Friday, March 18, 2011

Its "Suggi" time again !!!!

"Suggi" referred to the Harvest Festival is bieng celebrated now, and culminates on the full-moon night of Holi (Festival of Colours), and if you have passed through Ankola you just cant afford to miss this.

 Suggi is meant for appeasing the Gods for a better Crop on the next year, and also to show their gratitude for the Harvest that they have got in the present year. The men who adorn with the colourful headgear stay away from their homes for a week, dancing before each and every house, taking a fistful of rice from each house, and cooking and eating food in the fields, or under the trees, etc.
 Suggi will reach its peak on the last day of the week, on the night when Holi fire is let in the villages. On that day the Suggi performers of Ankola assemble at the Tahasildaar - Magistrate's office at Ankola, and perform for about a hour, and receive the  Government Honours from the Magistrate. This is a customary practice said to have started from the time of the British Rule in India.
  It is said that "Suggi" is a very ancient tradition carried on since generations by the farmers, of different communities, to appease the Gods to eradicate poverty, keep away diseases, bring rains, and plentiful harvest for the next season, and as a gratitude for the earlier harvest.
 It is said that during the British Rule, it is said that a Colonial Officer was passing by on his horse, when he came across this group of Suggi performers, engaged in their customary dance. And he insulted them saying its a useless pagan practice or whatever.
The Chief of the Suggi group is said to have called upon the Gods, saying "if Suggi is not a blind-belief and a pagan practice, prove it to the officer". 
At that moment it is said that the officer's horse froze on the spot and stood still, and the officer had no choice but to accord due importance and recognition to Suggi or else get off his frozen-horse and walk through the crowd of the "Lowly" pagan people. And being the top-most Gora Officer of the local administration, walking through the common folk was ruled out.

Therefore, he accorded Official Governmental recognition to the Suggi practice, and his horse came to life, and the victorious Suggi performers followed the officer to his Office, where they performed till sunset.
This practice continues till today at the Taluka (Provincial) Magistrate's office.

Watch a video of Suggi uploaded by Harish Keni :-

2 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Namaskara! Looks like a fun festival and your photos gave us a good view of it!

Yogesh Naik said...

:-) Dhanyavaadagallu, Lief-avare...