Occupation: Corporate Manager
Residence: Pune, India
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2020
Other Language(s): Marathi
Original script (if applicable)
तील गूळ ग्या, गोड बोला
Phonetic (Roman) script
Til gool gya, goad bola
Sesame jaggery get, sweet talk.
Eat sesame jaggery candy and talk sweetly.
This is a Marathi phrase that is said on a holiday called Sankranti. It is spoken to everyone on this day while feeding each other Sesame and Jaggery candy.
My mother told me this piece of spoken folklore when I asked her about traditions specific to my people: Maharasthraians. This holiday is specifically celebrated by Hindus in honor of the Sun God, Surya. The day is also called Makar Sankrant or Makar Sankranti. It is said that you are supposed to reap benefits from your business or life if you eat the “til gul” (sesame and jaggery rolled into a ball)
On asking my mother why sesame and jaggery were used specifically, she told me it is because the two ingredients help the body maintain heat in the winter. Sankranti is celebrated in January, one of the coldest months. It varies according to the lunar calendar but the point is that the people of Maharashtra consume sesame and jaggery to keep their body temperature up in these cold months. In addition to that, this is the beginning of spring and the end of winter which foretells a new harvest.