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Ritual for puberty

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Dear Elders Namaskarams, Recently my dauhter Attained puberty.{First mensturation}. now i wants to know about what is the customs and rituals that i have to do? pl. help

Dear Ramachandran icf,

I presume you are a tabra. மூன்றாவது நாள் மாலை (அரிசிமா+வெல்லம்) புட்டு is to be prepared. In the olden days there used to be a ritual called வளைய வந்து பாட்டு by many women, at the end of which this புட்டு was distributed to ladies along with தாம்பூலம் (வெற்றிலை, பாக்கு, மஞ்சள், குங்குமம், etc.). Others also enjoyed the புட்டு, of course.

On the fourth day morning, the girl has to be taken to the river/pond by a group of women (mother would not accompany but only others from the agrahaaram), and after bath, the girl would be dressed in new clothes (silk பாவாடை & தாவணி or saree) decked with jewellery and flowers, garland etc., and brought back home accompanied by naadaswaram +thavil. En route, at each agrahaaram house, the girl will be shown ஆரத்தி so that திருஷ்டி படாமல் இருக்கும்.

NBs used to keep the girl in a separate enclosure for the girl and they also followed similar customs described above. It was also a custom among NBs to make உழுந்து உசிலி and also எள்ளும் வெல்லமும் and give these to the girl concerned for seven days; the belief used to be that these two items would make the girl's hip stronger, more fit for married life, child-bearing, etc.

In the earlier days the need was to announce to the society that the girl had attained puberty at the right age, that there was thus nothing wrong with her physical development and, among the NBs, the parents of eligible boys would come seeking alliance. Today, however, it is saner to keep the entire matter wrapped up as a very personal affair and proceed; that will be the best. After all do we make such a publicity for a boy ejaculating for the first time?
i second sangom's suggestion.

physical maturity is a natural progress of a human body development. particularly for a girl, it must be traumatic enough to experience outflow of blood and such, and the added responsibility of cleansing, maintaining the same for a set period every month from now on.

here in canada, the sri lankan tamils, celebrate it, as puppunitha neerattu vizha, which is big business for the vadhyars and the vendors.

personally i think it must be very embarassing for the young lass, to go through the spotlights for so private a functionality.

best is to equip the girl with knowledge re maintenance and assure her that this is a perfectly normal development as prescribed by mother nature.

the more important issues would be the accompanying mental and physical development, and the challenges of raising a sane and healthy teenager to adulthood.

best wishes for that, dear icf. otherwise, if you really feel like celebrating, give your daughter 5000 rupees and let her spend it on whatever she likes. she will love you for that, more than any functional circus.


ps 40 years ago, it was a non event in my parent's household. a few years ago, it was a non event in my household. enough said.
Having said that this be kept a purely personal matter, still I will recommend the old world practice of giving uLundu uSili, eLLu & vellam to the girl during this period especially because all these are basically harmless in normal quantities, and tabras of naanchilnaaDu used to practice it, just as the NBs.
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