Who are the Kodavas? A riddle that ethnologists are yet to crack, says P.T. Bopanna


Author PT Bopanna says whereas there are numerous theories on who the Kodavas are, none are scientific sufficient to set up the origin of the race

After retiring from journalism in 2010, with 4 a long time in the subject, PT Bopanna has championed the reason for Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka. Bopanna’s ardour to showcase Kodagu’s magnificence, tradition, delicacies and folks serves as a mirror to the hilly area.

“I’ve documented the way of life, language and delicacies of Kodagu past the well-known akki rotti and pandi curry,” says 70-year-old Bopanna, who runs 5 Kodagu-centric web sites, has revealed seven books and produced a documentary on Kodagu. Bopanna’s newest e-book, My Coorg Chronicles, (Rolling Stone Publications) traces his journey from journalism to activism, and his efforts to chronicle the unknown sides of Kodagu. My Coorg Chronicles has vibrant pictures, illustrations and a caricature of Bopanna by cartoonist Ponnappa.

Bopanna speaks to MetroPlus about the many points of his journey.

Excerpts.

Would you describe your self as a journalist, activist or chronicler?

After finding out journalism at Bhavan’s College of Journalism in Mumbai, I began my profession in 1981 as the Coorg Correspondent of The Hindu. I registered my first area www.coorgtourisminfo.com in 2005. Initially the site visitors to my web site was not encouraging. So I made a decision to convey out the content material from the web site as a e-book in 2006. Discover Coorg was a runaway success. I introduced out two extra editions of the e-book, including extra content material with every version. It was additionally translated into Kannada.

Your analysis reveals Kodavas as being totally different from the remainder of Indians…

Kodava girls are extremely educated. There isn’t any dowry system, and ladies drape their saris reverse to the fashion adopted by the remainder of India. The customs are distinctive. Kodavas are Hindus, however clergymen don’t have any position of their marriages. Kodavas revere the Cauvery River, they worship nature and weapons. The Keil Murtha competition is devoted to weapons. The harvest competition, Puttari, is ushered in with a gunshot. When I realised that the land has a wealthy culinary custom and I compiled conventional recipes in the web site, coorgrecipes.com in 2006.

Who precisely are the Kodavas?

This is a riddle that ethnologists are yet to crack. There are any variety of theories on who they are, however none scientific sufficient to set up the origin of the race. One principle says they are the descendants of Alexander the Great, whereas one other traces their origins to a band of Kurds from Iraq.

Why did you convey out a video on Kodagu?

During the course of my work I realised there was an absence of documentation on Kodagu. This was primarily as a result of Kodava language doesn’t have a script. The language is a mix of Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. Any documentation was solely after the British annexed Coorg in 1834. They stored information and maintained diaries. After Independence, particularly after Coorg merged with Mysore State (Karnataka) in 1956, there wasn’t any documentation. I made a decision to produce a video on varied points of Kodagu and in 2014 introduced out a DVD, Discover Coorg. The video options vacationer spots, homestays, jewelry, hockey and golf, Kodava marriages and conventional folks dances.

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