Festivities are occasions where people congregate; cheer and laughter adorn the air. Gaiety and merriment, with a free flowing air of camaraderie, excitement and fun allow celebrations to be stress free and devoid of the rigors and difficulties of everyday life. It’s the time when people kick back, escape drudgery and enjoy their time out. Especially women from the disadvantaged class look upon festivities as a time when they can take a break. Use those occasions to go back to parental homes where they get the luxury of rest and can literally put their feet up and relax.
Festivals are also that time when women can display their skills – culinary, housekeeping, and organizational. The opportunity to showcase their talents surface and since most women are proud of their abilities as homemakers, festivals become the perfect occasion to put on show what they’re capable of. The celebrations become an occasion where people get a chance to see each other’s worldly goods – best pieces of jewellery adorn bodies, the finest artifacts come out of the closet, exquisite home products come on display—this results in a kind of one-upmanship and the affluent few get that slight ego boost when they compare themselves to the less privileged. Festivals are also the time when many women get the opportunity to provide material security for themselves and their daughters. Purchasing of jewellery, gold, or simply getting sizeable amounts of money in terms of gifts, help the woman feel more self-assured.
Men for the most part have taken up roles of the provider with women embracing roles of nurturers. The woman feels responsible for passing down culture. Her idea is that if her children observe her involvement in festivals they automatically learn to value and realize the importance of carrying forth traditions. She looks upon her endorsement of festivities as something that can be emulated by the younger generation and thus sees it as her duty to carry the flag of traditions. A woman’s self-image – that she is the cultivator of values, where religious beliefs form a significant part – helps her play the pivotal role during festivities.
Personally for many, festivals are the time to rejuvenate and are looked upon as opportunities to add zing to their lives. With a lot of women working today, festivals become the only time when they get time out to care for their well being, take that spa treatment, or just pamper themselves to revitalizing holidays. And that too without guilt. For splurging during festive times need no explanations and can be done with the comfort of knowing that no finger pointing will happen.
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