MANGALORE: Different names, one New Year celebration

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MANGALORE: While Tuluvas are gearing up to celebrate Bisu Parba, the New Year, Malayalis and Punjabis, settled in the city are preparing to celebrate Vishu and Baisakhi, their own version of the New Year, on Sunday.

Most Tulu-speaking community members celebrate Bisu Parba to welcome the New Year.

Federation of World Bunts Association president Ajit Kumar Rai Maladi told STOI that Vishu, which is celebrated as the New Year, also has a close connection to nature and agriculture. Traditionally, most of the agriculture families of Bunts and other Tulu speaking communities also celebrate Vishu with great fervour.

However, the festival is celebrated most vibrantly in Kasargod, which is considered as a part of Tulunadu. Vishu in Bunt families begins with Vishukkani. Agricultural produce grown in their fields is arranged in front of the deity and family members begin their day after seeing it. Similarly, rice and coconut is offered to Ganesha, he said, adding that celebrations had changed over the years.

Balan Nair, a Malayali settled in the city, said: “We arrange Vishukkani keeping Kanikkonna flower, vegetables, fruits and cereals in front of Krishna idol. ‘Vishukkainettam’, the practice of giving money as gift to children, is part of the festival.”

Businessman Mohammed Iqbal from Thalangara in Kasaragod, settled in Mangalore for the past eight years, celebrates Vishu despite being a Muslim. “Vishu festival at my home also begins with Vishukkani. I have been celebrating Vishu with my wife and son regularly. It is a pleasure to celebrate the festival, which transcends all religious bond,” he remarked.

Gurusingh Sabha Society treasurer M S Lohia said that special prayers will be offered at the Gurudwara near Kottara. “Nearly 200 members of the Sikh community will visit Gurudwara and participate in the prayers and celebrate the festival,” he said.

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