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Nurturing Tradition on Stage: A Makarsankranti Tale by Prateek & Gunin

In the heart of the recent DWF Maithil Family event celebrating Makarsankranti, two young performers Prateek and Gunin stole the spotlight, leaving the audience enchanted with their portrayal of cultural significance. The dynamic duo, guided by a script penned by the talented mother, Richa Jha, not only entertained but also enlightened the gathering about the roots and relevance of this cherished festival.

The play opened with a delightful scene – a person returning from the USA, blissfully unaware of the traditional delicacies like Tilwa and Lai. The humorous tone set the stage for a captivating journey through the story of Makarsankranti, and the young actors effortlessly drew the audience into the narrative with their confidence and charm.

What made this play truly exceptional was its ability to bridge the gap of understanding between generations. Many adults, unfamiliar with the deeper significance of Makarsankranti, found themselves informed and appreciative, thanks to the engaging storytelling by the young performers. The narrative unfolded, revealing the celestial dance between the sun and the Earth, and how this dance marks the transition to longer days and the departure of winter.

Moreover, the play skillfully connected Makarsankranti to the harvesting season of rice in India, shedding light on the festival's agricultural underpinnings. It became clear that this celebration isn't just a date on the calendar but a harmonious convergence of cosmic events and agricultural cycles, woven into the fabric of our cultural heritage.

Beyond the entertainment and education, the play served a deeper purpose – to keep our newer generations, raised far from India, connected to their cultural roots. In an age where traditions risk fading away, such creative initiatives become crucial in preserving and passing on our rich heritage.

As the Mithila Family, we beam with pride at witnessing these two young talents bringing our cultural narratives to life. Their confident performance not only showcased their acting prowess but also highlighted the importance of cultural education in shaping well-rounded individuals.

A heartfelt congratulations is due not only to the young performers but also to their mother, Richa Jha, for nurturing and guiding them in celebrating our heritage on stage. Raising children who can confidently share our traditions with the world is a testament to the strength of our community.

In conclusion, the Makarsankranti play at the DWF Maithil Family event was more than just a performance – it was a celebration of our cultural identity. Let this be a reminder of the importance of passing down our traditions and stories, ensuring that the flame of our heritage continues to burn brightly in the hearts of future generations.

Script for Story (Written by Richa Jha)

Gunin knocks on the door.

Mom: Aau Gunin babu, ke haal chaal.

Gunin: I am good Aunty, how are you?  

Mom: Haam u thik chi, ee lea Tilba khau.

Gunin: Oh I did not get you Aunty what did you say?

Mom: Acha thik chhai ham Prateek ke baja deyi chi u aha ke sab samjha det. Prateek!

Prateek enters the room.

Prateek: Hey, long time no see? When did you come from america?

Gunin: I came yesterday, how are you?.

Prateek: I am good, come sit down and let’s talk.

Gunin: Sure!

Both sit down.

Gunin: Your mom gave me this thing called tilba, what is that?

Prateek: Sure I will tell you about tilba but first Happy Makarsankranti!

Gunin: Makar Sankranti? What is that?

Prateek: Makar Sankrati is the transition of the sun from Dhanu rashi to Makar rashi. Which means that from today the sun starts moving towards the north known as uttarayan.

Gunin: Tell me more!

Prateek: Let me tell you a story related to Makar Sankranti, a story that goes back to mahabharat. Bhisma Pitama was the great grandfather of the pandavas and the kauravas. He had the boon from his father of Iccha Mrityu, which means that he could die whenever he wants. So on the battlefield of mahabharata, Bhisma Pitama was lying on the bed on arrows waiting for uttarayan so he could leave his body and die peacefully.

Gunin: Wow, that was very interesting! I want to hear more.

Mom Bring in chura dahi.

Mom: Ae liya baua, aaha sab chura dahi khau.

Gunin: Why chura dahi?

Prateek: Because this is the season of harvesting rice, and the newly harvested rice is really sweet and yummy! In the evening our mom makes khichdi, which is made of newly harvested rice, fresh vegetables and many healthy pulses. It is served with ghee, papad, achaar and yogurt. Food prepared in this winter is such that it keeps our body really warm.

Gunin: Now that we have talked about the yummy food you eat on Makar Sankranti, well how do you celebrate Makar Sankranti around India?

Prateek: We celebrate Makar Sankranti in many different ways around India like in Maharashtra they celebrate Makar Sankranti by flying kites, ladies doing haldi kum kum and people greeting each other with “tilgul ghya goad goad bola”. In Punjab and other areas in the north they celebrate Makar Sankranti as Maghi, but the day before Maghi they celebrate Lohri which is when they burn a bonfire and sing and dance around it. In the south they celebrate Makar Sankranti as Pongal, btw what did you do in the USA.

Gunin: I had a mithila group in America and we celebrated almost all festivals as you do here in India, and are there more stories related to Makar Sankranti?

Prateek: Wow, it is proud to know that our mithila culture is spread all around the world and to answer your question, yes there are more stories related to Makar Sankranti, do you want to hear them?

Gunin: Sure! Why not?

 Prateek: The first story is about surya (The sun). On this day Surya visits his son’s (Shani's )house for one month, even though the relationship between father and son was not good. This symbolizes the importance of the relationship between father and son.

Gunin: Tell me more!

Prateek: Let me tell you the story of Maharaja Bhagirath, On this day Maharaj Bhagirath did the penance to bring ganga to the earth so he could perform tarpan for his 60,000 ancestors who were burned to death at the Kapil Muni ashram. On this day Maharaja Bhagirath liberated his ancestors from the curse. After the redemption of Bhagirath’s curse, Ganga finally merged into the sea. Every year a very big Ganga Sagar mela is organized where thousands of Hindus take a dip in the holy Ganga water and perform tarpan for their ancestors.

Gunin: Wow, that was amazing, tell me more!

Prateek: Let me tell you another story about Bhagavan Vishnu. On this day Bhagvan Vishnu defeated all the asuras on the earth and buried their heads under the Mandara parvatha. This symbolizes the end of negativities and the beginning of an era with righteous living.

Gunin: Are there more stories related to Makar Sankranti?

Prateek: Yeah, well it is not technically a story but it is the history of why sikhs celebrate Makar Sankranti as Maghi. The tenth sikh Guru Govind Singh tore the beyvaada written by 40 sikhs and gave them mukhti on this day. Those sikhs later came to be known as 40 mukhtas.

Gunin: Now that we have talked about Makar Sankranti, tell me the names of festivals you celebrate around the year?

Prateek: Sure, but I have to say that you have missed a lot in India. Anyway, after Makar Sankranti we celebrate Maha Shivratri, after that we celebrate Holi and after that we celebrate

Jurshital and after that we celebrate Akshaytritiya and after that we celebrate Krishna Janmashtami, and after that we celebrate Chourchan, and after that we celebrate Navratri and after that we celebrate Diwali the festival India’s known for and after that we celebrate the most awaited and the most important for the mithilas Chhath Pooja!

Gunin: Wow I have really missed a lot and it is really amazing to know about our culture! Okay I have to go now and thanks for the awesome information and food!

Prateek: Come in the evening with your family to eat my mom’s handmade khichdi.

Gunin: Sure, Why not!

Gunin exits.

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1 Comment

Richa Jha
Richa Jha
Jan 29

Thankyou Gauravji , for your precious words

I am just trying to inculcate our religion and culture to our next generations so that they will always be connected to their roots.

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