Pidiya made on wall
India is a country of diversity where in every 5 miles the language and water changes. In different states people have different rituals, customs, festivals and celebrations. Having been in Bihar since last few months, I witnessed some rituals, the standard of living etc … Working with girls at Parivartan – I observed a girl’s only festival called ‘PIDIYA’. It goes on throughout the month. It begins from the day next to Diwali along with Govardhan Puja followed by Ganga Snan & Tulsi Puja. The home in which Pidiya is to be made all the neighbouring girls assemble and sing, dance and act.
As I asked them how they feels during this celebration/festival, girls started smiling and responded to that very well! Shilpa said “as most girls becomes busier with their works they couldn’t meet although live nearby, in this festival we get the opportunity to talk, laugh and sings together.” Kusum said she waits for this for a year as she likes singing.
At the final day Pidiya girls keeps fast for their brother/s, put on new dresses and enjoy all night by singing and dancing.
Preparation for Pidiya immersion
Next day early in the morning around 5am all the girls and their brothers go to the river-bank along with orchestra and enjoy by dancing and get the Pidiyas immersed.
Walk to the river-bank, morning at 6 AM
Girls enjoying the moment
I felt this festival does a lot of good. In this fest, I observed those girls talking & smiling who often dont come out of their homes and don’t shows much interest in participation. In our country most fasts are done by females. Most of them are either for husband or brother. Likewise Pidiya is also for the well-being of brothers. If one enquired these customs historically, then answer comes out in the form of story where at some point of time a person kept this and now it has been followed by the rest without knowing the actual pre-occupation.
I feel that behind celebrating a festival, the story is the key. If we sees Pidiya then it might be possible that such kind of celebration had begun with objective that girls could assemble together and could share their ups & down and enjoy. Is it not enough to be a reason to celebrate a festival then why it has been linked with brother/husband or son? I feels that by minor or major festivals we are encouraging patriarchy or it might be an agenda of promoting patriarchy and we unconsciously promote the same decade after decade. Questioning then is the key here …