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BHARATHAR IN KERALA


BHARATHAR

The Bharathar or Paravar are the migrated community from Tamil Nadu to Kerala. There are three groups of Paravar. Tamil Paravar whose traditional occupation is fishing; Malayalam Paravar, who are lime brurners; and Canarese Paravar who are makers of umbrella are the three groups. They inhabit in the costal areas of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, and Kannur districts. They are also seen in the Kottayam district. Their languages are Tamil and Malayalam. They are categorised under ‘Other Backward Class’ by the Government of Kerala. They are Roman Catholics. Christmas, Easter, New Year are the important festivals that they observe. Their main occupation is fishing or fish selling. 

They observe puberty rites in two stages. The first is called chamathiyam and the second is known as chadangadianthiram. Elders arrange marriages. Marriage rituals also have two stages. The first is known as varthappad, observed on the day of engagement and the second is kumbasara kalyanam. Wedding ceremony takes place in the church. Golden Thali with the crest of a dove, bhindi and finger rings are the marriage symbols of women. Pre-delivery rituals take place on the seventh month of pregnancy. Post delivery pollution lasts for 41 days. The naming and baptism of the child takes place on the eighth day. On death, they bury the dead body in the graveyard of the church. Commemorative ceremony is performed on fifth, seventh and sixteenth day.

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