“There is this festival called the Kolu Festival (or Golu not sure) … it is essentially an open house where you display your trinkets and your collections and you have a bunch of friends together and it is really fun. Just because there is a bunch of people in your house so growing up like all of the kids would go upstairs and have our own party and I mean I would always got to put my Lego collection on display.”
Do you know the background story to this festival/holiday?
“All I remember of it is it was just a lot of the little statues and stuff were figure heads of Hindu gods, it was a welcoming festival for the gods. It was something to be happy about if you were Hindu, I don’t remember it now, go me haha. It was fun because there were always a lot of people and a lot of good food.”
Talk a little more about the food:
“Mostly traditionally South Indian food because it (not sure if it was a South Indian festival) but my family is South Indian. As I started to like North Indian food more, they would make that more and more. There is a very flat pancake called dosa and usually have that with a variety of sauces or sometimes soups they both go well. There is a lot of lentil-based dishes like daal that is pretty common for my family at least. Mainly because my dad liked it a lot. So I mean that was the food I had growing up. Vegetable rich and very rice based. A lot of different types of rices thrown in.
When did this event usually take place?
“Usually in October if I recall correctly. Usually over a couple weekends, sometimes another family would host.”
Who usually participles in Kolu?
“Everybody. In all families, an entire family coming over. Like other families and we would go to other families houses too. Or whatever they were hosting. But I mean usually you would split up into different groups.”
What do you see as the significance of this event?
“Honestly it was just a good time for everyone to get together. And when I was little I would get to stay up late.”
This festival represents the unification and bringing together of an Indian community through the celebration of food and objects. I think that the informant’s experience is primarily based around the food and enjoyment he had as a child. The separation between the children and the adults in the Kolu Festival potentially signifies the generation gap in the way the festival was traditionally celebrated. I think this celebration was a joyous time in Indian culture because families got to display their worship symbols and be brought together.
For more information on the Golu/Kolu Festival and other ways it is celebrated, please visit:
Sankar, Gayatri. “Navratri Special: Golu Festival in South India.” Zee News. N.p., 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.