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"Patthu"

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Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
I request the learned members to share their views on the tamil term "Patthu"... (like, we do not touch curd directly after touching rice or rasam... rather touch a drop of water before that as a symbolic act of ablution)

It has come down as a custom/practice over the generations (I still follow it)...

I have my own opinion, but again, I dont want to colour the discussion with my views...

If there is indeed a logical (or any other valid) explanation for the same, please enlighten me...
 

pannvalan

Well-known member
It is for the following reasons:

1. Different cooked dishes shall not get mixed, as otherwise
they will not stay eatable and ferment (Oosi poi vidum)
2. Some items are in solid form, some in liquid form and some in paste form.
If they are handled carefully, they retain their freshness and taste.
3. It is a kind of table manners taught to us, by our elders.

NOTE: "Paththu" is actually "Patru" meaning hold or stick.
 

Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
It is for the following reasons:

1. Different cooked dishes shall not get mixed, as otherwise
they will not stay eatable and ferment (Oosi poi vidum)
2. Some items are in solid form, some in liquid form and some in paste form.
If they are handled carefully, they retain their freshness and taste.
3. It is a kind of table manners taught to us, by our elders.

NOTE: "Paththu" is actually "Patru" meaning hold or stick.

Thank you for sharing your opinion; but what I infer is that this practice is mainly for cleanliness and hygiene... possible - probably in the olden days when the "kitchen" was not so modern as it is now... If etiquette, cleanliness and hygiene can be maintained even without following "patthu", then does it mean that one is not following "acharam"?

Are the means so important that the end is neglected???
 

Rajan

Member
Pattu

I request the learned members to share their views on the tamil term "Patthu"... (like, we do not touch curd directly after touching rice or rasam... rather touch a drop of water before that as a symbolic act of ablution)

It has come down as a custom/practice over the generations (I still follow it)...

I have my own opinion, but again, I dont want to colour the discussion with my views...

If there is indeed a logical (or any other valid) explanation for the same, please enlighten me...
Dear Seshadriji,

I feel this habit would have come from early days when we all were living as joint family with elders.

Elders were strictly observing patthu ellatha palagaram etc on specific days. So they might have made this classification so that items milk(pal), butter miilk(more), mavu for kanji etc which were accepted on plagaram days are not mixed with pattu.

Also items like pickle (urgai), appalam, vadam were made annually stored and they want these items to be handled with clean hand. So this pattu classification was useful.

Anyhow we who had opportunity to be with such elders got used to it and follow it.

Now , are there any such elders?

Rajan
 

Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
Thanks for those who shared their views.

My opinion:

=> This would have evolved based on the way of living in the olden times (essentially no fridges/grinder/oven, etc...)

=> Hence, the necessity to keep items which colours (influences in a bad way) the other

=> Maybe, while observing vradham, palagaram ("pala aharam" or "phala aharam"??) might not have contained heavy or starchy items as in rice and hence the usage

=> Slowly, the usage might have gotten mixed with rituals over passage of time and might have evolved as a rule to be adhered to strictly...

=> There is a classification of food into satvic, rajasic and tamasic but none on "patthu"

=> "Patthu" must be, therefore, another name for "Cleanliness - the traditional way", and hence non-observance must certainly be not a sin!

With Regards,
Seshadri
 

pannvalan

Well-known member
Elders in those days taught us to observe "Pathu" and "Echil". While 'pathu' is no longer valid and relevant today, 'echil' is to avoid tasting a dish which is partly eaten by another, in which process saliva of one gets deposited on such food tasted. This is to be avoided from the angle of health and hygiene.
 
S

s007bala

Guest
Hygeine

S S

Patthu,is for hygeine.But with material wealth,slowly families,at least me,stopped all this habits.In fact,we call the fridge,'oosi pokada vaikkum potti',rofl :).In families when both husband & wife work,sometimes weelkly cooking is the norm and heat ,re-heat the prepared dish and consume.In olden days either we had cooks or ladies,doing these chores.Even in a month,the ladies used to maintain three days theetu,for their special days.All had its meaning and significance,based on lifestyle.

sb
 
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