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Tamil Makkal Mandram Golu Contest 2019

Subha Raman

Tamil Makkal Mandram, Inc (“TMM”), a 501C (3) non profit organization, held the “TMM Golu Potthi 2019”, the first contest of its kind in the New England area during Navratri season. Golu is the festive display of dolls and figurines in South India during the autumn festive season, particularly around the 9 day Navaratri festival. These displays are typically thematic, narrating a legend from scriptures or a socio-cultural topic, set on odd numbered steps (Golu Padhis).


This contest provided a platform for the individuals to reach out and display the creativity, joy, collections and celebration that goes into each decorated step, be it a 3 padhi golu or more. Small or big, simple or lavish, every creation was a unique effort of love and labor!! It created nostalgia among one and all by being a true depiction of our roots and an effort to keep up the traditions and culture in this land far far away from home!!!


The contest was open to all living in the 6 New England states. There were 10 contestants who participated from different parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They submitted photos, a short video and write up about their Golu. The entries were coded by a registration number. Each contestant’s  pictures and video was published on the TMM Facebook page, to enable members, patrons, friends and families from far and wide enjoy, appreciate and like the work of art. The number of Facebook likes was also a deciding factor in the scoring, in addition to the judges scores. The creations brought out the varied artistic talents of the contestants  - a modern take on the traditional chettiyar store; Pazhani malai with steps, winches, winch station; beads rangoli with 2 elephants and tulasai madham handcrafted by the contestant’s mother; various forms of Goddesses; steps in the shape of a Gopuram; colorful and captivating Rangolis; ecofriendly handmade clay village doll sets; dolls passed over by generations; Boston Sri Kalikambal Shiva Temple and the minimalistic yet impactful revolving “pradakshinam” Golu !!!


We were very lucky to have the event judged by an esteemed panel of personalities well known in the field of art, culture, education and social work – Smt. Ranjani Saigal, an eminent figure in the field of arts and philanthropy, Smt. Sumathi Narayanan, an well-known realtor and a philanthropist who supports many forms of art and non profit organizations and Smt. Deepa Jacob, a well-known photographer, dancer,mom who is active in community promoting various art forms. Each one of them is truly illustrious in their literary accomplishments in addition to being exemplary in their professions.


The winners were : 1st place Subhashini Raman from Nashua NH, 2nd place Sindhuja Sriram from Walpole, MA and 3rd place Gayathri Krishnan from Needham, MA. The prizes were sponsored by Spatika Enterprises LLC - a seller of Fine Indian art, Handicrafts, Golu dolls and Religious items across the USA - http://www.spatika.us/. The winners will receive their prizes in the mega "TMM Pongal Thiruvizha" to be held on 25 Jan , 2020. Judges, friends and families had a very tough time deciding between the creations –each unique and beautiful in its own way !!!


Encouraged by the success of this contest, we at TMM plan to enhance this experience even more and take it to greater heights and expand the reach next season. It truly brought out the spirit as per its tagline “Jolly aa participate panungo, jorraa kondadalaam” which reads have fun participating and let’s celebrate it to the most !!!

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