Khel mangalagauriche: women and somatic recreation
In Maharashtra, there are many rituals and festivals celebrated especially by women. The reason behind performing such rituals is to worship a god or goddess. But the women themselves are benefited from these rituals. The traditional games are no exception. Maharashtra has a rich tradition of games for women, played in the festivals. They are performed throughout night to entertain the Goddess. But these games take care of the women’s mental as well as physical health. The traditional games played in a community represent the culture of that community. Mangalagaur games, played by Chitpavan Brahmin community of Maharashtra are one of the most popular games found. The games involve physical activities synchronized with songs. Song and exercise together can be compared with the aerobics. Though Mangalagaur is celebrated only by Brahmins of Maharashtra, similar games can be seen played on different occasions like Nagpanchami, Hartalika and Bhondala in other communities. ‘Khel Mangalagauriche’ (Games of Mangalagaur) is an attempt to understand the importance given to a woman’s mental and physical health in the Maharashtrian culture through the games played during the Mangalagaur.