2014 – Project 52 – Week Fourteen
I come from a Hindu family, a very Hindu family that boasts of two pandits (priests) and numerous members who are very learned about the scriptures and traditions associated with Hinduism in Guyana. I would like to think I’m rather a strong person where my religion is concerned as I take part in different aspects of prayers associated with Hinduism.
Apart from be very familiar with the traidions, etc., I’m naturally curious about the whole aspect of Hinduism since it is more often than not considered to be ‘a way of life’. I love the colours and the vibrancy associated with this religion and the wide variety of different ways in which the events are observed and practised – the different activities used to focus on different aspects of God through different ways of making offerings.
As such, it was quite easy for me to select the event from which my image for Week Fourteen would come from. However, due to the wide array of different elements in the worship ceremonies, it was hard to narrow down my 600 images to just one. I finally selected this one because it sums up the season for me. This image shows a devotee pouring Durga dhar (a special offering comprising different grind elements being mixed in milk) into a tally (tray) with a cut lime and nutmeg that have been covered with sindoor (red powder used by married women in their head) and camfor (used to create fire) on top of the lime. All of these elements scream ‘Naav-raatri’ for me and it truly is a season I enjoy.
Some background to my image: Week Fourteen saw the beginning of the first ‘naav-raatri’ period for the year; this one leads to Raamnaavmi (birthday of Lord Ram). Naav-raatri is basically the worship onto God in the female form and spans three sub-periods where you focus on certain general aspects of Maa. The first three nights – workship with a focus on Durga Maa, the second three nights – workship with a focus on Latchmi Maa and the final two nights (this would be three nights for the naav-raatri period before Diwali later in the year) – worship with a focus on Saraswati Maa. The final day, the ninth day, is celebrated as Raamnaavmi.
Here are some more favourites from this week.