த நுடிதார – பண்ண

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<pre><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong>Thaayee … Bhuma Devi</strong></span>
Thaayee … Bhuma Devi
Olagadha ebba sagala jaaththiya
Karuththu maadi saakki saliviya – thaayee

kallu morayna .. kaambhbhadhu ellava
Gill'ena negadhu thaangiya thayee
Hachchey hasila annaga thandhu
Harabbha neera thaaguga thandhu
Hechchatholliya sinna belliya
Singara maadhendhu nangaga thappa – thaayee

Olliththendhu konnadhey
Holla endhu thlladhey
Kalla bella ellava malluno beeththidhavay
Saththodha endhu huttu nattu
Eththi dhoovaga ettamaneyu
Mannenbha thanna mayyo muchchi
marray maadhuva mandhira kaahthi – thaayee

Haradhoppa hoo endha
Aaney paatti jaaththigella
Metti thanna nadabhaneyu
Bhattu haayee thaangidhavey

Eththidha kai maaththadey – nanga
keththu keththu agabhaneyu
Hagey maadhadhey negeymoga nibhbha
Porumay ulla dharuma kaaththi – thaayee

தாயி … பூமா தேவி ..
ஒலகதோ இப்ப சகல ஜாத்தியா ..
கருத்து மாடி சாக்கி சலிவியா – தாயி

கல்லுமொரேந .. காம்பதெல்லாவ
கில்லெந நெகது தாங்கிய தாயி
ஹச்செ ஹசில அந்நக தந்து
ஹரப நீர தாவுக தந்து
ஹெச்சாதொள்ளிய சிந்ந பெள்ளிய
சிங்கரமாடெந்து நங்கக தப்ப .. தாயி

ஒள்ளித்தெந்து கொண்ணாதெ
ஹொல்ல எந்து தள்ளாதெ
கள்ள பெள்ள எல்லாவ மள்ளுநொ பீத்திதவெ
சத்தோத எந்து ஹுட்டு நட்டு
எத்தி தூவெக இட்டமநெயு
மண்ணெம்ப தந்ந மய்யோ முச்சி
மர்ரெ மாடுவ மந்திர காத்தி – தாயி

ஹரதோப்ப ஹூ எந்த
ஆநெ பாட்டி ஜாத்திகெல்லா
மெட்டிதந்ந நடபநெயு
பட்டு தாயி தாங்கிதவே
எத்தித கய் மாத்தாதெ – நங்க
கேத்து கேத்து அகபநெயு
ஹகெ மாடாதெ நெகெமொகநிப்ப
பொருமெ உள்ள தரும காத்தி – தாயி

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hutti bhappaney obba

Hutti bhappaney obba
Hooththuga hoppaney nee obba
Huttu nattu nera aaravo – usirodha melay
Ketta endhu bhappa dhaaravo

Aasay ulla hendharu’vu bhappadhu hattaney getta
Aththu bhappa henga makka meerilay dhoove getta
Peridha huttu nattu hittu soppu thimbaney getta
Saththu nera bhappadhu endhu paa’dhena avakkaga hatta – Hutti

Bala ulla bhattukaara’naa bhudhdhi ulla getti kaara naa
Sivilodha chitti jaamana sidi naaththa embha hena
Heththu thaththi muththikkidha avvay appa aagiloyu
Eththi mannuga haakkiyara – thindhu eindhey thekkiyara – Hutti

ஹுட்டி பப்பநெ ஒப்ப
ஹுத்துக ஹோப்பநெ நீ ஒப்ப
ஹுட்டு நட்டு நெர ஆரவோ – உசிரோத மேலெ
கெட்ட எந்து பப்ப தாரவோ

ஆசெ உள்ள ஹெண்டரவ பப்பது ஹட்டணெ கெட்ட
அத்து பப்ப ஹெங்க மக்க மீரிலெ தூவெ கெட்ட
பிரியத ஹுட்டு நட்டு ஹிட்டு சொப்பு திம்பநெ கெட்ட
சத்து நெர பப்பது எந்து பாடேந அவக்ககட்டா – ஹுட்டி

பல உள்ள பட்டுகார நா புத்தியுள்ள கட்டிகார நா
சிவிலோத சிட்டி ஜாமக சிடி நாத்த எப்ப ஹெண
ஹெத்து தத்தி முத்திக்கித அவ்வெ அப்ப ஆகோலெயு
எத்தி மண்ணுகாக்கியார – திந்து இந்தெ தேக்கியார – ஹுட்டி

Bless us, oh mother !

This site is dedicated to my mother, Idyammal Bellie Gowder

Born into the richest family of the Badagas in 1912, forced to marry at the age of fifteen, to a poor but educated man who was eighteen years elder, just to honour and the keep the words of your father Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda, from a sick bed,  you suffered in silence and bravely accepted all the short comings of life.

Though you were the youngest among five brothers, you were not given any share of your father’s property of nearly 950 acres of land and many houses spread around the Nilgiris, Nakku Betta, because you were a girl child.

But, your eldest brother, the great Ari Gowda, the undisputed leader of Badagas for many years – till his death in 1971, was a constant help and support inspite of opposition from the next generation of male members.

Idyammal in 1927

Ida – Kaday (Idyammal) in 1927

Though you were the unifying force of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder family of Hubbathalai, you ignored the ridicule and became a role model of determination showing exceptional leadership qualities.

The suffering and hardship did not deter you to educate each and every child, both boys and girls numbering eight, sending all to colleges [including one to a medical and another to engineering].

Your 99 years and ten months of life, was full of wisdom and a source of inspiration to children,  grand children and great grand children living all around the world.

Idyammal

Ide Hethe (Idyammal) in 2010

Oh mother, I touch your feet and seek your blessings wherever you are!

ENGELLAVA OLLENGAY BADUKKU ENDHU HARACHCHU, THAAYEY !!

More than 462,000 hits!

This website http://www.badaga.co has crossed another milestone of 450,000 hits a few months back and now stands at 462,000+. A big thank you to all.

If this site has helped in knowing about the Badagas of the Blue Mountains, an indigenous tribe of the Nilgiris, a little better, we would have achieved some of our objectives.

But there are a lots more to learn and do for the betterment of the community, thus making it an example of a model & modern society of our great nation.

Proud to be an Indian: Proud to be a Badaga!!

 

Badagas – an indigenous Community of the Nilgiris

I have absolutely no doubt that Badagas are one of the original indigenous communities of  NAKKU BETTA, The Nilgiris – the Blue Mountains in Southern India.  See the page on ‘Badaga Origin’  for Info – Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash

The Nilgiris

A Pleasant Indigenous Puzzle

Dharmalingam Venugopal

E 140

 
repfal-pla32badagas.jpgphoto -The five indigenous communities of Nilgiris in 1875 from the book by J.W. Breeks, the first Commissioner of Nilgiris

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed every year on August 9 to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Indigenous peoples, or Natives, are ethnic groups who are native to a land or region, sharing a cultural identity that has been shaped by their geographical region.

Indigenous peoples globally are concerned that their  cultures are being lost from discrimination and pressure to assimilate into their surrounding societies.

It has been well documented that the Todas, Kotas, Badagas, Kurumbas and Irulas are the established indigenous communities of the Nilgiri uplands and their unique ways of life and interdependence have been one of the most documented subjects in Asia.

photo – Wg Cdr JP

Of late, however, there is a tendency to doubt the status of the Badagas as an indigenous community. According to a view Badagas were immigrants fleeing from Muslim persecution in Mysore in the past. There is absolutely not a shred of evidence, either documentary or oral, substantiating it. In fact, there has never been any persecution of any Nilgiri communities by Muslims on record.

Some even believe the Badaga migration took place during the reign of Tippu Sultan.   The first written documentation of the Nilgiris dates to 1602 while Tippu was defeated in 1799. Though Nilgiris was under Tippu for many years, he had nothing to do with the place or the people except for putting up two look out posts on the hills. There is no evidence of his ever visited the hills.

cropped-koottu-edited-for-header-12.jpgphoto – Wg.Cdr. JP

The five indigenous communities of Nilgiris in 1875 from the book by J.W. Breeks, the first Commissioner of NilgirisThe 1602 document left behind by the scholarly Father Finicio who came with a large entourage from Calicut speaks of the upland communities including the Badagas in clear terms. Badagas numbered about 500 then while other communities were much less.

Some research scholars speculate that the Badagas could have moved to the hills gradually in batches starting from around the middle of 1500. Such conclusions are drawn based on the evidence of paid local informants to the European writers after Nilgiris was opened up by the British.

Such research are at best for academic purpose and have no relevance for Nilgiris or its people. When around the middle of 1500 America, Europe, UK and most other nations and our own country and states had not been born, the need to locate where the Badagas or other tribes of  Nilgiris came from or when is absurd.

The elaborate documentation of Nilgiris over the past two centuries shows only how the five communities had lived in harmony, without any violence marked by a unique system of barter and interdependence while maintaining their respective identities and cultures.

As an anthropologist described it, “To the assertion that war is an inalienable feature of all human life, the Nilgiris case presents one refutation. There was no knowledge of the Scriptures to bolster it; no Brahmins to legitimize it; no Kashtriyas to rule over it: yet the social order functioned well for centuries”.

The Nilgiris and its indigenous communities continue to remain a Pleasant Puzzle. It is best to leave them like that. [also see – The Hindu ]

Hats off to D.Venugopal’s views. My conviction that what we do not know about Badagas, their traditions,customs and culture, is much more than what we know. One of the most absurd and unconvincing argument is that Badagas are not native to the Nilgiris but migrants from Mysore area. An untruth that was hammered down our throats by ill informed historians/researchers from the west. Unfortunately, there are quite a few ‘desi’ scholars who seem to believe that lie about Badaga Origin. – Wg Cdr JP

 

Is our Moray system outdated?

A young Badaga, calling herself  Shalini Sudhakar, has raised a serious question about our MORAY system. Unfortunately, her following comments in sms language with a fake email id –   Shalinisudhakar@gmail.com are not very clear. I was not able to contact her(?) for more info.
Thnk u for all ua info sir.. I just want to know one thing that why should we marry only with
morai.When they are going to cancel all this morai.? If possible just break it soon Please.. Just take some actions about morai as soon as possible. Please i humbly request you to break these useless rules nd help them… Not only me.. Many people in our community facing problems with morai So just break it nd make our yonger generation feel free.. By bein in same village nd with in those surrounding village oly many of thm falling in love because they oly roaming with in those villages.. Thn far knwin tht thy dont have morai thy endin up with breakup.. by family situation they ll marry anothr nd ll end up with divorce like me.. Many facin this prblms.. Dont make other girl/boy to lose their lyf fa love.. Please help them.. Just ban this morai system..
Nonetheless, I feel that our Moray system needs an urgent look in.
But, then, where do we start??
I will elaborate on this soon.

Beautiful letter written by a father to his daughter

Following is a letter to his daughter from a renowned Hong Kong TV Broadcaster and Child Psychologist.

The words are actually applicable to all of us, young or old, children or parents! This applies to all sons too. All parents can use this in their teachings to their children.

Dear daughter,
I am writing this to you because of 3 reasons…
1. Life, fortune and mishaps are unpredictable, nobody knows how long he lives.
2. I am your father, and if I don’t tell you these, no one else will.
3. Whatever written is my own personal bitter experiences that perhaps could save you a lot of unnecessary heartaches.

Remember the following as you go through life
1. Do not bear grudge towards those who are not good to you. No one has the responsibility of treating you well, except your mother and I.
To those who are good to you, you have to treasure it and be thankful, and ALSO you have to be cautious, because, everyone has a motive for every move. When a person is good to you, it does not mean he really will be good to you. You have to be careful, don’t hastily regard him as a real friend.
2. No one is indispensable, nothing is in the world that you must possess.
Once you understand this idea, it would be easier for you to go through life when people around you don’t want you anymore, or when you lose what you wanted the most.
3. Life is short. When you waste your life today, tomorrow you would find that life is leaving you. The earlier you treasure your life, the better you enjoy life.
4. Love is nothing but a transient feeling, and this feeling would fade with time and with one’s mood. If your so called loved one leaves you, be patient, time will wash away your aches and sadness.
Don’t over exaggerate the beauty and sweetness of love, and don’t over exaggerate the sadness of falling out of love.
5. A lot of successful people did not receive a good education, that does not mean that you can be successful by not studying hard! Whatever knowledge you gain is your weapon in life.
One can go from rags to riches, but one has to start from some rags!
6. I do not expect you to financially support me when I am old, neither would I financially support your whole life. My responsibility as a supporter ends when you are grown up. After that, you decide whether you want to travel in a public transport or in your limousine, whether rich or poor.
7. You honour your words, but don’t expect others to be so. You can be good to people, but don’t expect people to be good to you. If you don’t understand this, you would end up with unnecessary troubles.
8. I have bought lotteries for umpteen years , but could never strike any prize. That shows if you want to be rich, you have to work hard! There is no free lunch!
9. No matter how much time I have with you, let’s treasure the time we have together. We do not know if we would meet again in our next life.

[recd as a fwd email]

How education came to the Badagas 160 years ago !

How education came to the Badagas 160 years ago !

Dharmalingam Venugopal
[Nilgiris Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]

160 years ago an enthusiastic Tahsildar took the initiative to educate the Badagas. He recommended four schools in different villages of  the Nilgiris as the Badaga children could not  travel to Ooty to join school. The then Government of the Madras Presidency made a special recommendation as such a proposal was outside the prevailing educational policy of the country. The Government of India made an exception to its general educational policy to sanction four schools. The decision which had to travel over a distance of more than 250 kms from Ooty to Madras to Delhi and back was made within 6 months !!!.

25th April, 1856 : Mr. M. Soondra Moodelly, Tahsildar of Neilgherry Talook writes to Mr.E.B.Thomas, Collector of Coimbatore rcommending starting of schools in Tuneri, Adhikarati and Kaligherry(?).

The monigars and respectable inhabitants of the various villages of Todanad, Parungnad and Maiknad report to me that their children are illiterate and ignorant from want of schools to teach them in their villages….It appears to me that the want of any schools in the Burgher villages in the chief cause of the ignorance of the Burgher monigars and of the children of the all the Burghers in general; and it is therefore highly desirable that such charitable institutions should be established on these hills and three efficient teachers appointed on a pay of about 7 to 10 rupees each. The Burghers are now ignorant of any written characters and are unable to speak anything but ‘Canarese’. They are desirous of learning Tamil, the vernacular language of the whole district and I hope that by imparting to them Tamil language they will improve themselves. I request that the application for the establishment of schools may be sanctioned. Continue reading

For Ex- Servicemen

logo

A very useful website for Air Veterans [retired Air Force Personnel] as well as for all Ex- fauji to sort out your pension problems

 

The Directorate of Air Veterans has recently re-launched its website, http://www.iafpensioners.gov.in to resolve pension related queries/ grievances  and timely finalisation of NE benefits.

All Air Veterans are requested to log in to this website and update their personal information like Mob No, residential address and e-mail address.

If you are not able to access the website then please send an e-mail to <dav@iaf.nic.in> cc <afaheadoffice@gmail.com>

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Welcome to this site which is all about the

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

‘Baarivi, Odhivi, Nodivi & Ohridivi’ in Badaga means ‘Come, Read, See & Listen’

1.Badaga Origin [What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin. Read the complete article here]

2.Badaga Language [“It appears that there are none who know ‘PURE’ Badaga. This is not due to lack of words in Badaga. Lot of Badaga words have been forgotten [due to the influence of Tamil and English] and hence become extinct”.]

3.Badaga Names [What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.]

4.Badaga Songs [Music and Badagas are inseparable. Be it the ever green dance (aatta) numbers, the sad savu (funeral) songs or the beautiful ballads…sky is the limit. For some nice Badaga songs click here

5. Badaga Villages – Hattis [Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literaly means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located]

6. Hethay Amma History [Hethay Amma is the deity of all Badagas. Hethai Habba is always on the first MONDAY (SOVARA), the most sacred day of Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in (Tamil) Margazhi month, that is the 9th day after eight days of ‘Kolu’]

7.Badaga Jewellery [The main ornaments are the nose ring called ‘ MOOKUTHI ‘ and the ear ring known as ‘CHINNA’ . Chinna , literaly means gold but usually refers to ear rings. The type shown above is worn both by men and women. Of course, the ‘ BELLI UNGARA ‘ [silver finger ring] has a special place in Badaga tradition and considered to have medicinal / health benefits]

8.Badaga Wedding [Badaga customs and traditions are known for their simplicity, adaptibility and practicality. In this respect a Badaga wedding follows a set of simple rules that has been almost the same over the centuries. But for a minor change here and there, it has been almost the same in all the villages spread across the Nakku Betta or the Nilgiri Hills]

9.Badaga Funeral [Ever since I became aware of the verses of ‘Karu Harachodhu’, I felt how nice it would be if these beautiful words could be given in English [ both in script and as translation] so that the present day youngsters could understand one of the most important and significant part (prayer) of Badaga funeral rites]

10.All about Ari Gowder [Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate, first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time who had brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community including ‘prohibition’ (no alcohol – kudi to Nilgiris in British days itself. Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT) to World Scouts Jumboree held in Europe in the 1930s]

11.First Badaga It will be very interesting [I hope as well as informative & motivating] to list all those BADAGAS who were / are the ’FIRST’in any field.Where I am not sure, I have put a question mark, so that someone may supply the correct or corrected info

12. Rare Photos [..The title says it all ..]

13. Badaga Day [May 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder…]

14.Badaga Poems [One of the enchanting aspects of Badaga Language is its disarming simplicity. But though the sentences are swathed in sweetness of simple words, it can contain deep expressions of emotions conveyed in the proper usage of rhymes [holla – alla] or pair words [huttu – nattu] apart from other attributes]

15.Badaga Elders [There are a few elderly Badagas spread among our Hattis and Cities who are so well informed about us. May be due to their age or the personal interest and individual atrributes, they know about our origin, customs, culture or anything connected and concerning Badagas. It is a shear blessing to meet them.]

16. Badaga Recipes [Badagas usually grow vegetables in their small patch(es) of land called ‘HOLA’ (see photo) for their regular use apart from other commercial crops like potato, cabbage, carrot and cauliflower etc. These would also include many varities of beans, peas, greens, corn etc]

17.Badaga Proverbs [One of the fascinating and interesting aspect of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “ DODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point]

18.Badaga Calendar [Badaga month should start on the 10th of an English month as far as possible and also to ensure that the number of days in a month is either 30 or 31 days. Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious and ‘holy’ day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day]

19.Badaga Script It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exist. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

20. Badaga Poetry

21. General

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Badaga Names

[Reproduced and edited]

“What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.

In our history of many thousand years, naming of places was generally and literally linked to NATURE. Be it on names given to villages like ‘Bikka Mora Hatti [Olive Tree Village]’ or ‘Hubbathale [Chinese Pagoda tree/grass]’ or ‘Osa Hatti [New Village]’.

Badagas had [ I am very sad to use ‘past tense’ here] a great tradition of naming their children after their ancestors, usually a deceased grand parent. By this they not only ensured that the dead are constantly remembered but also to differentiate Badaga as an unique entity as a tribe with their own traditions and customs.

Jayaprakash, Sabbarish, Yudhister, Abhishek, Parmesh, Ramesh, Satish, Vivek, Vinodh Bhuvanesh or Shalini, Shakila, Sudhalini, Nivideta, Kaushalya etc are, hold your breadth, some of the names of the so called modern(?) Badaga men and women. If you have to identify persons only from the names, then the above mentioned could be from any part of our country.

Contrast these with names like Bellie, Jogi, Kada, Hala, Sevana, Jevana, Moracha, Nandhi, Ari, Boja, Bella, Ajja, Madha or Kangi, Nanji, Madhi, Kade, Masi, Dhali. Straight away, these names not only point to Badagas but also remind us of our great ancestors.

I have always wondered, why being from a ‘STAUNCH BADAGA’fied family I was named Jayaprakash. My mom who is 96 years old now, tells me that when I was to be named in 1948, a much elder cousin who was both a bully and the first of his generation, insisted on this name because he was a follower of Jayaprakash Narain. Of course, the consolation is that in our generation (one earlier to the present one) everybody was compulsorily given a Badaga name also. For example, my Badaga name is JEVANA. Unfortunately, while registering the name for joining the school, the Badaga name was not included and hence Jayaprakash -and the short form of JP -got stuck. In one of those ironies of fate, when I had to give the [initials expanded] name to join the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer, my father’s name Bellie became my first name and since we do not have a family name common to all brothers and sisters, Bellie is how I am known  these days and yes, I am quite happy about it.

If we continue to name our children as we do now by following the blind and bad advise of some ‘IYER’ who advises that the name has to start with X or Y, we can surely and sadly bury one of our best traditions of NAMING our children only with Badaga names and thus preserving and protecting our culture and KULA (clan).

The least we can do is, while naming the new born babies, ensure that a Badaga name is also given and that Badaga name is definitely included in the school records as well as for other important requirements like voter ID, passport etc .

[On a personal note, on our part we (my wife & I) have ensured that our children’s names include Badaga names ARI & NANJI [Rao Bahadur Ari Gowda was great grandfather to my son and Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda’s wife Nanji was great great grandmother to my daughter] along with their other so called names.

As a first step, may I request the readers to list out all the old, original and exclusive Badaga names (both male and female) and give a serious thought to this serious problem. 

Some Badaga names that come to my mind :

Male names :

  • Ari, Ajja, B(h)oja, Bellie, Bela(Mada), Bella, B(h)eema, Bidia, Bulla, Dona, Gedda, Gujja, Hala, Hiriya, Jevana, Jogi, Kada, Kariabetta, Kakkamalla, Kalla, Kari, Kulla, Linga, Madha, Madiya, Moracha, Nandi, Nanja, Pada, Pokka, Raju, Ranga, Sevana, Sele, Thatha, Thippa.

Female names :

  • Beeki, Bulli, Chenne, Chinna, Doni, D(h)ali, Gange, Gangamma, Gauri, Giriji, Hali, Hallamma, Hui, Jevani, Kade, Kangi, Lingi, Madi, Malle, Masi, Nanji, Panne, Paru, Rukki, Sevani, Sing(a)ri.

JP adds (17  Dec 07) found this in the special issue of Kovai Badagar Sangam [1982]by M.Parvathi and B. Ramamurthy

Popular Badaga Names

Male :

  • Ajja, Andi, Appi, Ari, Bella, Bellie, Bemma, B(h)oja, B(h)ola,  Bijja, Bulla, Chevana, Dhona, Dhooma, Dhunda, Dolla, Gedda, Gejje, Gilla, Gowda, Gujja, Hala, Halli, Hiriya, Hucha, Huchi, Joghee, Jogha, Kada, Kakkamalla, Kala, Kali, Kalla, Kari, Komb, Konga, Krishna, Kunda, Linga, Macha, Madha, Madia, Malla, Malli, Matha, Morcha, Nanja, Nandi, Pamba, Peela, Rama, Ranga, Sakkarai, Sakkolai, Selai, Senna, Setti, Sevana, Singri, Sirangi, Thippa

Female :

  • Akkama, Beeki, Bijji, Chevani, Chinnamma, Devi, Dhundi, Gangi, Gavari, Haalamma, Haali, Honni, Jevani, Kade, Kali, Keppi, Lingi, Madhi, Mallai, Maanikka, Mallajji, Maasi, Michi, Nanji, Peeri, Rangi, Rani, Rukki, Sennai , Sirigi, Thippi

GODALATTY SINGHAN SATHU adds:

We have been known by the seemai to which we belong, to start a new relationship.For example I do not Know whether I call you (Bellie Jayaprakash) Mamma or Anna.If you belong to Merkunad to which I belong, I will call you Anna/Appa/Ayya.I you are from Thodhanad Seemai straight away I can address you as Mamma.This unique identity has to be preserved for posterity.

Hence my suggestion is to have names like

MEKKUNAD GODALATTY SINGHAN SATHU- MY NAME
MEKKUNAD GODALATTY JEYANTHI SATHU-MY WIFE
MEKKUNAD GODALATTY PRASHANTH SATHU-MY SON


The generation next wants an identity. My younger son calls himself Sevana Yashwant (Sevana is my great grandpa’s name)..


So let us start this movement.Great movements have started with small steps …….

Yes, I agree with Sathu about addressing other Badagas properly (Morapadi Koruchodhu). Since I belong to Poragangadu Seeme, it is in order that we address each other (depending on the age of course) as MAMMA [Uncle].

The disgusting thing these days is youngsters addressing any Badaga elder simply as ANNA or AKKA[elder brother & elder sister]. Even the general term AYYA or HETHE [grandpa & grandma] is so much more respectful.

Though the suggestion to include the SEEME before the Village name carries a lot of merit, there are a couple of catches.

You see, every SEEME (consisting of a large group of villages) is divided into communes known as OORUs (consisting of a particular number of villages in one group).

That is, NAKKU BETTA [of the BADAGA COMMUNITY] consists of Four SEEMES -> divided into many OORUs -> subdivided into individual Hattis [villages]. In a Village, everybody is a brother/sister and hence marriage among themselves is taboo.

For example, under PORGANGADU SEEME, ‘HATHOMBATHU [19] OORU’ and ‘AARU[6] OORU’ are two of the many communes.

All males, say, in AARU OORU are ANNA THAMMARU [brothers] and hence cannot marry from families within these six villages. But a boy from AARU OORU can marry a girl from HATHOMBATHU OORU. Or vice versa. Example, I am from AARU OORU (Beratty) and my wife is from 19 OORU (Hubbathalai).

That simply means for people of AARU OORU the people of HATHOMBATHU OORU are MAMMA & MAMMI and hence ‘madhuve maaduva MORAE hadadhe’ (The relation to marry exists).

The beauty of the system is that boys from both Beratty & Hubbathalai [villages belonging to Porangadu Seeme] can marry girls from the same village belonging to a different SEEME [say girls from Ketchigatty of KUNDHE SEEME]. Conversly, a boy from Ketchigatti can marry a girl of his choice either from Hubbathalai or Beratty. Or for that matter, he can marry a girl from within his (Kundhe) Seeme but NOT from the same village or OORU.

I am reminded of an exception though. In the village KODHUMUDI hatti, there are two groups belonging to MELA HATTI and KIYA HATTI (roughly, upper and lower streets) and a person from one group can marry from the other group. Probably, one of the few exceptions of marriage taking place from within  the same hatti (village).

Yes, this topic is not only very interesting but very important. Hope it gets the attention it deserves.

Also see here or here

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Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added

On the unique BADAGA community of the Nilgiris in Southern India…their origin, language, culture and customs !!

 

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No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the written permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com
belliejayaprakash©2016

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Badaga Bangara – Appra Singara !

Badaga Jewellery

Badagas, especially the women, have some exotic and unique jewellery that they wear on their person.

It was a chance but a wonderful meeting with Mrs.Gangamma, aged 78 years, daughter of Karibajja Kari Gowder of Pedduva Kallatti who was associated with Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder (‘Ari Gowda koottuda maathu adile, Koodi ebba ella bae muchindu unnippa ortara endu appa hegina’, she remembered] and wife of late Kari Gowder of Kerben Village (Kotagiri) who passed away about 40 years back, at Mettupalayam in Feb,2007.

She was wearing traditional Badaga Jewllery – ‘Mookkuthi [nose ring & Chinna [ear ring]’ which made me ponder and wonder about Badaga Jewellery.

click here to see plenty of photos and read the complete article about the wonderful ‘world’ of BADAGA Bangara – Jewellery

About Badagas

Edgar

Badagas 1

A lot of research has been done on BADAGA, both the people and the language. One of the early westerners whose research on Badaga is very authentic, interesting and educative, is Edgar Thurston. His article about Badaga Tribe in ‘Castes and Tribes of Southern India (Vol.!)‘ published in 1909 with a lot of photos, is a must read.

Castes and Tribes of Southern India is a seven-volume encyclopedia of social groups of Madras Presidency and the princely states of Travancore, Mysore, Coorg and Pudukkottai published by British museologist Edgar Thurston and K. Rangachari in 1909. [Wikipedia]’

The ebook, as part of Project Gutengerg, produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at www.pgdp.net/ is freely avai0lable.

“This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. http://www.gutenberg.org

Dr.R.K.Haldorai has done an excellent translation on the info on Badagas into Tamil.

I have great pleasure in including the same with the original in the New Page About Badagas.

 – Wing Commande JP

 

At the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation

There was a time when every Badaga household got their FRESH vegetables from their own holas [vegetable gardens next to their houses or a little away from the hatti [village].

2-8-15 008

Be it Avare [beans], gaasu [potatos] or kadaley [peas] or the healthy Keerey Soppu. They were part of the daily menu. Ganji Godhumay [wheat] and baththa  were grown, harvested and made into flour so that Eragittu, Pothittu and baththa hittu could be made very often if not daily. There was no dearth of haalu [milk], majjigay [butter milk], mosaru [curd] and thuppa [clarified butter].

But now, all these seem to be a dream. The basic reason  could be the INVASION of the koda and kaadu emme [monkeys and bisons] which would not spare any thing green. The strict laws related to wild life and their implementation had become a big deterrent in growing vegetables. A family’s wealth was based on the Banda [cattle -number of buffalos and cows] owned. Tho and kottagay [large and individual cattle sheds] were part and parcel of a hatti.

Every Badaga family had atleast a small patch of thotta [tea estate] that would give an assured income. The steep fall in green leaf tea prices and steeper labour wages have made owning and maintaining the estate more of a burden and headache.

Now, everything is uncertain. Health and wealth have become big casualties.

Life in the Naakku Betta [the Nilgiris, the blue mountains] has really become very difficult. Badagas are at the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation.

Future is a big question mark now?? What can we do about it???

Open Letter on OROP

Open Letter to Prime minister Modi on OROP (One Rank One pension)

Dear Prime Minister,

I feel deeply feel pained and betrayed. By your action, rather your inaction, on the OROP issue. For the First Time, I have started having doubts on your ability to solve the issues facing this great Country and its people.

I have been an unabashed supporter of you even before you became the Prime Minister. Never doubted your ability to solve the problems of this country. Definitely, never doubted your words or promises. I was under the impression that before you promised and  said anything, plenty of thought and preparation went into it.

The dillydallying and delaying tactics of announcing the One Pay One Pension has deeply hurt me. How can the IAS lobby, through the Finance Minister Arun Jaitly, convince you to backtrack and betray the Ex-Servicemen, the fauji that fought for this country without fear by giving up their youth, the best years of life?

Do you realise that you are losing an enormous amount of Good Will ? Do you understand the repercussions and the rippling effects that will have on the ‘serving’ Defence Forces when the ex-fauji is neglected and OROP issue relegated and reneged?

Sir, I feel totally betrayed and deeply pained.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash  [an ex-fauji]

World Photography Day

DV

On the day of World Photography [19-08-2015], here is a  candid shot of Kannerimukku village [a Badaga Hamlet] at 6-30pm, the first ever settlement of the British Raj in any hill areas of India. The concept of a Hill Station began here. Welcome to the Nilgiris !!!

Dharmalingam Venugopal

Burning Issues

[This article/page was published a few years back. But, most of the issues touched upon have a great relevance even today – Wg.Cdr.JP]

BADAGAS as ST

Many Badagas are under the mistaken impression that if they are brought under the “Scheduled Tribe”, it is a degrading step. I do not think so. Badagas are one of the ‘ORIGINAL’ tribes of the Nilgiris along with Todas, Kothas and Kurumas.

The enormous improvements achieved by Badagas in all social factors, in spite of many impediments, should make us feel proud. This success is attributed to one SINGLE factor. Education. For that we must remember with gratitude the pioneer, visionary and philanthropist Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Jogi Gowder] Bellie Gowder who built the first School for Badagas – along with free hostel accommodation for Badaga students in Hubbathalai and his son Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder who fore saw that in educating a girl, indeed we are educating a family and society, insisted on education for girls and encouraged it fully.

Now, the good news is that, one of the major political parties – AIADMK – has publically announced that ST status would  be recommended for Badagas if they are elected to govern the Tamil Nadu state for which elections are being held on the 13th April, 2011.

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‘Scheduled Tribe’ status for Badagas ?!

March, 2008 : Why the latest Tamil Nadu website, http://www.nilgiris.tn.gov.in/
on the Nilgiris is getting on my ‘goat’ is the fact that till recently Badagas were shown as a tribe along with Todas, Kothas, Kurumbas and others. In fact, the following photograph displayed in my website www.badaga.in [ see the page https://badaga.wordpress.com/badaga-dance/ ] was taken from that portal.
Image
But the same has been removed from http://www.nilgiris.tn.gov.in/ now.
Mind you, calling Badagas as a separate tribe and included with others,does not automaticaly give the status of a schedule tribe. And hence, the champions among ourselves who are opposed to ST status, need not feel small
The above website of TN govt is accessed by many tourists mainly foreigners and they are agast not to find anything on or about Badagas.

Many readers may not know that Badagas were listed as a separate entity in the CENSUS till 1981 but after, that courtesy some idiots, Badaga are grouped under Kannada (speaking people). What this has done is the huge loss of information of knowing how many Badagas are there [along with all other details like literacy rate, gender wise population etc]. That, SIMPLY MEANS BADAGAS DO NOT EXIST.

What is highly hurting is the fact we have many Badagas including a minister, MLA, many ex-MPs & ex-MLAs who seem to do nothing. Can they not, ATLEAST, shoot out letters to all concerned ? Or, have they forgotten the fact that they are getting a fat pension because of us? I know of an EX-MP who writes to the local police station every now and then emphasising the EX-FACTOR when it comes to grabbing others land for her own kith, but does nothing about the community welfare.
What about the many self appointed leaders of Badaga community, including ex-MLAs, who claim that they are very close to the DMK party leadership ? Why can’t they initiate some action and show the same enthusiasm when they ‘fleece’ the public for money in the name of donation for the party [but lining their own pockets]?
What about many senior government officers, including the only IAS officer who can influence the party in power to take some action ? Firstly, the IAS officer should correct his mother tongue being Badaga and NOT as Tamil as is given in the government official info { a fact I have mentioned in FIRST BADAGA also}.
It is a well known fact that late Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder would seek an immediate appointment, to highlight the problems concerning Badagas, with the Collector as well as the State ministers of his time including the great Rajaji who was the CM. Do you know that Rajaji had to apologise to Ari Gowder when he (Rajaji) was delayed for an appointment and Ari Gowder, as MLA, threatened to walk out. I believe, many Collectors of the Nilgiris, would not only address Ari Gowder’s concern expressed over the phone but would consult him on any issue on Badagas.
The local correspondent [for the Nilgiris] of one of the most widely read national news papers of India, ‘THE HINDU’ is a Badaga. Can we request him to highlight this issue in his columns?
Why are we keeping quiet ? Why are we behaving like ‘HEBBATHES’ – cockroaches- running away from light and hiding ourselves in darkness??

Badagas under Schedule Tribes ???

I have very strong views on this subject. Before I elaborate on them, I feel that we should first of all be identified as BADAGAS which is not the case as SANTHOSH has rightly mentioned in www://badaga.com “. . our community’s name is not in the list of communities under the BC category. In fact, it is not mentioned under any of the categories.”

I also agree with the views of ‘bhojvija’ who feels that ST tag for Badagas is humiliating…
“…Badagas living in cities and doing/completed education in cities and are upper middle class family and for them it’s not at all a matter if Badagas are non ST. But we have to talk about our entire badaga community. For example an SC/ST guy simply getting govt job if he passed just degree. And government providing more facilities like scholarship, free hostel, books, notebooks etc… In our community so many have stopped their education due to lack of economical support and their entire life style also has been changed as they have to work just as ordinary labourers…. “.

Most of us feel that getting ST status is demeaning and meant mainly for getting admissions to educational institutions and getting jobs easily. The truth could be entirely different.

Even in our own district of the Nilgirs, do you know that we are not taken as a separate community as BADAGAS but are clubbed with other non tribals??? That is one of the reasons why the exact number of Badags is not available? When census is taken Badags are clubbed under Kannadigas / others.

I am afraid ,if this sad state of affair continues, after a few years, we will come under the “extinct” community.

Being from an above average Badaga family – economically [God’s grace], having done my professional studies of engineering and business administration etc and having served in the defence services and having mostly lived in big cities like Delhi, Bangalore & Madras for the past forty odd years or educating my children in the elitist schools, colleges and now abroad, I had no occasion to seek the tag of BC.

BUT.. yes this is a big ‘but’ [no pun intended]…

BUT, NOW THAT I VISIT AND INTERACT WITH OUR PEOPLE IN OUR HATTIS ON A REGULAR BASIS, I AM CONVINCED THAT FOR THE UPLIFTMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE (as opposed to city based creamy layers) THERE IS AN URGENT NEED THAT :

  1. First, we should be identified as a separate group as BADAGAS like Todas, Kothas,Kurumas etc when the people(tribes) of the Nilgiris are referred to.
  2. For the larger good of the community, Badagas should get the ST status for the benefits available are too many to go into detail.

Nearly eighty years back, Nakku Betta Leader, Rao Bahadur (Rao Sahib then) Bellie Gowder on whose invitation the Governor of then Madras Province visited Hubbathalai Village was presented a memorandum on the Hill Tribes of Nilgiris which included Badagas, Todas & Kothas. In a grand cultural show organised on that eve Badaga dance was presented [by school boys] in their ‘DODDA KUPPACHA”.

dodda-kuppacha.jpg

Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, incidentally, was not only the leader of Badagas but represented as leader of all the tribes of Nilgiris (a relatively remote hilly & jungle area and unexplored at that time in early 1900s). The folder he presented to the British Governor, on the occassion of his vist to Hubbathalai [on the invitation of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder] containg some rare photos of all the tribes of Nilgiris INCLUDING BADAGAS

Badagas as a Hill Tribe

What do you think?

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Let us be FAIR to the fair gender

As I sit down to ponder over the ‘burning issues’ that are bothering the Badaga Community, three issues pop up as very important. The FIRST one is the inequality with which we seem to be treating our women today. Though, this malaise is affecting all the communities in our country, I am concerned that the Badagas who treated their women folk with so much respect and love in the olden days, are slowly but surely pushing them into the second class citizens category.

In earlier days, the girls were married off at a much younger age [Kannu Hoottadha Henga] but with the firm understanding that they [the girls] could seek divorce at any time if there was matrimonial disharmony and that they would be accepted back into the society without any blame and reservation. Getting married again was no big issue. She, always, had the backing of her parents and her brothers as ‘guru mane’ gave unflinching support in all respects mainly financial. This was probably the main reason that the girl children were not given any share in the property.

Being brought up in an atmosphere where complaining and cribbing were not considered as routine, the Badaga women accepted life as it came and were always ready to sacrifice their own comforts. But then, the Badaga men, at least a majority of them, were, also, simple and hard working. Then came the curse of ‘drinking’. And with that, the problems and troubles of Badaga woman increased many fold and took a dramatic turn for the worse. The men folk took full advantage of the vulnerable nature of the women who had the additional burden of bringing up the children. Here, it must be mentioned that a Badaga girl was expected to be pregnant within a few months of marriage and invariably, there was a child to ‘celebrate’ the first wedding anniversary. Followed, of course, with many more children. “Mane thumba Makka” – House full of children – was part of the ‘blessing – Harakkay’.

This put the women in a very disadvantageous position. With many children, divorce was not a choice. Thus, they accepted suffering without complaints.

Education changed the fundamental thinking of girls. Though still faced with the compulsion of early marriage, many girls accepted ‘two children per family’ norm as the best option. But, there was and is still discrimination when it came to giving them share of property. The present law of the land is clear. Girls should get EQUAL share of the property.

The Badaga thinking, mainly mandated and manipulated by men, has found the clumsy excuse of not giving share of the property to the girl children by quoting outdated traditions. This is the problem.

I am convinced that one of the most important and burning issues facing us today is GIVING EQUAL SHARE TO THE GIRLS AS THE BOYS. I am firmly of the view that we have to resolve that we will give equal share to the girls if we have to save our community from falling into disgrace. Let us take that resolution, HERE and NOW.

No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A(FMS,Delhi Univ)

copy@

Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com
belliejayaprakash©2006-2015

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Badaga Names

Badaga Names

“What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.

In our history of many thousand years, naming of places was generally and literally linked to NATURE. Be it on names given to villages like ‘Bikka Mora Hatti [Olive Tree Village]’ or ‘Hubbathale [Chinese Pagoda tree/grass]’ or ‘Osa Hatti [New Village]’.

Badagas had [ I am very sad to use ‘past tense’ here] a great tradition of naming their children after their ancestors, usually a deceased grand parent. By this they not only ensured that the dead are constantly remembered but also to differentiate Badaga as an unique entity as a tribe with their own traditions and customs.

Jayaprakash, Sabbarish, Yudhister, Abhishek, Parmesh, Ramesh, Satish, Vivek, Vinodh Bhuvanesh or Shalini, Shakila, Sudhalini, Nivideta, Kaushalya etc are, hold your breadth, some of the names of the so called modern(?) Badaga men and women. If you have to identify persons only from the names, then the above mentioned could be from any part of our country.

Contrast these with names like Bellie, Jogi, Kada, Hala, Sevana, Jevana, Moracha, Nandhi, Ari, Boja, Bella, Ajja, Madha or Kangi, Nanji, Madhi, Kade, Masi, Dhali. Straight away, these names not only point to Badagas but also remind us of our great ancestors.

I have always wondered, why being from a ‘STAUNCH BADAGA’fied family I was named Jayaprakash. My mom told me that when I was to be named in 1948, a much elder cousin who was both a bully and the first of his generation, insisted on this name because he was a follower of Jayaprakash Narain. Of course, the consolation is that in our generation (one earlier to the present one) everybody was compulsorily given a Badaga name also. For example, my Badaga name is JEVANA. Unfortunately, while registering the name for joining the school, the Badaga name was not included and hence Jayaprakash -and the short form of JP -got stuck. In one of those ironies of fate, when I had to give the [initials expanded] name to join the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer, my father’s name Bellie became my first name [and since we do not have a family name common to all brothers and sisters], Bellie is how I am known these days and yes, I am quite happy about it.

If we continue to name our children as we do now by following the blind and bad advise of some ‘IYER’ who advises that the name has to start with X or Y, we can surely and sadly bury one of our best traditions of NAMING our children only with Badaga names and thus preserving and protecting our culture and KULA (clan).

The least we can do is, while naming the new born babies, ensure that a Badaga name is also given and that Badaga name is definitely included in the school records as well as for other important requirements like voter ID, passport etc.

[On a personal note, on our part we (my wife & I) have ensured that our children’s names include Badaga names ARI & NANJI [Rao Bahadur Ari Gowda was great grandfather to my son from my wife’s side and Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda’s wife Nanji was great grandmother to my daughter from my side] along with their other names which were chosen by the ‘modernists’ in which I had no say (sob sob)]

As a first step, may I request the readers to list out all the old, original and exclusive Badaga names (both male and female) and give a serious thought to this serious problem. The names of all GODS/GODDESS is not considered original / traditional.

Some names that come to my mind :

Male names :

◾Ari, Ajja, B(h)oja, Bellie, Bela(Mada), Bella, B(h)eema, Bidia, Bulla, Dona, Gedda, Gujja, Hala, Hiriya, Jevana, Jogi, Kada, Kariabetta, Kakkamalla, Kalla, Kari, Kulla, Linga, Madha, Madiya, Moracha, Nandi, Nanja, Pada, Pokka, Raju, Ranga, Sevana, Sele, Thatha, Thippa.

Female names :
◾Beeki, Bulli, Chenne, Chinna, Doni, D(h)ali, Gange, Gangamma, Gauri, Giriji, Hali, Hallamma, Hui, Jevani, Kade, Kangi, Lingi, Madi, Malle, Masi, Nanji, Panne, Paru, Rukki, Sevani, Sing(a)ri.

Found this info in the special issue of Kovai Badagar Sangam [1982] – by M.Parvathi and B.Ramamurthy

Popular Badaga Names

Male :
◾Ajja, Andi, Appi, Ari, Bella, Bellie, Bemma, B(h)oja, B(h)ola, Bijja, Bulla, Chevana, Dhona, Dhooma, Dhunda, Dolla, Gedda, Gejje, Gilla, Gowda, Gujja, Hala, Halli, Hiriya, Hucha, Huchi, Joghee, Jogha, Kada, Kakkamalla, Kala, Kali, Kalla, Kari, Komb, Konga, Krishna, Kunda, Linga, Macha, Madha, Madia, Malla, Malli, Matha, Morcha, Nanja, Nandi, Pamba, Peela, Rama, Ranga, Sakkarai, Sakkolai, Selai, Senna, Setti, Sevana, Singri, Sirangi, Thippa

Female :
◾Akkama, Beeki, Bijji, Chevani, Chinnamma, Devi, Dhundi, Gangi, Gavari, Haalamma, Haali, Honni, Jevani, Kade, Kali, Keppi, Lingi, Madhi, Mallai, Maanikka, Mallajji, Maasi, Michi, Nanji, Peeri, Rangi, Rani, Rukki, Sennai , Sirigi, Thippi

[please also read the page BADAGA NAMES ]

You are an inspiration in life and death

Death anniversary of Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder

mom-6a_edited-lb.jpg02-10-1912  — 13-07-2011

You gave everything to us when you were alive – the greatest of them all being EDUCATION. You ensured that all your eight children, including three girls, got both school and college education even when the times were difficult and hard. Your elder brother Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder was a solid support to our family.

In life, You were an inspiration. In death, you are a greater inspiration.

Mom and Hethe, we miss you. We bow our heads in respect and seek your blessings – wherever You are!

Taking life for granted

Please spend a few minutes to read this – it may make a HUGE difference in life (after death}

Letter written by a wife after her husband’s death in an accident

“Few things I learnt after my husband’s death:-

We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.

Only when things hit us bang on your head you realise… Life is so unpredictable….

My husband was an IT guy, All technical. And I am a chartered accountant. Awesome combination you may think.

Techie guy so everything is on his laptop. His to do list. His e-bill and his bank statements in his email. He even maintained a folder which said IMPWDS wherein he stored all login id and passwords for all his online accounts. And even his laptop had a password. Techie guy so all the passwords were alpha-numeric with a special character not an easy one to crack. Office policy said passwords needed to be changed every 30 days. So every time I accessed his laptop I would realize it’s a new password again. I would simply opt for asking him ‘What’s the latest password instead of taking the strain to memorize it.

You may think me being a Chartered Accountant would means everything is documented and filed properly. Alas many of my chartered accountant friends would agree that the precision we follow with our office documents and papers do not flow in to day to day home life. At office you have be epitome of Reliability / Competent / Diligent etc but. At home front there is always a tomorrow.

One fine morning my hubby expired in a bike accident on his way home from office.. He was just 33. His laptop with all his data crashed. Everything on his hard disk wiped off. No folder of IMPWDS to refer back to. His mobile with all the numbers on it was smashed. But that was just the beginning. I realised I had lot to learn.

9 years married to one of the best human beings with no kids just the two of us to fall back on but now I stood all alone and lost.

Being chartered accountant helped in more ways than one but it was not enough. I needed help. His saving bank accounts, his salary bank accounts had no nominee. On his insurance his mom was the nominee and it was almost 2 years back she had expired. But this was just a start. I didn’t know the password to his email account where all his e-bill came. I didn’t know which expenses he paid by standing instructions.

His office front too was not easy. His department had changed recently. I didn’t know his reporting boss name to start with when had he last claimed his shift allowance, his mobile reimbursement.

The house we bought with all the excitement on a loan thought with our joint salary we could afford the EMI. when the home loans guys suggested insurance on the loan, we decided the instead of paying the premium the difference in the EMI on account of the insurance could be used pay towards prepayment of the loan and get the tenure down. We never thought what we would do if we have to live on a single salary. So now there was huge EMI to look into .

I realised I was in for a long haul.

Road accident case. So everywhere I needed a Death certificate, FIR report, Post Mortem report. For everything there were forms running into pages indemnity bonds, notary, surety to stand up for you. No objections certificates from your co-heirs.

I learnt other than your house, your land, Your car, your bike are also your property. So what if you are the joint owner of the flat you don’t become the owner just because your hubby is no more. So what if your hubby expired in the bike accident and you are the nominee but if the bike is in a repairable condition .you have to get the bike transferred in your name to claim the insurance. And that was again not easy. The bike or car cannot be transferred in your name without going through a set of legal documents. Getting a Succession Certificate is another battle all together.

Then came the time you realise now you have to start changing all the bills, assets in your name. Your gas connection, electricity meter, your own house, your car, your investments and all sundries. And then change all the nominations where your own investments are concerned. And again a start of a new set of paperwork.

To say I was shaken my whole life had just turned upside down was an understatement. You realise you don’t have time to morn and grieve for the person with whom you spend the best years of your life. Because you are busy sorting all the paper work.

I realised then how much I took life for granted. I thought being a chartered accountant I am undergoing so many difficulties, what would have happened to someone who was house maker who wouldn’t understand this legal hotchpotch.

A sweet friend then told me dear this was not an end, you have no kids, your assets will be for all who stand to claim. After my hubby’s sudden death. I realised it was time I took life more seriously. I now needed to make a Will. I would have laughed if a few months back if he had asked me to make one. But now life had taken a twist.

Lessons learnt this hard way were meant to be shared. After all why should the people whom we love the most suffer after we are no more. Sorting some paperwork before we go will at least ease some of their grief.

1. Check all your nominations.
It’s a usual practice to put a name (i.e in the first place if you have mentioned it) and royally forget about it. Most of us have named our parent as a nominee for investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no nomination.. Kindly check all your Nominations.
– Bank Accounts
– Fixed Deposits, NSC
– Bank Lockers
– Demat Accounts
– Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
– Investments
– PF Pension Forms

2. Passwords.
We have passwords for practically everything. Email accounts, Bank accounts, even for the laptop you use. What happens when your next in kin cannot access any of these simply because they do not know your password… Put it down on a paper.

3. Investments.
Every year for tax purpose we do investments. Do we maintain a excel sheet about it. If so is it on the same laptop of which the password you had not shared. Where are those physical investments hard copy.

4. Will.
Make a Will. I know you will smile even I would had I not gone through all what I did. It would have made my life lot easier a lot less paperwork. I wouldn’t had to provide an indemnity bond, get it notarised, ask surety to stand up, no objections certificates from others…

5. Liabilities.
When you take a loan say for your house or car. Check out on all the what if, what if I am not there tomorrow, what if I loose my job. Will the EMI still be within my range. If not get an insurance on the loan. The people left behind will not have to worry on something as basic as their own house.

My battles have just begun… But let us at least try and make few changes so that our loved ones would not suffer after we go. We do not know what will happen in the future. But as the Scout motto goes: Be prepared ”

NEVER TAKE LIFE FOR GRANTED DO THINGS APPROPRIATE FOR THE ONES WHO DEPEND ON YOU WITH LOVE

[recd as fwd email]

Ari Gowda – the great Badaga Leader

Ari Gowder

Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder from Hubbathalai remains to be one of the greatest leaders of not only Badagas for for the entire district of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. His services to the community and his philanthropic deeds are still spoken about, though he passed away in 1971. One of his most important achievements was the establishment of NCMS – Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society at Ooty that helped a large number of small farmers by releasing them out of the clutches of middlemen. NCMS was considered as the best Co-Op Society in India. Read more about Ari Gowder here.

On the 45th anniversary of his death on 28 June 2015, a function was held at NCMS, Ooty to remember and pay respects to Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder.

DMalar AG[Above report from Dinamalar 29-06-2015]

On behalf of Ari Gowder family, we put on record our deep gratitude and appreciation to the organisers of the above function.

Come let us do YOGA – Baarivi YOGA maaduvoe

The recent post on International Yoga Day (see below) has brought a lot of positive feed back. YOGA is not an one day ‘affair’ but must remain as a life long practice that should become a daily routine, I take great pleasure in choosing some of the best (out of the hundred of videos available on the net) and presenting it here.

Chosen for ease of explanation and follow up.

Pran Oorja – Anulom Vilom Pranayam

Pawan Muktasana

Your health is in your hands and feet, in a manner of speaking. Take it now for a healthier and happier life.

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Today is International Yoga Day that is being celebrated all over the globe.

Join with your friends if possible, otherwise, do a few YOGA exercises including systematic breathing in your home. Relax. Spend atleast 30 minutes on Yoga.

It is for your health and happiness.

Do it everyday just like brushing your teeth and make it a habit.

See and feel the difference in a month!

Go here to know What is YOGA ?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Photo: The Hindu
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Yoga to reduce weight

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Health and Badagas

Badagas of the Blue Mountain in the Nilgiris [Southern India], in earlier days, have given great importance to health. This was amply reflected in their life style. Walking was part of life. Be it going to the fields, hola or thotta, or going to the forests for gathering firewood or long trekking to gather honey and fruits [hannu koovadhu]. Since, festivals, weddings or funerals were essentially social gatherings, relatives would walk long distances to reach the destination usually a hatti/villages located far away.

Known of boys coming all the way from Edapalli & Eethorai to study in Hubbathalai School, located a few kilometres away, in the 1960s. In those days, one had to walk a considerable distance to catch a bus to go to Ooty or Coonoor. Unfortunately, laziness came along with introduction of mini buses connecting the hattis with towns in the Naakku Betta Nilgiris.. Even to go to a shop located a few hundred yards away, mini bus was awaited. Thus, a major source of exercise/good health viz walking became a casualty.

Anyway, here are the benefits of walking. Walking for health and happiness.

  • The human body is made to walk.  
  • Walking 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent.  
  • Walking cuts the risk of stroke by more than 25 percent. 
  • Walking reduces hypertension. The body has over 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are more supple and healthier when we walk.
  • Walking cuts the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and stroke.  
  • Women who walk have a 20 percent lower likelihood of getting breast cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of getting colon cancer.  
  • Women with breast cancer who walk regularly can reduce their recurrence rate and their mortality rate by over 50 percent.  
  • The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk.  
  • We don’t have to walk a lot. Thirty minutes a day has a huge impact on our health.
  • Men who walk thirty minutes a day have a significantly lower level of prostate cancer. Men who walk regularly have a 60 percent lower risk of colon cancer.  
  • For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate.  
  • Walking also helps prevent depression, and people who walk regularly are more likely to see improvements in their depression.  
  • In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphins when we walk. Endorphins help us feel good.  
  • Walking strengthens the heart. Walking strengthens bones. 
  • Walking improves the circulatory system.  
  • Walking generates positive neurochemicals. Healthy eating is important but dieting can trigger negative neurochemicals and can be hard to do.  
  • Walking generates positive neurochemicals. People look forward to walking and enjoy walking.  
  • And research shows that fit beats fat for many people. Walking half an hour a day has health benefits that exceed the benefits of losing 20 pounds.  
  • When we walk every day, our bodies are healthier and stronger. A single 30 minute walk can reduce blood pressure by five points for over 20 hours.  
  • Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs.  
  • People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.  
  • People who walk are less likely to catch colds, and when people get colds, walkers have a 46 percent shorter symptom time from their colds.  
  • Walking improves the health of our blood, as well. Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke.  
  • Walking significantly diminishes the risk of hip fracture and the need for gallstone surgery is 20 to 31 percent lower for walkers.  
  • Walking is the right thing to do. The best news is that the 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals.  
  • We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals.  
  • Walking feels good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy. It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psychosocial health, and helps with our emotional health. Walking can literally add years entire years to your life.
ALL ACUPRESSURE POINTS ARE IN THE SOLE OF YOUR FEET …..JUST LIKE YOUR HANDS !!
[recd as a fwd email]

Badaga Singers – Bikkatti Nandakumar

 

There are many talented Badaga singers whose captivating voice can keep the listeners enthralled. One such good singers is Bikkatti Nandakumar whose devotional song ‘Baa Kanna’ is a pleasure to listen to.

041 This live recording was done at Hubbathalai Hatti.

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Health Tips – Karembay Soppu

10 reasons you should eat Curry Leaves [Karembay Soppu] instead of discarding them

Benefits of curry leaf

Curry leaf (Karembay Soppu in Badaga, kadi patta or kari patta in Hindi, kariveppilai in Tamil, kariveppila in Malayalam, kariveppaku in Telugu) is one of the common seasoning ingredients that is added to almost every dish in India to enhance its taste and flavour. However, rather than eating this humble leaf (which is slightly bitter in taste) along with the dish, most of us segregate it and just throw it away. Have you ever wondered why our ancestors used to add this leaf to every food preparation if you have to just throw it away? Well, it is because kadi patta is packed with numerous nutrients that are actually good for you. Right from helping your heart to function in a better way to enlivening your hair and skin with vitality, it is loaded with health benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Helps keep anaemia at bay Kadi patta or curry leaves are a rich source of iron and folic acid. Interestingly, anaemia is not only about the lack of iron in your body but also about the body’s inability to absorb iron and use it. This is where folic acid comes into play. Folic acid is mainly responsible for iron absorption and since kadi patta is a rich source of both the compounds, it is your one-stop natural remedy to beat anaemia. Tip: If you suffer from anaemia, eat one date (khajoor) with two kadi patta leaves on an empty stomach every morning.

2. Protects your liver from damage If you are a heavy drinker, or eat a lot of fish or indulge in other activities that could be damaging your liver, then you must eat curry leaves. This is because, according to a study published in The Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, curry leaves protect your liver from oxidative stress and harmful toxins that build-up in your body.  Kaempferol, the highly effective anti-oxidative property of curry leaves, when combined with Vitamins A and C, not only protects the liver but also stimulates the organ to work more efficiently. Tip: Heat one spoon of homemade ghee, add the juice of a cup of kadi patta, some sugar and freshly powdered black pepper and take it regularly . Make sure you heat this mixture slightly (and not overheat it) as kaempferol boils at a very low temperature.

3. Maintains your blood sugar levels A study published in the Journal of Plant Food for Nutrition found that curry leaves lower blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity. Apart from this, the presence of fibre in the leaves plays a significant role in controlling your blood sugar levels. Additionally, kadi patta is known to improve digestion and alter the way your body absorbs fat, thereby helping you lose weight. This is particularly of significance for people who are obese and suffer from diabetes. Tip: To help keep your blood sugar under check, you should ideally add kadi patta to all your meals. Alternatively, consume fresh curry leaves on an empty stomach daily. Continue reading

Relax and have some fun

The Ukrainian Card Trick. Performed by: Shlovko

Pick one of the following cards.

Don’t click on it; just keep it in your head

Scroll down when you have your card….

Think about your card for 20 seconds in front of Shlovko

Shlovko will attempt to read your mind!

The Great Shlovko Has Removed Your Card!

SCARY ISN’T IT.

Now scroll up and do it again before you try and work out how its done.

[recd as a fwd email]

JP adds : By the way, have you found out how this freaky trick is done?……ah…ah..
Look beyond what you see…some times what you see is only a perception and not the truth..GOT IT?

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You must have heard of the great mathematician Ramanujam’s Magic Square given below :

You add up any row, column, diagonal, or ‘four adjacent squares’, you will get 139.

The beauty is that the first row gives his Date Of Birth – 22 Dec 1887.

Well, inspired by this I made a magic square with DOB 24 Apr 1948

Where the addition of the four numbers in each row, column, four corners, diagonal or small squares of adjacent numbers add upto 95.

If you look closely on the above two squares, you can realise that you can easily ‘crack this code’ and MAKE A MAGIC SQUARE with your DOB – where the four numbers will add upto a specific number.

Got it ? If you are too lazy to make your own magic square, send your DOB to me, I will make the magic square. You will find my email id elsewhere on this page.

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21st June 2015 is International Yoga Day!

Today is International Yoga Day that is being celebrated all over the globe.

Join with your friends if possible, otherwise, do a few YOGA exercises including systematic breathing in your home. Relax. Spend atleast 30 minutes on Yoga.

It is for your health and happiness.

 Do it everyday just like brushing your teeth and make it a habit.

See and feel the difference in a month!

Go here to know  What is YOGA ?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Photo: The Hindu
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Yoga to reduce weight

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Badaga Funeral – away from the Hatti – 2

A Badaga funeral at any Hatti(Village) can be broadly divided into the following rites :-

  1. At Maney (home) மனெ – where the death has occurred.

At M

  1. At Dhodda Maney (the Sacred/Big House) தொட்ட மனெ – where the body is kept in a decorated Kattilu (cot) for paying homage.

At DM

  1. At Haney (the Village grass ground) ஹணெ – where the most important rites – Karu Harachchodhu (rendering of the Funneral Prayer) கரு ஹரச்சோது, Olay Kattodhu ( formal declaration of Widow/Widower) ஓலெ கட்டோது and Akki Eththodhu (Putting rice/baththa on the face of the deceased) அக்கி எத்தொது take place.

At Haney

  1. At Dhoovay (the grave yard) தூவே – where the formal burial or cremation (in the olden days only cremation) is carried out followed by Baththa Beerodhu (sowing of millet) பத்த பீரோது

At Dhoovey

Let us elaborate on each of these rites in the subsequent posts.

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Badaga Funeral – away from the Hatti

Though, comparatively a small community, Badagas have settled in many towns and cities, away from their Hattis -Villages in the Nilgiris, both in India and abroad.

When a death occurs in any family that is settled outside, the first and the most appropriate action would be, to take the dead to his/her hatti in the Nilgiris where the Last Rites – Funeral Ceremony would be conducted by the concerned hatti in the traditional manner.

What happens, if the option of taking the body to the concerned hatti is not possible for some reason?

Is it not possible to conduct the funeral -SAAVU MAADODHU wherever the death has occurred and give a decent and honourable cremation with all the traditional rites like Karu Harachchodhu, Akki Eththodhu etc?

In the followup UPDATES to this post that will be added, let us see how we can go about conducting a traditional Badaga Saavu away from the hattis.

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Update -1

A Badaga funeral at any Hatti(Village) can be broadly divided into the following rites :-

  1. At Maney (home) மனெ – where the death has occurred.

At M

  1. At Dhodda Maney (the Sacred/Big House) தொட்ட மனெ – where the body is kept in a decorated Kattilu (cot) for paying homage.

At DM

  1. At Haney (the Village grass ground) ஹணெ – where the most important rites – Karu Harachchodhu (rendering of the Funneral Prayer) கரு ஹரச்சோது, Olay Kattodhu ( formal declaration of Widow/Widower) ஓலெ கட்டோது and Akki Eththodhu (Putting rice/baththa on the face of the deceased) அக்கி எத்தொது take place.

At Haney

  1. At Dhoovay (the grave yard) தூவே – where the formal burial (in the olden days only cremation) is carried out followed by Baththa Beerodhu (sowing of millet) பத்த பீரோது

At Dhoovey

Let us elaborate on each of these rites in the subsequent posts.

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Sad Demise of Justice EJ Bellie, First Badaga High Court Judge

Regret to record the sad demise of Justice EJ Bellie, the First and so far only Badaga  High Court Judge at Chennai. After his retirement from Madras High Court, he became the First President of Tamil Nadu Consumer Courts. He was 83

iyya 2

He was from Eethorai Village and  the son of Late Thembala Joghee Gowder  and Maasi Ammal.

He leaves behind his wife Vimala Bellie (daughter of late Mrs.Idyammal and Mr.B.K.Bellie Gowder and niece of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder) and son Ramesh Bellie

May his soul Rest In Peace !

Welcome to this site which is all about the

Badagas of the Blue mountains

 1.Badaga Origin [What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin. Read the complete article here]

2.Badaga Language [“It appears that there are none who know ‘PURE’ Badaga. This is not due to lack of words in Badaga. Lot of Badaga words have been forgotten [due to the influence of Tamil and English] and hence become extinct”.]

3.Badaga Names[What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.]

4.Badaga Songs [Music and Badagas are inseparable. Be it the ever green dance (aatta) numbers, the sad savu (funeral) songs or the beautiful ballads…sky is the limit. For some nice Badaga songs click here

5. Badaga Villages – Hattis[Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literaly means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located]

6. Hethay Amma History [Hethay Amma is the deity of all Badagas. Hethai Habba is always on the first MONDAY (SOVARA), the most sacred day of Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in (Tamil) Margazhi month, that is the 9th day after eight days of ‘Kolu’]

7.Badaga Jewellery  [The main ornaments are the nose ring called ‘ MOOKUTHI ‘ and the ear ring known as ‘CHINNA’ . Chinna , literaly means gold but usually refers to ear rings. The type shown above is worn both by men and women. Of course, the ‘ BELLI UNGARA ‘ [silver finger ring] has a special place in Badaga tradition and considered to have medicinal / health benefits]

8.Badaga Wedding [Badaga customs and traditions are known for their simplicity, adaptibility and practicality. In this respect a Badaga wedding follows a set of simple rules that has been almost the same over the centuries. But for a minor change here and there, it has been almost the same in all the villages spread across the Nakku Betta or the Nilgiri Hills]

9.Badaga Funeral  [Ever since I became aware of the verses of ‘Karu Harachodhu’, I felt how nice it would be if these beautiful words could be given in English [ both in script and as translation] so that the present day youngsters could understand one of the most important and significant part (prayer) of Badaga funeral rites]

10.All about Ari Gowder [Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate, first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time who had brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community including ‘prohibition’ (no alcohol – kudi to Nilgiris in British days itself. Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT) to World Scouts Jumboree held in Europe in the 1930s]

11.First Badaga It will be very interesting [I hope as well as informative & motivating] to list all those BADAGAS who were / are the ’FIRST’in any field.Where I am not sure, I have put a question mark, so that someone may supply the correct or corrected info

12. Rare Photos [..The title says it all ..]

13. Badaga Day [May 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder…]

14.Badaga Poems [One of the enchanting aspects of Badaga Language is its disarming simplicity. But though the sentences are swathed in sweetness of simple words, it can contain deep expressions of emotions conveyed in the proper usage of rhymes [holla – alla] or pair words [huttu – nattu] apart from other attributes]

15.Badaga Elders [There are a few elderly Badagas spread among our Hattis and Cities who are so well informed about us. May be due to their age or the personal interest and individual atrributes, they know about our origin, customs, culture or anything connected and concerning Badagas. It is a shear blessing to meet them.]

16. Badaga Recipes [Badagas usually grow vegetables in their small patch(es) of land called ‘HOLA’ (see photo) for their regular use apart from other commercial crops like potato, cabbage, carrot and cauliflower etc. These would also include many varities of beans, peas, greens, corn etc]

17.Badaga Proverbs [One of the fascinating and interesting aspect of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “ DODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point]

18.Badaga Calendar [Badaga month should start on the 10th of an English month as far as possible and also to ensure that the number of days in a month is either 30 or 31 days. Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious and ‘holy’ day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day]

19.Badaga Script  It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exist. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

20. Badaga Poetry

21. General

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The beauty of HA in Badaga

Learnbadaga ___________

Correct
Haalu
HaaLU
Hatti
Hanay
Haday
Habba
Wrong
Aalu
AaLU
Atti
Anay
Aday
Abba
Meaning
Milk
Curse
Village
Grass ground/Flat
Lie Down
Festival

Haalu -ஹாலு - Milk
HaaLu -ஹாளு - Curse

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“`

Badaga Poems

Badaga/Badagu is a rich and sweet language spoken by the Badagas of the Blue Mountains!

Many BALLADS rendered by a singer in any Badaga gathering had added richness to this unique language apart from bringing out many traditions that were passed down many generations.

Though, not having a script of its own is a handicap, many Badaga poets have kept the great art of blending beautifully the Badaga words, by composing many poems where the play of words rhyme so well and sounds musical.

One such poem is ENNA AVVAY – MY MOTHER by Kunna Bikkatti B.MOHAN (published in 1993) that brings out the true and pure love of a mother for her son.

Enna Awai
by B.Mohan [of Kunna Bikkatti]

(From ‘Mandhadha Maathu’ – Published by Badaga Welfare Association, Madras, issue dated 1-4-93 (Hannu 3,- Hoo 10)

Kettu Muridhu Naa Kerio Kulibaneyu,
Huttu Nattu Enna Hollandhu Hegoneyu,
Hethu Thathi Saakidha Awai Enna,
Hollandhu Hegule Maathi Allandhu thallule.

Goonu bhuddu Naa Cooli Geevaneyu,
Huttu Kettu Naa Maasi Kulibaneyu,
Pattu Beetha Batte Ekkoneyu,
Kettandhu Hegule Awai Enna Mattandhu Thallule.

Kottage Huggi Naa Geria Baakoneyu,
Araya Kulidu Naa Danava Mesoneyu,
Horia Thookki Naa Hotte Kaibeneyu,
Gorey Endhu Hegule Awai Ondhu Ariandhu Nudivile.

என்ன அவ்வை

[ பி .மொஹன் – குன்ன பிக்கட்டி]

 (மந்தத மாத்து, படக வெல்ஃபெர் அசொசியெஷன், மெட்ராஸ்,1-4-93 ,(ஹண்ணு 3, ஹூ 10)

கெட்டு முரிது நா கேரியோ குளிபனெயு,
ஹுட்டு நட்டு என்ன ஹொல்லந்து ஹெகொனெயு,
ஹெத்து தத்தி சாக்கித அவ்வை என்ன,
ஹொல்லாந்து ஹெகுலே, மாத்தி அல்லாந்து தள்ளுலெ.

கூனு புத்து நா கூலி கீவனேயு,
ஹுட்டு கெட்டு நா மாசி குளிபனெயு,
பட்டு பீத்த பட்டே இக்கொனேயு,
கெட்டுண்டு ஹொகலி எந்து அவ்வை
என்ன மட்டாந்து தள்ளுலெ.

கொட்டகே ஹுக்கி நா கோரய பாக்கோனெயு,
அரய குளிது நா தனவ மெசுவொனெயு,
ஹோரிய தூக்கி நா ஹொட்டே கைபெனெயு,
கொரெ எந்து ஹேகுலெ அவ்வை
ஒந்து அரியாந்து நுடிவிலெ

English Translation of the above poem by Bellie Jayaprakash

My Mother

Even when I was down with poverty and sat at the front court yard,
Even when the near and dear ones despised and deserted,
My mother who gave birth, cared for and brought me up,
Did not blame me and did not reject me – her son, as bad

Even when I toiled as a Cooli with a bent back,
Even when I sat down with my looks dulled and dirty,
Even when I wore patched up old clothes,
My mother never said that I was down ; never rejected me as poor!

Even when I entered the stables and cleaned the dung,
Even when I sat on the rock and tendered the cows,
Even when I lifted loads to earn so as to suppress the hunger,
My mother never found any fault ; never scolded me as ignorant.

I have great pleasure in ‘putting’ that poem in the following audio/video

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Badaga Script

Of late, there has been some serious efforts to have an unique script for Badaga. Though welcoming the initiatives, I do not know how effective it is to make it known/understood ‘universally’ in the short term.

Since most of the Badaga children are studying/sent to English medium schools and many Badaga elders are familiar with both Tamil and English, is it not possible to have an effective communication by simply using English and Tamil ?

Reproduced

JP’s Badaga ‘Script’ – BADDU

Though some friends may feel odd about my adopting an existing Language – English – and adapting it to write in Badaga, for the time being, I will stick to English to express in Badaga (Script).

The conventions used are;

  1. Capital letter brings out emphasis – like o is just o – ஒ [ like in only] but O is OH – ஓ [like in old].  For example, oday – break -ஒடெ,  Odhivi – read – ஓதிவி
  2. OHdhidhama niddhana, OHdidhama erindina – ஒதிதம நித்தன ஓடிதம எரண்டின   – one who is educated stops [to analyse the situation] but one who is hasty – trips [to fall]. See the subtle difference of OHdhina – ஒதின and OHdina – ஓடின
  3. Extra ‘a’ is stretching the letter – like kade [move] is கடெ but  Kaade [a female name] is காடெ
  4. Letters which are not in English alphabet but available in Badaga (and Tamil) can be accessed by using the shift key(Capital) – like l is ல but L is ள , n is ந but  N is ண் . zh is ழ
  5. Capital S is ஸ, small s is ச (ch will also brings out ச)

Now some sentences typed in English and what they bring out in Tamil [I have used ‘Azhagi’ translirate software which when installed, lets you to type in English to convert  the same into Tamil script] to show my ‘Badaga Script – Baddu

  • enna heNNU enna kaNNU maakke – என்ன ஹெண்ணு என்ன கண்ணு மாக்கெ- My daughter is like my eyes
  • ELaya nOdi Edasa bE da – ஏளய நோடி ஏடச பேட – Donot redicule the poor
  • Kalla maaththi kaLLa alla – கல்ல மாத்தி கள்ள அல்ல – Kalla’s son is not a thief.
  • Maadhi mammi madhi kettudhuve – மாதி மம்மி மதி கெட்டுதுவெ – Madhi aunty’s mind is gone

Baarivi, Nodivi, Odhivi & Oridivi !

[Come, See, Read & Listen!]

பாரிவி, நோடிவி, ஓதிவி & ஓரிடிவி

What do you think?

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I had written some time back

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga.

Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

To know more about the BADAGA SCRIPT or rather the need for one go here

Badaga Language and the need for its own script

A Place For Writing: Documenting, Cultivation and Literacy in Badaga Language’s domain
haldorai– Dr.R.K.Haldorai

In the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu alone, more than ten tribal/unlettered languages are spoken and one among them is Badaga. In the Nilgiri linguistic area, Badaga tops in the number of speakers. Badagas have separate hamlets of their own and due to this almost all the Badagas who live in these hamlets, for at least a few years, can speak and understand Badaga language. During the recent past many Badagas have migrated to other places and the Badagas who are living outside the Nilgiris, identify these hamlets as their native place. Hence, except a few, all are having the natural inclination towards this language and culture. With over four hundred Badaga villagers and few others, Badaga consolidated its language domain and kept its linguistic area almost intact despite many strong negative influences. In recent times, the idea of cultural awareness has increased and this trend induced many indigenous people to look to Badaga as prestigious.

Making Badaga as a written language, in addition to the desideratum of the community, is to actually use the language and to expand its domains. Of course as a spoken language, Badaga speech area expanded its territory considerably over the last few decades. Badaga population too is increasing day by day and now the Badaga speakers are more in numbers compared with the Badaga population found in beginning years of last century. The definition of the Badaga as a single language is not a problematic. Since whatever major dialect language variations may have existed earlier, now the language is spoken more or less uniformly in all Badaga hamlets, which are sparsely located in the entire Nilgiri hills. Continue reading

Listen to these great songs on Hethe – the deity of Badagas

I am not a very religious person in the ’strictest’ sense of the word. But I am a proud Hindu and a staunch believer of HETHAY [HETHE Amma] – the deity of Badagas. In my [late] mother, I see the great Hethe and pray to Her everyday. 
‘GAYATRI CHALISA’ is supposed to be the most powerful 40 verses of prayer along with GAYATRI MANTRA. They are in Sanskrit and I do not understand them fully.[The English translation gives some idea]

The similarities of HETHAY AMMA and GAYATRI MATA are striking and too numerous to list, elaborate and explain.

For one, BOTH are clad in spotless white and formless.

Listen to these great Hethe Songs if you want to be truly blessed

Songs uploaded in Soundcloud by Suresh M

Can somebody help in giving the name of the SINGER so that due credit can be given? – Wg Cdr JP

Gayatri Mantra

AUM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM | BHARGO DEVASAYA DHEEMAHI | DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT ||

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं ।

भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

ஓம் பூர் புவ ஸவ

தத் ஸவிதூர் வரேண்யம் |

பர்கோ தேவச்ய தீமஹி |

தியோ யோன பிரசோதயத் ||

[Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Oh! Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction]

Gayatri Mantra, the most  important prayer, inspires wisdom and is also a prayer to the “giver of light and life” – the sun (savitur), ‘Hothu’ in Badaga.

Aum = Ohm [Brahma] bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy(pran) ; bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings ; swaha = embodiment of happiness ; tat = that ; savitur = bright like sun ; varenyam = best choicest ; bhargo = destroyer of sins ; devasya = divine ; dheemahi = may imbibe ; dhiyo = intellect ; yo = who ; naha = our ; prachodayat = may inspire!

Listen to Gayatri Mantra here

[Information above, from various sources, is taken from the net]

Go here for more information and to see the complete Gayatri Chalisa

Learn Badaga

[Reproduced from the page Learn Badaga – ]

Badaga Language

A couple of days back, I received the following email from a young mother [name withheld] who wrote to say :

Dear Sir,   It gave immense pleasure for me to visit your website. I was always amazed to know about the community and the culture.

I am a Non Badaga and married last Dec to a Badaga from ………..

And Recently on the ….. of this month I gave birth to a baby. My husband and my in laws want me to learn Badaga  as I have to talk to the baby in Badaga for her to pick up the language.

Please help me learn the language by sending me some day to day conversations .

Thanks in Advance. Best Regards.

My reply :-
Thanks a lot for your email. I am delighted to learn that you find my website[s] interesting and informative.
I have given a few ‘lessons’ about LEARN BADAGA in my websites/blogs. ….
When you meet any elder, especially your in-laws and hubby’s grand parents, bow your head and say, ‘Kumbidichivi – meaning bless me. They are expected to touch your head and say, “Badhukku” – long live. You will find that any elder Badaga will be thrilled with this gesture as many do not follow this wonderful custom anymore.
badaga-blessing1
sketch by JP
As a new mother, for about 40 days after delivering a baby, you are a ‘baththya hemmathi’ with some diet and other restrictions.
 “Hosa koosuga, ondhu muthu kodu’ – give the new born baby a kiss.

—————————-

The following sentences are meant to address elders with respect.

[Like in Tamil – instead of Nee it is Neengal, or in Hindi – Thum and Aap when we talk to an elder. In Badaga – Nee and Ninga]

1.How are You – Ollenge [ஒள்ளெங்கெ] idhara?2.How is your health? – Ninga Sogava idhara / odambu ollenge hadadhaiya?

3.How is the weather? – Seemey ethey hadadhey?

4.what did you eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. – Orakkadhu [morning] / Hagalu [afternoon] / santhu [evening], aena hittu thindhi?

5.Would you like to have some tea? – Josee Tea kudithaariya ?

6. (Girl/Boy) Baby is doing good. –  [kandu/hennu] Koosu ollenge idharey

7.(Girl/Boy) Baby is naughty. – [Kandu/Hennu] Koosu appara kurumbu

8.We are coming tomorrow. – Enga naayiga banna’ne’yo

The following have been taken from my earlier posts.

Let us learn Badaga

” Ollenge iddiya ? – How are you?”

‘Suddi saddha ella olliththa ? – (Roughly) ‘How is everything?‘

1. Are you a Badaga ? – Nee ondu Badagana?

2. Yes, I am a Badaga – Ha, Na ondu Badaga

3. What is your name ? – Ninna hesaru aena?

4. My name is Bhoja – Enna hesaru Bhoja

5. Which is your village ? – Ninna Hatti edu?

[5a. Amme / Thamma, nee ai hatti ? – Girl/ Boy, which is your village?]

6. My village is Bearhatti – Enna Hatti bandu Bearhatti

7. Whose son/daughter are you ? – Nee dara maathi / hennu?

8. I am Mela thara (top street) Joghi Gowder’s son / daughter – Na Mela thara Joghi gowdaru maathi / hennu

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Numbers in Badugu /Badaga

1. Ondu (One) 11. Hannondu (Eleven)

2. Eradu (Two) 12. Hanneradu (Twelve)

3. Mooru (Three) 13. Hadimooru (Thirteen)

4. Naakku (Four) 14. Hadanaakku (Fourteen)

5. Iidu (Five) 15. Hadanaidu (Fifteen)

6. Aaru (Six) 16. Hadanaaru (Sixteen)

7. eizhu (Seven) 17. Hadarizhu (Seventeen)

8. Eattu (Eight) 18. Hadarettu (Eighteen)

9. Ombathu ( Nine) 19. Hathombathu (Nineteen)

10. Hathu (Ten) 20. Eipathu (Twenty)

30. Moovathu (Thirty) 40. Nalavathu (Forty)

50. Iivathu (Fifty) 60. Aravathu (Sixty)

70. Elavathu (Seventy) 80. Embathu ( Eighty)

90. Thombathu (Ninrty) 100. Nooru (Hundred)

Days In Badugu/Badaga

1. Aadivaara (Sunday)

2. Sovaara (Monday)

3. Mangavaara ( Tuesday)

4. Bodavaara (Wednesday)

5. Chikkavaara (Thursday)

6. Bellie (Friday)

7. Sani (Saturday)

Months In Badugu/Badaga

It is said that Badaga month usually, starts on every 10th of the English month. Like for example the first Badaga month Koodalu  starts on 10th January.

1. Koodalu (Jan)

2. Aalaani (Feb)

3. Nallaani (Mar)

4. Aani ( Apr)

5. Aadire (May)

6.Aadi (Peraadi) (Jun)

7.Aavaani (Jul)

8.Perattadi (Aug)

9. Dodda Deevige (Sep)

10. Kiru Deevige (Oct)

11. Thai (Nov)

12. Hemmaatti (Dec)

Pleasantly surprised to hear all the Badaga Months being mentioned in this song called ‘Kappu Huttileyu’ . See the widget on the right and click to listen to this great dance number

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Hindu-Arabic numeral Badaga and pronunciation
1 ஒந்து   (Ondu)
2 எரடு (Eradu)
3 மூறு (Mooru)
4 நாக்கு  (Naaakkuu)
5 ஐது (aidhu)
6 ஆறு (aaru))
7 எழ்ழு (ézhu)
8 எட்டு (ettu)
9 ஒம்பத்து  (Ompathu)

Certain peculiarities of Badaga .

Haalu [haa – as in hospital and lu – as in Zulu] means milk

Hallu [ ha- as hurt and llu – as in loo] means tooth [teeth]. note – there is no plural term.
Haasu – spread [the bedding], Haasike – bedding
Hasu – hunger

Maana – Pride, Mana – heart

Kaanu – see, Kannu – eye[s] (example – Doctor-a Kaanu, kanna pathi hegina – See the Doctor, he will tell about the eyes]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peculiar Words

There are some words in Badaga that are truly peculiar. for example:

1. GIJI GIJI ( as in Give & Jinx) – Confusion , mess up / disorderly

GIJI GIJI maada beda – Don’t create confusion

Room aekka ethe GIJI GIJI (ya) hadadhe ? – Why is this room in such a mess?

2. MURUKKU(LU) (Mu ru ku) – Foul mood / mild anger

Amme Ekka maathaduvadu elle ? – Why is sister not talking?

Ava murukkindu endhave – She is in a foul mood

3. BADAYI (Ba daa ee ) – Show Off (proud)

Appara badayee maadiya – She shows off a lot

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Birds (Hakkilu)

  1. Haddu (Eagle)
  2. Kakke (Crow)
  3. Soray (Dove)
  4. Kili (Parrot)
  5. Emme Hakkilu
  6. Bikkola
  7. Karia(n)chitta (Black bird)
  8. Gubbachi (Sparrow)
  9. Mayilu (Peacock)
  10. Koi (Poultry hen/cock)
  11. Kaadu Koi (Wild hen)
  12. Baathu(koi) – Duck

Mari (chic) –{Koi Mari – chic(ken)}

Also for calf [for eg) Nei mari – puppy dog]

Animals

  1. Aanay (Elephant)
  2. Kaade -Kaadu Emme – (Bison)
  3. Ottaga (Camel)
  4. Kudire (Horse)
  5. Kaththe (Donkey)
  6. Dana (Cow)
  7. Emme (Buffalo)
  8. Yethu (Bull)
  9. Karu (Calf)
  10. Huli (Tiger)
  11. Singa (Lion)
  12. Siruthe (Panther)
  13. Karadi (Bear)
  14. Maanu (Deer)
  15. Pulli Maanu (Spotted Dear)
  16. Kadamay (Sambar)
  17. Handi (Black Pig)
  18. Kaadandi – kaadu handi – (Wild Pig)
  19. Mullandi – Mullu Handi – (Porcupine)
  20. Seeme Handi (White Pig)
  21. Koda, Korangu (Monkey)
  22. Mola (Rabbit)
  23. Nari (Fox)
  24. Nei (Dog)
  25. Koththi (Cat)
  26. Eli (Rat)
  27. Aame (Turtle)
  28. Nalli (Crab)
  29. Halli (
  30. Haavu (Snake)
  31. Kappe (Frog)
  32. Meenu (Fish)

Insects

  1. Hoo (general for insect)
  2. Nona (Fly)
  3. Selandhi (Spider)
  4. Kunni (Bee)
  5. Eruppu (Ant)
  6. Kosu (Mosquito)
  7. Bendu (Moth/Butterfly)

Anatomy

  1. Mande (Head) – also refers to Hair though there is specific word – Orama
  2. Heddakku (Back of the skull) – usually Badagas have a long heddakku as they donot use cradles. The reason for not using cradles for babies is a story by itself. It is due to the fact that when they left Mysore to escape from the King (Thipu Sultan ?) in the night in a hurry, they had forgotten the baby which was sleeping in the cradle,each thinking that the other person wiould pick up the child.
  3. Moole (Brain)
  4. Nethi (Forehead)
  5. Kenni (Cheeks)
  6. Kannu [eye(s)]
  7. Kivi (Ear)
  8. Mookku (Nose)
  9. Bae (Mouth)
  10. Thudi (lip)
  11. Hallu (Teeth)
  12. Naalenge (Tongue)
  13. Dhaade ( Chin)
  14. Thonde (Throat)
  15. Gaththu (Neck)
  16. Maaru – Nenju – (chest)
  17. Mole (Breast)
  18. Hiththalu – Bennu – (Shoulder)
  19. Kai (Hands)
  20. Mutti (Elbow – also for knee)
  21. Beralu (Fingers)
  22. Hebbatte – Katte (beralu) – [Thumb]
  23. Ugilu (Nails)
  24. Hotte (Stomach)
  25. Mollu Kudi (Naval)
  26. Nadu (Hip)
  27. Pitti (Buttocks)
  28. Thode (Thigh)
  29. Monakkaalu (Knee)
  30. Kaalu (Leg)
  31. Midi (Heel)
  32. Angalu (Foot)

COLOURS (BANNA)

  • 1.Kappu – Black
  • 2.BeLLay – White
  • 3. Keppu (Kechay) – Red
  • 4. Pachchay – Green
  • 5. Neela – Blue
  • 6. Arichina (Manja) – Yellow

Also see http://badaga-language.blogspot.in/

Seemay and Hattis

nakku-betta1.jpg In an effort to give the exact and correct names of hattis/villages under each of the four SEEMAYS, given below is the list of all hattis under the four Seemays.

The names are given, to the extent possible, as pronounced by Badagas and not as ‘badly twisted’ by others. Like – the original name of Eethoray being called Elithorai.

There may be some omissions/additions/corrections required.

I would request all friends to verify and vet the list and send corrections to bjaypee@gmail.com or add them as comments to this post – LEAVE A REPLY box given at the bottom.

We may separate the hattis as per Badagas, Odeyas and Thorayyas and group them under ‘OORU’ [a group of hattis form an ooru and many oorus constitute a seemay]. At present the focus is on hattis of Badagas [Gowdas] who can marry Badagas from other seemays.

Now, marriages between Gowdas with Haaruvas,  Lingaites, Kanakkas etc sects from different seemays [ in some cases, within the seemay] are common. In my opinion, it is high time, we had only three broad groups among Badagas. Namely, Gowdas[including the other sects mentioned above], Odeyas and Thoraiyas and in the distant future, just BADAGAS.

Please note that some hattis like HOSAHATTI appear to be repeated but there may be more than one HOSA Hatti in a seemay.

Please also see the page on HATTIS for more and exhaustive info.

1.’Thodha Naadu Seemaythodhanadseemegudi (Supposed to be our “Dodda Ooru”. Also known as ‘Raja Padagiri Seemae’. The boundaries are from Solur to Kookkal Thore. The names given as known and pronounced by Badagas)

Oorus under Thodhanaadu Seemay : Thooday Gui, Kadanaadu, Ebbanaadu, Solur, Kagguchi, Honnadhalai, Kookkal,  Poosay Coonoor, Thrichigadi [??}, Solur Kokkal [??]- these appear to be Kotha settlements.

Ajjoor
Akoni
Alattane
Asoganthorai
Athi kallu
Bana hatti
Bara mannu
Baralatti
Batta kore
Bekkodu
Bendatti
Beragallu
Bikkatti
Bikke Kandi
Bikke mora hatti
Billi kambai
Dhavane
Ebbunaadu
Edu hatti
Haalatti
Hanni Kore
Honnadale
Hosa hatti
Hosa hatti [Repeat? – or are there more than one Hosahatti?]
Hullathi
Jakkalorai
Jeenatti
Kada Naadu
Kada sole
Kagguchi
Kalingana hatti
Kallatti
Kambatti
Kappachi
Kara pillu
Karakkallu
Kavaratti
Kavilorai
Kei Kau hatti
Kendore
Kengal
Kengamudi [Kenguvamudi?]
Kodhu mudi
Kokkulu
Konagatti
Kookal Thore
Kookal
Kundha Chappai
Kurumbedi
Kuruthu kuli
Madithore
Malli gore
Mara kallu
Masickal
Mavu kallu
Mel Kau hatti
Melatti
Melur
Moragutti
Moregallu
Motha kambe
Muguttuva
Mynale
Nadu hatti
Nanjanaadu
Nelli Mandu
Ode hatti
Omeyaratti
Ooru malai
Panju mora
Poose kunnur
Seegola
Soluru [Sholur]
Thalai male
Thambatti
Thatha benu
Thatneri
Thattaneri
Thegili
Thooneri
Thore hatti
Thummanada
Thummanatti
Ullupatti
Uyilatti
————————————-
2.’Porangaadu Seemay’
hubbathalai.JPGHubbathalai Hatti – Photo by JP
“Porangaadu Seemay”
Ane ode
Arakkambe
Aravenu
Are hatti
Attave
Avvur
Bagumudi
Baiyangi
Bamudi
Bandime
Bangalada
Banni ooru
Batta Kore
Bearatti
Bebbenu
Bellada
Bendatti
Beraganni
Betlada
Bettatti
Bettatti (repeat?)
Bikkatti
Bikkatti
Denadu
Dhabba kambe
Dhimbatti
Dhodda mane hatti
Edukkore
Eethore
Eruppu kallu
Gundada
Hakkeru
Hayoor [Ali Ooru]
Heriasigay,
Honnore
Hora sole
Hosahatti,
Hosatti (repeat?)
Hubbathale Hatti
Hubbathale Ooru
Hullathatti
Imbi mora hatti
Jakka kombe
Jakkada
Jakkalode
Jakkanare
Kada kodu
Kade kambatti
Kagakkuthore
Kakakore
Kakkul
Kallada
Kallatti
Kanneri
Kanneri mookku
Kappatti
Kari mora
Kathigatti
Katta bettu
Kavilore
Kei Odenu
Kengare
Ker bettu
Ker kambe
Keraiyada
Kerbennu
Kesalada
Ketchigatti
Kil Ane hatti
Kil Bikkatti
Kinnakore,
Kodamale
Konavakore
Koon sole
Kottanalli
Kottuvana hatti
kunni hatti
Kurukkathi
Lilli hatti
Malliore
Manjidha
Marle Kambe
Meedenu
Mel Ane hatti
Mel Bikkatti
Mel Odenu
Melur,
Mudia kambe
Nadu hatti
Nara giri
Natta kallu
Neduguva
Odanatti
Odeyaru hatti
Onnatti (Honnatti?)
Pedduva
Pudiyangi
Pudu mandu
Sakkatha
Samil Dittu
Selakkore
Selakore
Selave
Sippili kambe
Sulli goodu
Sundatti
Thalore
Thantha Naadu
Thinni ooru
Thogalatti
Thooneri
Thotha mokke
Thumbi male
Thumbooru
Ummattipadige
Yeda palli
Yettakallu [?]
————————————-
3.’Mekku Naadu Seemay’

‘Mekku Naadu Seemay‘
Also known as ‘Asala Bisalagiri Seemay’

Please also see the page on HATTIS for more and exhaustive info

https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/porere-hatti.jpg?w=467&h=262
Porere – photo by JP
Aadakore (Thulidale)
Achanakal
Adikaratti
Ane hatti
Angidi hatti
Are hatti
Attu Bayilu
Balakore
Belitho
Bellada
Bembatti
Bengal Matta
Bikol
Bingisa Kallu
Byge mandu
Denadu
Denale
Dhodda Appukodu
Dhoddani
Emakkatti
Godalatti
Haalada
Haallattane
Haraguchi
Hosatti
Hosa Attubayulu
Hulikkal
Hullada
Ithalar
Kallakore
Kammandu
Kanneri
Kariyalbe
Kasole
Kattery
Kekkatti
Ken Kundhe
Kenduva
Ker Kandi
Kerada
Kethore
Ketti Ooru
Kil Hosatti
Kodangatti
Koderi
Kokkalada
Kothi ben
Maasi kandi
Mandhane
Mani hatti
Manja kambe
Meekeru
Mel Hosahatti
Mel Koderi
Melur
Melur Hosatty
Muduguva
Mutti nadu
Mynale
Nadu hatti
Nai hatti
Nunduva
Oor thittu
Oranai
Oranai (Kattery)
Panne bennu
Porore
Porthi
Pudugatti
Sakkalatti
Sogathore
Sora gundu
Thambatti
Thangadu
Theda hatti
Theedatti
Thoodhale
Thooratti
Umar kandi
Yellanalli

Murugesh Halan writes :- ‘Melur Hosahatty is missing. I want to know to if Haruvas and Badagas of Mekkunadu are in brotherly relation. If yes, how are they different?’Melur Hosahatty added. As far as Haruvas and Gowdas are concerned, in the early 1900s, Badaga community got vertically split into two main factions called Haruva Katchi and Kotha Katchi. One faction was lead by Hubbathalai and the other by Thangaadu. Those days, funeral expenses were borne by the family of the deceased and NOT by the entire hatti, as prevalent today. Kotha musicians had to be compulsorily called. Since, the funeral ceremonies extended even upto a week, till the ‘KORAMBU kaibathu’, the expenses involved were enormous as the guests from all over the ‘Naakku Betta’ had to be fed and ‘feasted’. Many families of the deceased had to sell their property. Realising that a death in a family is driving it to untold misery, Hubbathalai Bellie Gowder and his son Ari Gowder, who were given the title Rao Bahadur later, brought in the revolutionary reform by which the expenses of the funeral were met by the entire village by means of a ‘tax’ called ‘saavu vari’ and inviting the Kotha Musicians was donw away with. But the leaders of Thangaadu and other mainly ‘Haaruva’ hattis opposed this move. Marriages between these groups stopped.

Fortunately, this difference has gone away. Now, marriages between Haaruvas and Gowdas, as well as Lingaites and Gowdas sects from different seemays [ in some cases, within the seemay] is common. There have been matrimonial relationships established even between Hubbathalai and Thangaadu. In my opinion, it is high time, we had only three broad groups among Badagas. Namely, Gowdas, Odeyas and Thoraiyas and in the distant future, just BADAGAS. – Wg Cdr JP

————————————-
4.’Kundhay [Naadu] Seemay’

 

Kerapaadu (2)

Kerappaadu – Photo by JP

Please also see the page on HATTIS for more and exhaustive info

Attu Mannu
Baigada
Baakore
Bikkatti
Edakkaadu Nadu hatti
Edakkaadu Thale hatti
Emarald
Gai kandi
Gundinaali
Hosa hatti
Kandibikke
Kariamale
Kechigatti
Kei Kundhe
Kerappadu
Kombukorai
Kora Kundhe
Kunjanare
Mani Kallu
Manjooru
Matta Kandi
Mel Kundhe
Mukki Male
Mullegooru
Mulli Male
Nadu hatti
Sundatti
Thooneri
Thorajada

————————————-

badaga-bg.jpg

Badaga Jewellery

Ravindran Jevanah(ravindranj62@gmail.com) writes to ask :-
Ravindran Jevanah's profile photoComing to Jewellery, apart from Chinna, Mookuthi, Belli Ungara, I would like to know about the ‘Cheripenigai and the other broad Belli Bangle which the ladies wear on the lower arms. The Cheripenigai is of two or three designs nowadays we do not see any. Can we have a picture of these if possible?

Please see  Badaga Jewellery and the links given
Seripinige

https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/kundha-037.jpg?w=442&h=332

The gold or silver bangle or rather bracelet around the wrist is known as ‘ KADAGA ‘ or ‘ CHIPPU BAE ‘ and the thick flat armlet just above the elbow is ‘BAE’.

When I took this picture of late Kothiben Hatti Laxmi ‘Karuppi’ Hethai on 09-04-07 and mentioned that the photo had come out well, she mentioned with a great sense of humour, ‘ potto olange bandu ena maaduva, utti enbudhu tha kappu edhaga’ – So what can we do if the photo has come out well, but from birth [I am]  black [colour]’

Thank you Kothiben Karuppi Hethe, it was wonderful meeting you !

– Wg Cdr JP

Nanga Naakku Betta – Neelagiri (Nilgiris)

Today is a clear day with bright sunlight in the hills. The hills, I am referring to is the Nilgiris, my native place. Every time I drive ‘into’ the hills, either from Mysore via Bandipur and Kallatti Ghats or from Mettupalayam via Kotagiri Aravenu and Haakeri or from Karamadai via Mulli and Geddai [Kundah], my heart is filled with happiness and joy. Such beauty is bestowed on these blue hills by the Almighty. Probably, the Nature wants to show off or should I say, show case its glorious exterior in a truly grand fashion.

The Nilgiris – Neela [Blue] Giris [Hills] – literally ‘The blue mountains’ is popularly known to Badagas as ‘Naakku Betta’ – though Naakku Betta means Four Mountains, in fact it refers to all the mountains, hills and hillocks spread around the Nigiri range.

Badaga Villages, called Hattis, are spread far and wide in these hills. These hattis exists ONLY in these hills. In short, there can be no Badagas without the Nilgiris and no Nilgiris [history] without Badagas. Every Badaga, where ever he/she may be, can always trace the roots to some hatti/town in the beautiful blue mountains.  

Blessed are the Badagas. Yes, indeed!

Here are some pix taken by Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash

The surreal

 

Mudumalai Forest

Mudumalai

So, to say the least, all of us, the natives of the Nilgiris, have a stake in the ‘well being’ of our district and save it from the mindless destruction of its beauty and eco system. Hence, we must lend our supporting hands to any one who has taken to ‘DO SOMETHING’. Be it, Mª Teresa Llop Navarro (from Spain) who has started a NGO – “Es Purna” to help out the poor especially in the field of girl-child education in the Nilgiris, the NDC of Venugopal Dharmalingam or the bunch of youngsters lead by Prabhu Purnan who have created ‘WOW Nilgiris – now, has the mankind seen any place better then this?’.

‘Wow, the Nilgiris’

What strikes one at the first glance of their web sites is the most beautiful pictures of the Nilgiris. Though born and brought up in this ‘nature’s gift’, some of the pics made me wonder whether they are really taken here.

As ‘WOW Nilgiris’ describes, ‘ Mak’ing YOU wonder if these places do exist in Nilgiris, an out and out “off the regular” escapades, taking you in to the world of sholas, grasslands, thickets and breathtaking vistas to chase the clouds, sight the unique Nilgiri Thar and Martens squirrels’.

Congratulations to Prabhu Purnan and his friends. I understand Deepak Bhojraj, a Badaga, is another gifted photoghapher, and an article on him appears in ‘TheLOCAL’, [Dec, 2009 issue] a monthly published from Aravankadu.

https://badaga.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/3bd72-banner4.jpg?w=324&h=114

Photos  by Prabhu Purnan (copyright)
On my request to reproduce some of their pictures, Purnan has kindly sent me his consent and writes > hello mr JP. i am in fact following your blog keenly. its my pleasure to be profiled in your blog, the very purpose of this blog is to send across the messages to folks around. yep you can use any of the fotos you want and let me know if you need any specific fotos from here as well. another thing myself and deepak bhojraj are good friends he keeps telling me that your blog is really informative but cultured a small suggestion thats it you can mail deepak on more about it. With warm Regards, Prabhu Purnan D
Visit their websites where you will not only find some extraordinary photos but also a wealth of information on the beautiful Blue Mountains. I am sure that they will make you say ‘WoW’.
 http://wownilgiris.blogspot.com , http://purnanprabhu.googlepages.com

[This post is reproduced)

Badagaru Hittu

A taste of the hills – K. JESHI [The Hindu – ]

There is unusual fare at The Taj Vivanta as its Badaga Chef prepares a traditional Badaga feast for you The Badaga platter Wholeseome and packed with nutrients Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

The Badaga platter Wholeseome and packed with nutrients  (Photo: S.Siva Saravanan – The Hindu)

It’s a combo of bathalu, sandege, and uppukorai that introduces us to the traditional Badaga fare at Vivanta by Taj Surya. Bathalu is crispy sun dried potatoes, sandege is the tangy onion and garlic chutney that we dip into, and uppukorai is steamed and salted beans. That’s starters for you and they score high on taste. It gets better with a cup of hot rasam or maasu neeru, as the Badagas call it. The Badaga farmers are known for their mixed farming of millets, barley, wheat, and commercial vegetables including potato, carrots and cabbage, and hence the food they eat often uses seasonal and locally grown vegetables.

Continue reading

Kola Devaru (Clan Deity)

Kola Devaru (Clan Deity)

haldorai

 Dr.R.K.Haldorai

The Badagas are divided into fifteen ‘kolas’ (clans) which are traced in the male line. The originator of a particular clan is the clan deity (kola devaru) of that one. The originator is known as ‘devva’ and the word ‘devva’ is derived from ‘deyvam’, which means god. ‘devva habba’ (festival of god) is basically an clan deity worshipping festival and it is a living tradition of Badagas in which almost everyone in the village participates making it a real social thread connecting the entire society. The festival is one of the thanks giving harvest to ‘devva’ and it still remains untouched and is performed year after year with unprecedented pomp and splendour. Because the universality of appeal, it is firmly rooted in the religious faith and traditions and has assimilated various other cults.

To Badagas forefathers are their gods and they pay obeisance during this festival. In religious observances of Badagas the ancestral worship is predominant. We can identify fifteen ancestors for their different clans (exogamous septs). All these ancient men are called in unison as ‘hiriyodayya’, which can be equated with Tamil ‘peru udaiyar’ i.e. the great lord, lord Siva. It is to be noted here that the ancestor worship was the earliest form of worship.

Clans are maintained by two prohibitions, one on inter dining and the other on inter marriage.

It is in ‘devva’ festival time Badagas are seeking to reaffirm their identity and commitment. They are special cause to rejoice, because year after year they try to find their roots and keep their tradition afresh. This festival is important on many different levels; it has existed for centuries and sustained devotees while maintaining its complex ritual cycle. There is something intangible but deeply felt. Badagas relationship with this festival is intense often very moving.

Each clan has its own ‘devva mane’ (house of ancestor) at ‘ooru’ (head – hamlet of a clan). In the same way each hamlet has a ‘doddamane’ (ritual – house) which represents ‘devva mane’. Basically for Badgas ‘devvamanes’ are their temples and special rites are performed there during festival days, A particular ‘devvamane’ represents the particular founder of that ‘oor’ and it is important not only for its history but its rituals. The other place which has connection with this festival is ‘banagudi’ (forest temple), memorial of ancestor. It gets ‘poojas’ once in a year that too during this ‘devva’ festival. Any Badaga can act as a priest but among the clan of agnates. The essential features of ordination are abstain from meat eating on particular days, preparing him for ‘pooja’ like taking bath in stream, sleeping the previous night at devvamane etc.

While all the articles in conducting poojas are traditionally held in reverence, there are some that top the other in terms of divine association. In Badaga tradition ‘juvikindi’ (water – jar), ‘ele kannadi’ (bronze mirror), ‘jegande’ (bell) represent the very deity itself and these articles get pooja once in a year that too on ‘devva’ festival. Except this festival days rest throughout the year these articles are kept in a hidden place at forest. ‘thumbe’ (leucas), the flower that has religious significance is an integral to ‘devva habba’ and offering honey to deity is also occur.

In this festival Badagas offer their forefathers the food prepared with newly harvested ‘ganje’ (barley, hordeum vulgare) and the milk of a cow which yeaned first time. Badagas make fire by friction for boiling the milk and cooking the ‘ganje’ and offer cooked ‘ganje’ without salt or sugar. This festival is celebrated throughout Badaga land with full devotion and they are strict enough to observe the vow that not to consume any agricultural produce of a particular year up to this festival.

Hethes are goddesses of human origin and they lived different times of history. Fourteen Hethes are identified and worshiped by the Badagas. Hethes take prominent role in the overall life and activities of the Badaga society. Due this few jump to consider that Hethes are our clan deities. First of all, all the fifteen clans are not having their own Hethes. For example, the ‘thodanadu’ has no Hethe of its own. Among fourteen Hethes only few lived along with ‘devva’ (ayya). Secondly, Badagas trace their descent from one or other certain specified exogamous clan descending in the male line. In this background there is no room to consider Hethes as clan deities.

Two responses to the article
1.Hariharan Emarald Bhojan :
The Badugu Gowda clan call their clan deity by the name “Hiriyodayya”. The Badugu Haruva clan ‎call by the name “Maalingaiyya”. Wodeyaru call by the name “Jedayalinga” or “Jedayasomi”, Thoreyaru address by the name “Ketharayya” and Adhikari Clan address by the name “Kariyabettaraya. The Badaga Community is an agglomeration of various Jatis and Clans which trace their ancestry to ‎varied family trees but speaking the same language. Although we may look like a homogenous community to an outsider, factually we are not. While sincerely applauding your knowledge and work, I would appreciate representing certain practises as they are.

2. Bellie Lakshmi Ramakrishnan :
A very enlightening writeup/article. Research on our community is very engrossing and enlightening, making us yearn for more such researched articles. I kindly request you to provide more such articles about our community.
Further, we should collectively organise seminars and workshops on the cultural aspects of our community. Researchers and others interested in the welfare of our community should be encouraged to present papers on specified topics for the collation of information for the wellbeing of the community.  Your steadfast approach to bring out the unlettered knowledge of our community in writing is extremely inspiring.

I personally feel a seminar or series of seminars would ensure uniformity in presenting our cultural knowledge. Knowledge is Power and every Badaga should endeavour to imbibe the knowledge about our community.
To my knowledge, please correct me if I am wrong, majority of research material on our community was done by persons outside our community, now, the advent of the educated Badaga, the Badaga researcher, calls for us to be more uniformaly unanimous in our projection of facts about our community. The research done by the Badaga on the Badagas would stand more scrutiny.

Jayalalithaa and Badagas

Late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms.J.Jayalalithaa had a special place for the Nilgiris, where she built a bungalow for herself in Kodanaad, Kotagiri among tea estates and a soft corner for the Badagas, a local and native community. She had preferred to give Badagas the chance to become AIADMK MLAs and MPs though among the community, a sizeable section supports rival DMK party.

A much misunderstood person as very arrogant and authoritative, she was a soft person, highly intellect and an able administrator.

In her demise, we lost a true friend of Badagas and the Nilgiris!

May her soul, RIP !

Along with Badaga folk dancers in the Nilgiris on May 17, 1992

jaya-17

Photo- Vino John [The Hindu 06/12/2016]

The Nilgiris has lost a Patron

Next  to Chennai,  and perhaps, Srirangam, no other place was dear to Late CM as the Nilgiris. Ooty stole her heart since the 1960s when she was regular visitor for film shooting. Even prior to her first term as CM she visited Ooty whenever an opportunity arose. She was well aware of the issues facing the Nilgiris.

On taking over the government one of the first things she did was to declare a moratorium on constructions in the Nilgiris and later followed it up with the announcement of a Master Plan. The constitution of the Hill Area Conservation Authority was another major step.

On the forest side she took several decisions including a total ban on felling of rosewood trees.

On promotion of tourism the formation of a rose garden was a major initiative.

On the native people,  she was especially fond of the Badagas but the Badagas failed to make use of her good offices.

As a conservationist at heart she took only a week, after Save Nilgiris Campaign appealed to her, to withdraw the proposed Kallarpallam small dam in Kotagiri. Later she herself  moved into Kodanad.

If her intention to protect and preserve the Nilgiris did not fully materialize she can’t be blamed for it. The administration was often lax in implementing the rules and regulations. The people’s representatives and the public were also lax in making proper representations for the good of district.

The hills have lost a protector.

kallarpallam

Photo and text by

Dharmalingam Venugopal,

Nilgiri Documentation Centre