"Scientific Contributions[or glories] of Ancient Tamils"/Part:16

:"Science Behind the Ancient Tamil's Traditions & Customs":

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The significance of the thoranams [தோரணம்/festoon] :Tamil Hindus festoon the upper frame of their  main door with mango leaves and marigold flowers[ஜவ்வந்தி] on festivals and auspicious occasions.The twigs of the green mango leaves and the orange flowers serves as a decorative and also has a lot of  medicinal value.The threshold  [An entrance or a doorway or A piece of wood or stone placed beneath a door; a doorsill]below is smeared with a lot of turmeric paste and dots of vermilion kumkum  on it makes it a very pretty site.During functions the main door is flanked by banana saplings or trees.This completes the picture of a  ceremony.The significance of the thoranams being:The saplings and the green mango leaves give a lot of oxygen which is needed in the surrounding area .The leaves and turmeric have germicidal (anti-germ) properties.The mango leaves  and the marigold flowers also give a lot of positive vibrations which helps the people who gather in that place.Marigold flowers repels mosquitoes and some insects.
Kolams:Traditionally made at the doorstep with rice flour everyday afresh and thought to bestow prosperity to the homes.Every morning before sunrise, the floor is cleaned with water, the universal purifier, and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface. The kolams are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so that it is held better. Occasionally, cow-dung is also used to wax the floors. Cow dung has antiseptic properties and hence provides a literal threshold of protection for the home. It also provides contrast with the white powder.Decoration was not the sole purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams used to be drawn in coarse rice flour, so that the ants don't have to work so hard for a meal. The rice powder is said to invite birds and other small critters[a regional term for `creature' (especially for domestic animals)] to eat it, thus inviting other beings into one's home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home.Not to be underestimated is the benefits for the artist to bend down each morning - it is said to help her digestive system,reproductive organs and to help overall stretching of the body. Kolamrequires the artist to be well focused and improves the concentration with which the artist begins her day.
Why do we light a lamp[விளக்கு]?:Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance.Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.
Traditional dress: Saree[சேலை]& Vaetti[வேட்டி]:The ancient Tamil people mainly wore garments that were wrapped and draped, rather than sewn[untailored]. This was not because they did not know the art of sewing—early Tamil people were experts in fine weaving —but because they preferred the flexibility and creativity that draped clothing allowed.Light Loose, flowing garments were practical in the hot climate of southern Asia, and the sari & vaetti , woven of cotton or silk, was both cool and graceful.Generally the climate of Indian subcontinent is warm and humid. Saree and its male counterpart vaetti [dhoti] was most suited for this land. Earlier there was hardly any difference between Saree and vaetti.The Ancient tamil concept of beauty was that of small waist and large bust and hips, and the sari seemed to be the perfect dress as it exposes the waist of a woman and emphasizes the waist and bust with the pleated fabric.The sari, being an unstitched drape, enhances the shape of the wearer while only partially covering the midriff. In Indian philosophy[example, In ancient Indian tradition and the Natya shastra(an ancient Indian treatise describing ancient dance and costumes)], the naval of the Supreme Being is considered to be the source of life and creativity, hence the midriff is to be left bare by the sari.Hence by tradition, the stomach and the navel is to be left unconcealed.Along with dhoti[vaetti], the angavastram[மேலாடை/சால்வை/shawl] or thundu[துண்டு] (an extra piece of cloth) will be draped depending on its use. Farmers carry it on one shoulder and treat it as sweat towel.Also woman used a breast band[க‌ச்சை] and a veil[முகத்திரை] or wrap that could be used to cover the upper body or head.Both could be easily turned into working dress or party-wear.Also both are a versatile piece of clothing, suitable even in our modern societies.The one dress that is universal is the sari & dhoti. It fit every one every body shape. In the clothing trade, “one size fits all” is a term used to describe a garment which has been designed to fit most average people. Many very large and very small people disagree with this claim, but people of an average body type can usually fit successfully into a one size fits all garment. But saree & vaetti are exceptional .They really applicable for “one size fits all”ie saris &  vaetti[sarongs] are more or less one size fits all,since these garments are wrapped or tied.. If chosen and worn carefully along with the right accessories, saree & dhoti can look good on all women & men.Also sari is comfortable to manage household chores. Working class tucks the same length above the ankles and if they have to work in water or fields, they would tuck the front pleats between the legs to the back, and tie the upper portion round the waist. This left them free movement of hands and legs.Rani[queen ] Velu Nachiyar, Belawadi Mallamma and Kittur chennamma fought enemy troops on horseback, wearing saree this way.Now a days The sari is usually worn over a petticoat [pavada/pavadai/பாவாடை in the Tamil], with a blouse[மேல் சட்டை/ரவிக்கை] forming the upper garment.Younger women generally wore brightly colored saris, but widows and other women in mourning wore only white ones.
I have stated some of the customs and traditions that have scientific reason. There is no intention to hurt any of the religious believes. These are my personal feelings and views only.I mean there are many more such examples and there are bound to be sound scientific, social, and moral principles behind them. Its just a matter of us taking an effort and looking beyond the obvious and neither dismissing them for a farce nor following them blindly, but understanding the rationale behind them in a positive way.

................................................ENDED.......[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]


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