In the tricity
Most of the Kannadigas are resident in the southern part of Chandigarh with sectors 44, 45 and 46 housing most of them. There are around 10 to 15 families in Panchkula and around 12 in Mohali. Interestingly, a majority of the community in the city is employed in the banking sector. With no specific place of its own, Chandigarh Kannada Sangha operates from the Radha Krishna temple in Sector 47, Chandigarh.
“Most of over functions and get-togethers are held at the temple. We had requested the temple priest to let us hold our monthly meetings and other get-togethers here,” said the secretary of the Sangha, Shankar Rao.
With a large variety of delicacies, Kosambari, a salad made of broken halves of soaked green moong dal (lentil) with coconut, cucumber, carrot, salt and green chillies is one of the well known ones. Another well-known dish is Playas; it contains vegetables, which are either steamed or boiled to retain their colour and flavour. And, no Kannada food is complete without Saaru, a clear pepper broth.
Another popular dish of the community is Bisi bele huli anna, which is made of rice, dal, tamarind, chilli powder and cinnamon. Gojju is a vegetable dish usually made of bitter gourd, cooked in tamarind juice and jaggery with chilli powder. Chitranna is rice with lime juice, green chillies, turmeric powder and sprinkled with fried groundnuts and coriander leaves, and Majjige huli has vegetables in a buttermilk base.
Breakfast for the community usually means uppittu (the upma) made of roasted semolina and laced with chillies, coriander leaves, mustard and jeera (cumin seed). Kesari bhath (a halwa made of semolina, sugar, and saffron), chiroti and Mysore pak are among the favourite sweet dishes of the community.
Yugadi is the new year day in the Kannada tradition and is celebrated in late March or early April. On this day, the dinner is contains jaggery and neem leaves — depicting the happiness and sorrows of life. Another important festival includes Karaga, celebrated on the full moon day of Chaitra month of the traditional calendar and is celebrated in the honour of Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas.
Other festivals include the state formation day on November 1 and Ganesh Puja.
Problems and aspirations
The community aspires to be in touch with each and every Kannadiga family in the tricity. “We try to share our happiness and worries with each other. For this, we not only organise picnics and other get-togethers, but also make it a point to be always together for all our functions and festivals,” said Rao. He said they would very much like to have a ‘Bhawan’ of their own so that the community, like others, could create a small Karnataka in the tricity.