17 January 2008

Pongal Shopping

Pongal Festival which lasts over 4 days is rather like the post Christmas Sale in the West. Shops discount their wares and many local folk go on sprees spending their hard earned cash. As is often the case its almost compulsory to purchase new clothes at Festival time. In the below a clown is trying to amuse and entice folk into a garment shop on Thiruvoodal Street.

Most families adorn the front of their homes with kolam (rangoli drawings) each day, but during Pongal, the drawings are more elaborate and usually in colour.

Today I was off shopping for a new coir frontdoor mat, so I headed off to the bazaar.

To begin with I walked past provision stores and vegetable stalls.

Then by some interesting grinding mills. The below shows crushed and powdered turmeric - a necessary stable in all Indian homes as it is used in worship, cooking, as an ayurvedic remedy for cuts and wounds and also as an important beauty accessory for ladies.

The below is of the natural turmeric before processing.

On this day the openair market was really busy with lots of stall holders displaying fresh produce.

The below is off betel nut which is imported from North India.

And tobacco which is grown in Tamil Nadu.

As well as food, there were lots of fancy stores and shops all around the market area.

And vendors selling stacks of leaf plates which will be used for wrapping takeaway food at restaurants.

I stopped and watched a couple of ladies extracting the oil from coconut. Below is the residue; oil-less coconut which is regarded as waste and given to cows and livestock as feed.

In the next photograph the ladies are pouring the extracted oil from the coconuts into big containers. Pure, unprocessed coconut oil.

Next door to the coconut mill - a flour mission. It is here that locals bring their rice to be ground up into powder to be used for a myriad of purposes, including cooking.

And we finish off where we started at the fabric shop with yet another dressed up character joking and trying to entice customers into a fabric shop SALE.

Well it seems to be working all too well as some of the customers are looking back at the dressed-up, joking characters rather than going into the Sale Shop.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Thanks for all the pics of the street bazaars - I feel so homesick to see it again! The coconut oil pics were fascinating - never saw the processing before. I feel sorry for the people in the costumes - such hot outfits in the sweltering Indian heat! :-(