Shradh in the Village

 

DSCN0170Last week we took a trip with all the girls of Shishur Sevay. The purpose itself though was sad. A close and long time friend of Shishur Sevay just recently passed on. She was Bijoy’s wife’s grandmother, and lived in a small village just out of Kolkata about two and a half hours by car. We wanted to attend the Shradh Ceremony which is part of the rituals after the loss of a family member. It is mainly about commemorating the deceased. To do so they serve the favorite dish of the departed for instance and fulfil their last will.

For me this was very interesting to see as I am very interested in other cultures and am eager to learn as much as possible.

To fit all girls and the staff we had to rent a bus, and to me, who saw a trip like this for the first time at Shishur Sevay it was very surprising to see how much we had to take. Almost felt like moving out.

DSCN0179Just outside Kolkata a lot of things are very different. Green land, no pollution, no noise. It was like a holiday from the city.

Bijoy organized some bicycle vans to take us from the main road to the village itself. Though the walk was not very long it was good to have this, as we could not bring wheelchairs for the disabled. The path is too uneven and narrow at times for wheelchairs. In the village space is so little there is no place for wheelchairs anyway.

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Life in the village really differs from the life in the city. Some conveniences like water pipes and good infrastructure are not available, what you gain though is a peaceful, quiet and nature intensive surrounding.

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After lunch Bijoy asked me whether I would like to see the village. Of course I loved to and so we took a walk, and I learned about life in the village and how to grow rice. It was an amazing experience for me. I learned how to grow rice, and especially how to water it, since it needs to grow in water. That is why they have all these ponds everywhere in the village and in the wide fields surrounding the settlement. Three to four times a year they can harvest the rice, and i really want to join them on one occasion to see how it is done.

DSCN0249In the end we visited the small Shiva-Temple of the village, where smaller pujas are held everyday. Once a year though there is a big puja, where the whole village comes together and celebrates together. When I first saw the temple I did not expect it to be more than 200 years already. I really like the contrast between the cramped and grayish city of Kolkata and the wide and green of the village. I loved the feeling of being in the village.