Anasuya Soundararajan


Celebrated by Hindus of South Indian origins, the Golu festival is a lively melange of colourful dolls, womenhood and spirituality. Anasuya Soundararajan shares with us its origins. Every year, dolls in various forms and sizes take centre stage in many Hindu households for nine nights and 10 days. Known as Bommai Golu in Tamil (meaning “Court of Dolls”), this celebration is an integral part of the Navaratri festival. Navaratri, meaning “nine nights” (nava is “nine” and ratri is “nights”), honours the Hindu goddess Shakti in all her different manifestations. Navaratri Golu is believed to have been celebrated since the existence of the Vijayanagar kingdom in 14th-century India, and was especially popular with the royal families of Thanjavur and Pudukkottai in the state of Tamil Nadu. Today, Golu is mainly observed by South Indians from the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. Interviews with older Singaporeans reveal that…