It was a beautiful Sunday with sun shining bright on Aug 2nd 2015 in ‘Bonalu Park’ (Pinehills lake park) in mason, Ohio. Greater Cincinnati Telangana Association (GCTA) celebrated ‘Bonalu’ festival fourth year in a row with pomp and fervor in Bonalu Park. This event was celebrated in Greater Cincinnati of Ohio with the attendance of at least 170 people from in and around Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky Area.
Bonalu is a Hindu festival devoted to goddess Mahankali, celebrated in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and all Districts of Telangana. In Year 2012, GCTA formerly known as Cincy Telanganites group set a record by celebrating Bonalu for the first time in USA.
Bonalu & Family Picnic started at 11 a.m with people trickling in slowly. The event started with ladies who were traditionally dressed with Bonalu (a holy meal in Telugu, is an offering to the Goddess) on their heads. Cincinnati Telangana NRIs played rhythmic beats of folk music and ladies offered holy cooked food to mother goddess. Ladies sung songs in praise of Maata Ji. The procession started with pomp and fervor. Families prayed mother goddess, offered doopam and naivaidyam i.e. holy food to the mother goddess. Thottellu procession and Pothraju dancing filled the festive spirits really high in all devotees.
After the prayers, all savored delicious Telangana delicacies which included all special Non-Veg curries, Veggies snacks and various mouth-watering dishes. Many of the attendees danced to the tunes and sang songs in mother’s glory. Kids actively involved in various outdoor sports activities.
Some of the elders, who are visiting U.S, also attended this event. They were very happy to see the celebrations done in a traditional way back in Telangana State. People celebrated with great enthusiasm and devoted to mother goddess. People of all ages participated in this event and activity brought many memories of their life from back home.
GCTA exhibited digital art photo gallery which was captured from various Bonala Jatara by a multi-talented artist Arjun Maddy. Participants were mesmerized at his artistic depictions and connected to back home Jathara visual treat.
GCTA committee members thanked one and all for making this event a Grand Success. Festival committee members thanked all active volunteers for their invaluable support to GCTA. The event was a great success because of the hard work and contributions of the GCTA committee members Laxmi Reddy, Sapna Upadyaya, Chetana Reddy, Pavan Kumar Marri, Purma Reddy, Bhanu Venkatapuram, Raghav, Raghu, Narasimha Rao Nagulavancha,Kiran, Krishna, Venkat Chary, Ganesh Kota, Suresh Deverakonda, Vishweswar Reddy Gatla, Sitaram Boyenpally, Narayana Chatla and Prasada Meegada.
Participants appreciated the efforts of goddess decoration and pooja co-ordinators Vijaya Chatla, Gayatri Marri, Swapna Yashki, Saritha Srinivas, Sapna Upadyaya, Bhavani Meegada, Aruna Madichetty and Radhika Somireddy .
Special Thanks to Prasad Meegada , Narayana Chatla, Mohan Reddy, Karnakar Reddy,Chandra Madichetty, Narsing Mamindla, Dileep, Shyam, Nandu Yashki and Prabhakar Reddy Rampa for their valuable suggestions and support to make this event a grand success.
Over all, it was a great event that exceeded every ones expectations. All the participants were very pleased with the event.