Akhila Kodava Samaja appeals not wear Kodava traditional garb for political events

Kodava children perform a cultural dance at Ballimada Function – File Image(2014)

Akhila Kodava Samaja appeals not to trivialize tradition to appease politicians

Madikeri: The Akhila Kodava Samaja has unanimously decided not to use the Kodava traditional garb to appease any political party and not wear it to any event that is political or have any connection to politics.

Samaja President Mathanda Monnappa had recently issued a press note appealing to the community members to desist from trivializing the ‘Kuppiya Chele’ and other outfits by wearing them to all and sundry events. Now the Akhila Kodava Samaja has formally taken the decision in this regard at its AGM held in Virajpet on Dec. 28.

All the traditional garb like the ‘Kuppiya Chele’, ‘Mandethuni’, ‘Peeche Kathi’ worn by the male members of the community and the traditional ‘Vasthra’, and traditional ornaments worn by women of the community should be worn only to the events and functions of the community where the traditional garb has more value.

These dresses cannot be worn at political rallies or whenever a political leader comes calling. “It has been observed that Kodava community members wear the traditional garb whenever a political leader comes to Kodagu. This is insulting to the community as the elders have attached special significance to the garb and there is a decorum to be followed,” the Samaja decided.

Also, the Kodava traditional dances like ‘Bolakaat’, ‘Kolaat’, ‘Ummathaat’ that have a religious significance and performed only at temples and village sacred places must be restricted to the places where they are meant to instead of performing such dances on every dais and also at any political rally or event. These dances and garb must not be a thing to exhibit. Rather they must serve the community purpose they are meant to.

Dress code at holy places

The Akhila Kodava Samaja also called for strict implementation of dress code at all the holy places of Kodavas in the district including Talacauvery and Bhagamandala that have now become a place of tourist attraction. The management committees of the respective temples must impose restrictions and effectively implement the same, the Samaja has decided.

Appealing to the community members not to indulge in wasteful expenditure during events like wedding and child naming ceremonies where usually there is unlimited supply of liquor, the Akhila Kodava Samaja has said that the community members must exercise restraint and must not indulge in wasteful expenditure.

Community welfare

Also, the community must serve its own interest in joining hands with Kodava Samajas that initiate plans and programmes for the welfare of the community. Everyone must voluntarily cooperate with each other for the larger interests of  the community.

Pointing out that unity is a crucial aspect in keeping the community strong, the Akhila Kodava Samaja has appealed to the community to resolve the issues between families and within families in an amicable way. Family unity, unity with other families and unity of villages will go a long way in protecting the interests of the community, it stated.

Mentioning about the way Kodavas indulge in criticism about each other and each other’s political views on social media platforms, the meeting advised the community members not to discredit a fellow Kodava just to serve political interests. Efforts must be made to strengthen the community instead of criticizing each other, the Samaja  has stated.

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