MILOON EAST INDIAN SAMAAJ SAARA
A New Harvest! A New Prayer! A New Hope!
Around 8 Years ago Agera Celebrations were diminishing. Modernisation and lack of farming lands in most parts of the city was the cause. MGP Team took up the most challenging task of reviving Agera, something considered impossible by many. We started on a small note and gradually things picked up. Last year we painted the city, with a
majority of the East Indian Community dressed in Traditional Lugra. The Lugra fame, also remains one of MGP’s successful Revival stories.
Gaothans were the base of the entire Agera Celebrations with a majority of the processions starting from the Gaothan Holy Crosses or the fields. Over the years, people as well have Goathans participating in the Celebrations has increased considerably. Last year MGP had a target total of 100 Gaothans and succeeded in getting 106 Gaothans to participate in the Agera Celebrations. MGP was just a facilitator and the credit goes out to local parishes, associations and social workers.
Etched in memory are some Agera Celebrations which stand out with their cultural creativity along with the traditional touch. Kurla grows paddy in the Church compound while Marol has been having the traditonal procession for more than a decade. Dharavi Beth Island of Manori, Gorai and Uttan has all parishes starting the processions from the Village fields. Kurla also has a grand evening cultural Celebration with the food festival. Vakola has a Celebration near the village well and Malwani serves traditional sweet to all after the service.
Rekla, the traditonal mode of transport with horses or bullocks are now a must in the Agera procession. These Reklas are all decorated and have the priest seated during the procession. The Traditional East Indian brass band adds music and festivity to the procession. And soon after the holy mass, the bands play Celebration songs ensuring people dance to their festive tunes. After mass, tea is served with hot fugyas as peope greet each other on this Harvest festival and in some parishes even traditional sweets like Lapshi and Mugoori is served. Each family collects their sheaves of paddy to be kept at the alter or affixed on the entrance door.
Active Communities Never Let Their Traditions Fade. East Indian Community has seen a major revival since a decade, thanks to the many associations and individuals who have done their bit to take the Community to greater heights. This year, due to pandemic there won’t be any public celebrations but families can get-together for a meal on this
special day in Thanksgiving to God for blessing the family and Gaothan with a good harvest. MGP has released Guidelines this year keeping the pandemic in mind. Agera reminds us of giving Thanksgiving to God for the New Harvest. In the current scenario let’s say a New Prayer with a New Hope that things get better and this Pandemic is wiped out and
we see a New World of Peace and Good Health. Wishing you all a Happy Agera. May this harvest festival bless your homes with abundance of food and happiness
Gleason Barretto, Old Kurla