Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mayurapathi Amman Temple, Wellawatte, Sri Lanka

Mayuri, A flower and garland shop near the temple.

"Mother will hug you, her heart filled with joy"

By Kuzhanthai Kavignar Azha. Valliyappa

Pearl-like Jasmine
Shows all beauty
Always dancing daily
on the heads of lass

Wherever hidden
find it easily
spreading fresh scent
saying am here

Pleasing the eyes
Its scent mixes with wind
while on women's head
making them proud

Wear it on our heads
we aren't fortunate
wonder the men in angst
with the jasmine flower
- Translated by Earakan

"Anbudane aravanaithu, agamagilvall annai"

In Tamil:
Mallikai - Kuzhanthai Kavignar Azha.Valliyappa

Muthu pola Mallikai
Mutrum azhagu kattuthe
Nitham penngal thalaiyile
Nindru nadanam aduthe!

Engu ollithu vaipinum
Ellithil ariyach cheyuthe,
'Ingu nanum irukiren'
Endru mannathai paraputhe!

Kannaik kavarach cheyuthe,
Katril mannathai kalakuthe
Penngal thalaiyil aninthathum
Perumai kollach cheyuthe.

'Kondai thaninl anniyave
Koduthu vaika villaiye'
Endru angal enniye
Engach cheyum poovithe!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Luckshmy Balasubramaniam and Perumal Balasubramaniam at their flower shop, near the Mayurapathi Temple in Wellawatte. They are seen here making garlands.

Malligai En Mannan
Singer: Vani Jairam
Music Director: Viswanathan M S
Lyrics: Vaali

"Flowers are like our hearts..."

"I feel that , I am blessed and closer to the God” says 40 years old Luckshmy Balasubramaniam. Luckshmy and her husband and her two sons make flower garlands for the famous temples in Colombo.

Garland making is very popular among the Tamil community living in Sri Lanka. Hindus believe that, flowers are sacred and offer them to the God. There are women like Luckshmy, who make flower garlands and earn their livelihoods. The female garland makers say that, they do not have to go an office to work. They can work from wherever they are.

Luckshmy, her husband and her two sons make garlands for the famous temples in Colombo. She earns Sri Lankan Rupees 1,000 as an average daily income. They make garlands for weddings and other occasions as well. She makes different styles of flower garlands. She feels challenged working among the men.

“ Flowers are like your hearts, and you have to handle them with so much of care”, further says Luckshmy.

40 year old Luckshmy Subramaniam makes garlands in Wellawatte. She has three children and she says that she earns Sri Lankan Rupees 1,000 as the daily average income.

Click to hear: Malligaipoo Jaathi Roja
Singer: Bala Saraswathy Devi

42 years old Perumal Balasubramaniam has been making garlands since the age of seven.

23 year old Subramaniam Gowrishankar, son of Luckshmy and Perumal Balasubramaniam operates another flower and garland making shop nearby. He says that he earns Sri Lankan Rupees 1,000 daily.

Luckshmy Balasubramaniam with her five year daughter Mayuri Koushalya at their house.

'Malligai poo jathi roja' by Deepa Miriam