Oraons: The KARAM / KARMA Festival (Part-II)

Karam Festival for Young Oraon Girls and Boys
When a boy’s (young man) marriage is fixed, then on the occasion of the festival the boy is expected to visit the home of hisprospective in-laws; and the boy is expected to help the families of bride with all kinds of work.Also the Boy brings with him, the “Karam-Daliya” and the clothes for the Girl (young women). Besides the Girl is also taken to the Boy’s house in the evening of the Karam festival and it is expected that the girl would help them with the preparation of celebratory-feasts and other works.
Karam-Song in kurukh language for the occasion goes like this:
O! – Eideenintaa Karam Chando Bhaiyer,
Aingeh Peloon Airon Ka Malla (Re) – 2
Ki! – Aira Hoon Airon Malla Hoon Airon,
Sapraron Sausareir Kaloon (Re) – 2
{It means: In this year’s Karam-Month, will I be able to see the Girl (young women) or not. Will I be able to see her or not, after getting ready will I go to in-law’s place.}
Special Karam-Clothes forKaram-Festival
On the occasion of the festival, the Boys and the Girls are given extraordinary treatment and due importance by their respective families. The families, their mother and father, give them special “Karam-clothes” to their child (or children), these clothes signify the unmarried status of the Boys and the Girls of the family.
One of the most interesting aspects of these special clothes given as gift is that these Karam-clothes are hand-woven by the mother and father for their child, after hours of hard-works. It signifies, the clothes save them from the bad influence and the habits. The Karam and these Karam-Clothes are considered very auspicious. It is also believed that the children are offered to Karam, for the showering of its constant guidance and blessings to the child, in fact the entire family.
Karam-clothes are given to the Boys and Girls who fast for the first time in their lives for the festival and not to the others. The Girls are given 14-hand long clothes for wearing (called Kurna-Kichri) and the Boys are given 18-hand long clothes for the head-gear (called Turra-Pagdi) and 6-hand long clothes for wearing (called Dhoti).The Girls are also given “Ralo or Ghusni” for wearing on their waist and for their legs they are given “Ghunghroo or Paijan”; the girls use them during the festivals, while participating in a dance. They use these items until they get married. After their marriage, the Girls return “Kurna-Kichri” and the Boys return “Turra-Pagdi” to their parents; these clothes are later used by their grand-daughters and grand-sons.
Karam-Song in Kurukh language for the occasion goes like this:
O! – Deenda Bhiyar Nu Chail-Phail Mandar Haro Jokharo,
Kuuk Maiya Pagri Rai (Re) – 2
Ki! – Benjaraa To Jokhaiye Jeeyan Nighaiye Airoy,
Pagri Nighein Khatro Kalo,
Mukka Nighen Khoke Nu Rau.
{It means: Boy, you are celebrating your bachelor-hood status, the Turra-Pagdi adorns your head. But after marriage, you will find that in your life, your Turra-Pagdi will fall down and you will have wife in your arms}

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