LTV Cultural Event May-19: Housewarming Ceremony at Hemmadi

LTV Cultural Event May-19: Housewarming Ceremony at Hemmadi

On 6th of May, FSL-India Kundapur organised a Cultural Event for 2 LTV volunteers. Every month, we organise a cultural event for our regular volunteers and we take them to any cultural and historical places which are located in and around Kundapur. This month, the Cultural Event was mainly focused on a housewarming ceremony at Hemmadi. Mrs Geetha, FSL-India’s staff invited us to the housewarming ceremony of her new house on 5th June night, which lasted till 6th morning. The volunteers went to Geetha’s new house on the 5th night and watched all the customs and traditions of how Hindus conduct their housewarming ceremony.

Vaastu Shastra is a belief that the home itself is a living being, which ghosts or spirits can inhabit and take shelter inside during vacancy – even if the home is brand new. The housewarming pooja is about respectfully acknowledging these entities and purifying the space. It is about cleansing the home, so that the young couple can have a new beginning, with peaceful and positive energy. One would not even step into the house, prior to the Griha Pravesh. To bend the rules a bit, the priest will tell you that it’s okay to enter the house; however one should not cook/consume any food in the house (ie. “live” in it before the pooja is done). One should also not sleep in the house before the pooja is performed.

A cow will be brought in by a priest to bless the house by urinating in it or releasing its dung. The cows will be trained to even walk inside to bless a House- they are that obedient! Another auspicious ritual is the boiling over of milk during the mantras. The wife puts a pot with milk on the stove and lets it boil over, signifying an abundance of wealth. Once the milk spills, everyone cheers and claps. Next, they hold fire torches and go around the house 3 times and run towards open space, a river or lake, cut some pumpkin and offer it along with boiled rice and kumkum to the spirits. It means the spirits will never come to the house (In some religions, they offer rooster).

On the second day, they have a small pooja, with a significant celebratory song called a “Mangalam“. Two women of the family will take a small plate of water with kumkum and rice, and sing a devotional song to the goddess Mahalakshmi. Then, they take the water and pour it onto a tree outside.

After the pooja is over, everyone has a big vegetarian feast to celebrate! Our volunteers said it was a good program from FSL-India and they were looking forward to see a new cultural experience.

Volunteer’s feedback:

Hanan Sweden: Today’s housewarming lunch ceremony was really nice. I am so happy that so many from the CEL were there. Everyone was wearing fancy saris with so many different colours. Also, many came and introduced themselves, that way we got the opportunity to speak with the local people. It’s always interesting because you learn different things from each other. The ceremony ended with lunch and the different dishes were incredible. Thank you, Geetha for inviting me. I really enjoyed it a lot.

Soga Then Germany: It was a very good experience, I saw a different type of prayer and event, it was very beautiful and colourful, the food was good and everyone was very friendly. It was also very nice to meet some other volunteers.

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