Bathukamma – “Come alive mother goddess”, is a regional and age-old festival of Telangana in India. Like every year, CHITA has been phenomenal in bringing the community together and facilitating the celebrations. In fact, CHITA is the first organization to coordinate and celebrate Bathukamma in North America.
CHITA’s 17th Bathukamma celebrations were organized on September 28th, 2019 in Naperville Riverwalk Grand Pavilion. A day before the event, all the volunteer and CHITA core families gathered at one place for pre-Bathukamma event and prepared a big Bathukamma, a pyramid-shaped structure made with flowers, on behalf of CHITA. This tradition has been going on for years and every year the excitement and enthusiasm for the pre-event gathering have been going up and high. It was a fun-filled event especially for the woman who does some rituals and prepares Bathukamma. It was raining all night long the night before the main event, but Mother Nature paved the way for Mother Goddess celebrations. Over 750 people from the community participated in the event. Being the first day of the festive season and a weekend, everyone was very excited to join the event. Women from the community-made Bathukamma brought them over to the event. They had a red carpet welcome with their Bathukamma, we can say they are proud of their creativity in making Bathukammas. Kids and a few adults did kolatam dances which of course became an attraction for the event. Naperville mayor Steve Chirico was the chief guest of the event. He was amazed to see all the colorful Bathukammas and the enthusiasm of crowd to follow the tradition and celebrate their culture. He addressed the crowd and appreciated CHITA for organizing these kinds of community events. He also released CHITA’s 3rd annual magazine, Bathukamma, at the event. Bathukamma magazine is CHITA’s annual magazine to promote Telangana culture and history. The magazine was sourced from adults and kids hailed from Telangana. The articles talk about, Telangana government schemes, the economy of Telangana, language and it’s usage, etc. The younger generation contributed to the magazine and those articles turned out to be amazing. CHITA arranged amazing food to the event attendees and everyone appreciated what they are having.
Tradition is the women form a circle around all the Bathukammas and dance around it in joy and happiness. Every year this used to happen outside in the park, but because of we ground, the venue was moved inside the shelter. This was the first time in 17 years that Bathukamma was played inside the shelter. This worked out pretty well for the attendees. CHITA has given a gift to all the families who attended the event as a token of appreciation. Srini Palthepu, incoming CHITA President thanked the outgoing leadership team, Manoj Kondam, Vittal Eravelli and Neelima Katakam for their contribution in leading the organisation for the last two years. He also introduced CHITA’s new leadership team, Vice Presidents – Sriram Aleti, Neeiima Katakam, General Secretary Raj Yemul, Treasurer – Prakash Jalagam and Secretaries – Surendar Anugu, Sony Vaddepalli, Arun Joginipelly Haritha Potlapally, Ratna Eleti, Anil Nallanie, Dilip Balguri, Chaitanya Peddi, Srinath Chinnala.
Srini thanked all the volunteers for the hard work they put in to make the event happen and all the sponsors without which the event would not have been possible. Like every year, it was a grand success and it wouldn’t have been done without the community member’s enthusiasm and volunteer efforts. It all paid off and it was another feather in a hat for CHITA.