September 17, 2017

Bathukamma Celebrated in Naperville

Colorful flowers, bright outfits, dancing, and clapping came to the Riverwalk Grand Pavillion in the form of Bathukamma.

Though it comes from Telangana, the youngest Indian state, the celebration itself goes back hundreds of years.

“It’s a festival of flowers, and we celebrate Bathukamma to give a good omen to us,” said Monaj Kondam, President of the Chicago Telangana Association, or CHITA.

This is the 15th year that the festival of flowers has been put on by CHITA.

And even the dancing revolves around the flowers, made by women in preparation for the festival.

“First we start with a plate underneath and put the flowers in a conical order and we can make it as many layers as we want,” said Bathukamma volunteer Lakshmi Yellanki, as she gestured to the floral arrangements.

And Bathukamma serves a secondary purpose for kids.

“Our kids are born here lacking our culture and tradition,” said Neelima Akula, General Secretary of CHITA. “This way we are encouraging our kids to learn our culture, songs, traditions, and to dress up and have fun!”

Though Bathukamma is traditionally celebrated for nine days, the one day its celebrated here keeps people connected to their culture.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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