A Telugu family in India mark Ugadhi, an equivalent to the Tamil New Year, Vishu and Vaisakhi.

Living in a culturally diverse nation, we are able to experience the colours of festivals for each religion. Festivals such as Tamil New Year, Vishu, Vaisakhi, and Ugadhi are extremely famous in the month of April.

Ugadhi is a major festival that is celebrated in the southern states of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The term ‘Ugadhi’ is a combination of two words: ‘yug,’ which means ‘age,’ and ‘adi,’ which means ‘a new beginning.’ As a result, it marked the beginning of a new era.

Picture credit: Gulf News

Yesterday, on April 13th, most of our Telugu heirs celebrated the Ugadhi festival in their most celebrative manner with their families, having missed the previous year’s Ughadi due to the pandemic.

Likewise, Malaysian Telugu people would have celebrated the festival with zeal because it is their new year. 

Varnam had the opportunity to speak to Tisantini Rajendran, a Telugu descendant from Shah Alam. For her, Ugadhi means welcoming a brand new year with her family.

So, if you’re curious about how her family celebrates Ugadhi, keep reading to see what she has said.

Varnam: How did you celebrate Ugadhi last year?

Tisha: Every year for Ugadhi, my family and I will go to Klang Perumal temple in the morning, where we will distribute 500 ladoos to the public. 

Varnam: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when it’s Ugadhi?

Tisha: Ladoos. It is that time of the year where we’ll finally get to eat lots of ladoos. 

Picture credit: Times Food

Varnam: When is Ugadhi, what is that one thing you desperately long for?

Tisha: 13th April 2021 is this year’s ugadhi. Coronavirus cases have increased rapidly, therefore there are tighter rules to be followed. Because of that, we couldn’t celebrate ugadhi as how we used to for this year. Regardless, getting to meet my cousins is the one thing that I long each ugadhi year.

Varnam: What was special during last year’s Ugadhi?

Tisha: We never had to take such precautions before whenever we had to go to the temple. For the first time, we actually had to wear gloves and masks to distribute ladoos. It was a hassle because so many of our friends and family didn’t recognise our faces. But due to the pandemic, we had to be extra safe. 

Tisantini takes a wefie with her family during the auspicious Ugadhi. Pix by Tishantini.

Varnam: What would you like to wish your Telugu friends on this auspicious day?

Tisha: Namaskaram. Meeku mi kudumba sabhyulandhariki sri plava naama ugadhi subhakankshalu. (Hello, pleased to wish everyone Sri Plava Naama Ugadhi Subakankshalu) May Lord Venkateswara bless you and all your loved ones with lots of happiness, good health, an abundance of wealth and wisdom to surmount the challenges of life.