Culture & Traditions Committee

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The rich and unique traditions and culture of our community have been widely and undisputedly acknowledged. Our uniqueness spans far beyond our natural leadership personalities, progressive outlook and perspectives; every aspect of our Kodava culture is steeped in a unique yet rich heritage, from our attire to food to lifestyle to customs and traditions to the matriarchal value system, not to forget our rich folk heritage like songs, dance, music, etc. For a proud community like ours it is only befitting that some of our core values and strengths are an integral part of our folklore. Our warrior community roots are reflected strongly in much of our folk stories, art, songs, music and dances. Besides, the position and respect given to women in our society also stands out prominently in most of our customs, traditions and folk art.

Though we have “Pattola Palame”, a single source of records for most things Kodava, and it has been translated to English as well, it hasn’t been able to reach out to and influence enough of us Kodavas. Ours has been a small though progressive, diverse and geographically spread out community. Kodavas, historically renowned for leadership and service in the national and local armed forces, sports and athletic abilities, especially in field hockey, cricket and track & field and commercial agriculture, in particular skillful in cultivation of coffee, tea and spices, they have in the last several years expanded their horizons significantly. It is heartening to see lot of Kodavas excel in a variety of other fields and it is not at all rare to find successful and renowned doctors, scientists, engineers, architects, business leaders, entrepreneurs, journalists, writers, musicians, fashion designers, artists, politicians, and so many more. And consequently, there has been a worrisome increase in the number of Kodavas moving out of our homeland in pursuit of new careers and profession. Clearly there is an urgent need to maintain and preserve our rich heritage and tradition for future generations who are increasingly growing up outside of Kodagu. Despite the digital age that we live in, there hasn’t been enough resources and effort spent on transferring written records on our culture and traditions to electronic formats for posterity and making them widely accessible to our tech-savvy new generation of Kodavas to forge the connections to their roots and stay connected to “Kodavame,” the Kodava way of life.

The objective of Culture and Traditions committee is to bridge that gap; to attempt at bringing our rich culture, customs and traditions to the Kodavas living in North America. The members of this committee will work on building a repository of our unique customs and traditions and make it easily available and accessible to all those interested in learning, following and/or even enriching and preserving them. There are resources available in multiple places (Kodava recipes, recordings of songs, dances, photographs, ways of wearing our attire, rituals for festivals and other ceremonies, etc.) and we will aim to make these readily available through a single central online source to the Kodavas of North America. We would like to facilitate interested Kodavas of North America to communicate with those who are knowledgeable about our customs, practices and traditions should they have any questions, such as while celebrating a festival or other auspicious occasions. The committee is open to suggestions and contributions from everyone to make this repository richer and improve its quality, accuracy and availability. We also have a vision to perform some of our popular forms of art and culture in various Kodava gatherings going forward and would solicit participation from the interested Kodavas.