Jeddah: A celebratory mood has been prevailing among a larger section of the Telangana expatriate community across the Gulf region as Bathukamma festivities that prevailed in the pre-pandemic times return. After being a low-profile affair owing to the pandemic in the past two years, and the volatile job market prior to that, the excitement for an elaborate Bathukamma and saddula pindi has been rekindled, this year’s Bathukamma.
The Bathukamma celebrations are held throughout the ten days of Dussehra. Bathukamma means ‘Goddess of Life’.
Separate Telangana agitation helped the spread of the cultural revival among Telangana NRIs in the Arabian Gulf too and Bathukamma became a calendar event. It reached its peak last year after showcasing it on the world’s largest screen at Burj Khalifa, the world’s largest building in Dubai.
The Telangana families in the Gulf region are more enthusiastic given their time and space constraints in addition to local norms upon gatherings. It’s noteworthy to mention that there is a significant influx of IT professionals from Telugu states into the Gulf region notably in Saudi Arabia where newly joined families eager to join socio-cultural life where festivals such as Bathukamma is a matter.
The floral festival is being celebrated in a grand scale as hundreds of Telangana families throng the venues with floral banquets. Various organizations and individual groups in different cities of the gulf have been organizing the festival with full fervor for the last three days.
UAE is foremost among the Gulf region in conducting Bathukamma. A grand festival was held by the Gulf Telangana Welfare and Cultural Association (GTWCA) at a local stadium on Sunday that attracted some hundreds of families.
“It is a celebration that is observed without any barriers of class, caste, or creed. Yet, over the past two years, we didn’t celebrate because people were suffering due to Covid-19,” said Juvvadi Soumya, resident of Dubai and native of Rajanna Sircilla district.
Mohammed Salahuddin, J. Srinivas Rao and Katukam Ravi – all three prominent faces of GTWCA arranged the event.
Telangana Friends Association (TFA) in Abu Dhabi held Bathukamma on Saturday which was attended by senior Indian diplomat R. Balaji. The Tangidi flowers and Saddula pindi were exclusively brought from India, according to A. Pavani of TFA.
Dubai based Indian Peoples Forum (IPF) also held a grand celebration at Ajman under the leadership of K. Mahinder Reddy that recorded an impressive footfall.
Telugu Association in Dubai, the only community organization from Telugu states that is approved by Dubai Government, held Bathukamma celebrations on Sunday in grand manner in collaboration with ETCA, a Telangana cultural organization at Shaikh Humaid Al Nuaimi Auditorium in Ajman.
In Qatar, the floral festival became a grandeur affair that witnessed over-crowding. Indian Ambassador Dr. Deepak Mittal formally inaugurated Bathukamma festival organized by Telangana Jagruthi. MLC K. Kavtia addressed the gathering through video call.
“The attendance was more than our expectation”, said Abbagoni Nandini, President of Telangana Jagruthi.
In Oman capital Muscat, hundreds of women thronged into the venue to attend Bathukamma organized by Indian Social Club’s Telangana Wing which has proven one of the most successful events in recent times. Ms. Reena Jain, First Secretary of Indian Embassy in Muscat was chief guest for the event.
In Kuwait, Telangana Chaitanya Sravanthi has organized an event in which several families participated.
In Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Telugu Mitrulu (JTM) has organized the event in the port city where most young couples participated. It was a memorable moment of recent times, said Durga Bhavani of JTM who arranged the event. Bathukamma festival is being planned in Yanbu and Riyadh next week by others also.
In Bahrain, Telugu Kala Samithi held a grand event on Sunday and another one by Telangana Jagruti is scheduled to be held on Monday.