Tamil Nadu: After 2 years, transgenders to congregate for Koothandavar fest at Koovagam
KALLAKURICHI: The South Indian Transgender Federation will hold ‘Miss Koovagam’ beauty contest on April 18 as a part of the annual Koothandavar festival at Koovagam village near Ulundurpet in Kallakurichi district.
The festival is held after a gap of two years. The festival was cancelled in the last two years due to the lockdown imposed by the government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection.
Federation coordinator K Aruna said the beauty contest is one of the unique selling points of the Koothandavar festival over the years.
“The beauty contest started gaining prominence after the state government recognized the transgender community in 2007 and announced a slew of measures for the community. Slowly, a few empowered people in our community started participating in the beauty contests every year inspiring others to take an active part in the contest and festival,” said Aruna.
The coordinator said the confederation has received more than 100 applications within two days of the announcement of the contest. “The contest will be held in three rounds – the first two at the Kalaignar Arangam and the final at the Kamaraj panchayat union school grounds. The Koothandavar festival was not organized in the last two years due to Covid-19 pandemic. This year we expect more than one lakh people to attend the festival spread over a span of 18 days,” said Aruna.
The last two days of the festival – April 19 and 20 – assume great significance. On April 19, the transgender people will get their thalis (magalsutra) tied by the temple priests declaring Aravan, son of Pandava prince Arjuna, as their husband.
The last day of the festival will conclude with the breaking of the thalis and bangles as the transgender mourned over the killing of their husband Aravan in the Mahabaratha war.
Courtesy : TOI
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