Thousands of women possessed by SIRI - slip into trance...

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Girl, possessed: All the world is trance
Shrinidhi KharjeFirst Published : 19 Jan 2009 05:43:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 19 Jan 2009 11:37:01 AM IST

MANGALORE: Siri jathre- a unique Tuluva ritual organised anually on a full moon day (between February and May), witnesses thousands of female devotees slipping into a sort of trance after being ‘possessed’ simultaneously by Siri spirits.
The unique ritual is followed by the devotees clad in white saris, singing Siri paddanas related to Siri spirit. On the day of Siri jathre, women come from far-flung villages to offer their prayers and serve the God through Siri spirit.
The scene of women wearing white saris and clutching pingara flowers in their hands is a common scene at Siri jathre. Noted Tulu scholar professor Amrutha Someshwara says, “most of the women devotees participating at the jathre are from dalits and backward classes.
Most of them have faced intense hardships and pain in their life.” Chandrashekhara Rao, a ‘Patri’ (who officiates between spirits and devotees) at the Hiriyadka Veerabhadra temple says that nearly 10,000 people gather on the day of Siri Jatre. Siri Jathre is popular in Hiriyadka near Manipal, Nandalike in Karkala, Kavattaru in Mangalore and Nidgal in Ujire.