Culture of Puducherry
Puducherry, fondly called as Puduvai by the local Tamil people, features a distinguished ancientness. Originated as a tiny fishing village situated on the Bay of Bengal, in the south east seacoast of the country, Puducherry was a significant place for vedic teaching and learning.
Furthermore, Puducherry was the home of the Agastya (Agathiyar), one among the Saptarshis who are glorified at a lot of places in the Vedic literature and a worshiped vedic sage and earliest Saint. The mystical liveliness of the union territory of Puducherry obtained an imminent revival from neglect in the 20th century with the formation of Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Historic Significance of PuducherryThe history of union territory of Puducherry has been full of twists and turns as the region was under assorted supremacies from time to time. Puducherry came through hundreds of years under the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, and Muslim rulers, Sultans, Portuguese, British, French and Dutch. When the British used up the whole of India, the French colonized the whole of Puducherry.
The French people reigned for almost 200 long years and before leaving the region to where it actually belongs. Nevertheless, Puducherry is always regarded as the 'French Window of India' as rightly said by the Jawaharlal Nehru (1st Prime Minister of India for its culture, heritage, buildings and structures, language, arts and crafts.
Language and Literature of PuducherryThe literature of Puducherry is a substantial point of reference of the historical signification of the region. A lot of literary compositions came out of this region were actually scripted in the local language of Tamil and French. At the same time, more compositions and pieces of writings brought out in Puducherry at the start of the 20th century were in English. Therefore, it would not be fair to leave the contributions of English to the literature of the union territory of Puducherry. The arrival of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry ticked off the emergence of English language literary compositions in the region among diverse compositions in French, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and a few other regional languages of India.
The initial part of the 20th century witnessed the unusual intimacy of French and Tamil culture, which resulted in the fact that a lot of distinguished literary compositions were interpreted into Tamil language. As a matter of fact, Les Miserables, a French novel by Victor Marie Hugo, first printed in 1862, that is looked at as one of the most outstanding novels of the 19th century, became a huge hit among the readers of Puducherry. At present, the official languages of Puducherry include Tamil, French, Telugu, Malayalam and English.
Language in Puducherry
- Tamil - Widely spoken across Karaikal and Pondicherry and 89% of the total population of the union territory can read, write and speak in Tamil
- Malayalam - Spoken across Mahe and Pondicherry and 4.8% of the total population of the union territory can read, write and speak in Malayalam
- Telugu - Spoken across Yanam, Pondicherry and Karaikal and 2.9% of the total population of the union territory can read, write and speak in Telugu
Fairs and Festivals of PuducherryThe glorious past of the union territory of Puducherry and the predominant refinement of Tamil culture are observed and celebrated on various auspicious occasions in the urban centre of Puducherry. People of different religions, caste and creed come together, join hands and celebrate.
Some of the important fairs and festivals Puducherry include fire walking festivals, Fete De puducherry, International Yoga Festival, Bastille Day, Sedal, Mangani Festival at Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple, Mascarade Festival, Thiraiyattam Festival at Bhagavathi Temple, The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, puducherry De Jure Transfer Day, Veerampattinam Car Festival, St.Theresa Festival, Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Anniversary, Masi Magam, Chitrai Kalai Vizha, Villianur Temple Car Festival and other long-familiar festivals like Deepavali, Pongal, Christmas, New Year's Day, Karthigai, Bakrid, Ramzan and so on.
Arts and Crafts in PuducherryJust like the other states located in the southern part of the country, Puducherry too houses a majority of Dravidians. Furthermore, Puducherry is quite Indian in an identifiably distinctive manner contrary to its French background. The city finds its dance, music; arts and crafts are nothing but an extension of the rich culture of South India. In fact, the dolls made in Puducherry, fondly called as Puducherry Bommai in the local language of Tamil is world famous.
Some of the important arts and crafts products of Puducherry include attractively crafted dollies and playthings made from hard unglazed brownish-red earthenware, papier-mache (substance made from paper pulp), plaster, bronze castings, kamatchi villakku, hand woven carpets, hand printed textiles, handmade paper, cane furniture, aromatic products and so on. Also, the union territory of Puducherry houses a lot of dance and music academies, arts and crafts outlets that primarily trade wooden toys, traditional musical instruments, pottery products, art prints and posters, crocheted toys, and many other products.