The traditional heritage of Punjab villages came alive at the ongoing Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival at Ramgarhia Girls College on Thursday.
Events such as guddian patole making, chhikku (small basket) making, naala making, tokri making, mitti de khidaune making, khiddo making, peerhi making, rassa vattna, pranda and eennu making were organised.
Guddian patole refers to the dolls and horses made from cloth in Punjab villages, peerhi refers to small stools made with weaving technique in villages. Rassa vattna is the traditional technique of tying ropes by women using their feet and khiddo is small ball of waste clothes which mothers used to weave for children to play. Students used fresh chikni mitti to make mitti de khidaune (toys) showcasing scenes of villages in Punjab.
Dr Nirmal Jaura, director, youth welfare, PU, told The Indian Express that the main objective of introducing the events, including a heritage quiz, was to generate awareness.
“We have got calls from parents appreciating the initiative. Students these days are not aware of how our grandparents and great grandparents made toys from clay, how mothers used their feet to tie ropes. It is a step to connect the modern youth with traditional Punjab culture. PU youth fests are being held since 1957 and it for first time such events were organised,” he said.
To preserve the authenticity of the art, rules were kept that way. For instance, it was mandatory to use pure resham thread in black or red for pranda while only water was to be used for binding soil to make toys. Only pieces of waste cloth can be used to make khiddo and eennu.
However, Panjab University, Chandigarh, had faced issues when such events were part of inter-university youth festivals. “Punjabi University, Patiala, is holding these events since long. They are also a part of inter-university festival and we often faced problems in sending entries as our students never had any knowledge about it. It was quite embarrassing that PU never had events related to Punjab heritage,” said Jaura.
“The response has been enthusiastic and the events will now be a permanent feature of the festival. Even teachers were not aware of how to make khiddo, peerhi etc. They went to villages and after learning from elderly women, taught the students,” said Jaura.