USA: New England Tulu Koota (NETK) Boston organized annual family picnic at Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Massachusetts. It was the 14th of June 2015 and a lovely, late-spring day when Tulu-speaking people and Tulu aficionados gathered for the second annual get-together at Hopkinton park about 30 miles west of Boston city.
The group gathered was a microcosm of the natives replete with slightly different accents and expressions of the common dialect Tulu. The setting was perfect with a cool breeze blowing over a calm beach with the group picnicking nearby in the shade of tall trees. It was interesting to overhear people introducing themselves to new friends and speaking nostalgically of their places of origin whether it be Puttur, Bethangady, Karkala, Udupi, Kundapur, Udupi, Shirva, Moodabidri or Mangalore while playing the game of horseshoe.
The Tuluvas had brought along with them authentic, home-cooked appetizers, main-course dishes and other delicacies and desserts that were often unique to their specific native regions. Thus, there was a stunning array of dishes such as upma-bajil, kadley, ragimanni, mangalore buns, khara chicken, neerumajjige, ghee rice, lemon rice, puliyogarae, pulao, several varieties of idlis including pineapple idli, guriappa, pineapple and mango saseme, kadle-manoli , padhengi, kidney bean gassi, bendemunchigassi, pumpkin sambar, mango pasayam, chilli chicken, chicken ajadina, shrimp gassi, chicken biryani Mangalore style, bangude fish fry, mango rasayana, wheat halwa, mango mousse, pineapple sheera, gourmet cookies, fruit salad, etc. The warmedup entrées emanated an aroma that immediately transported one to a distant land with rolling hills and meadows, palm trees interspersed with jackfruit and banyan trees and red clay roof tiles that defined the homes. This reverie was soon interrupted by the melodic chimes of an approaching ice-cream truck that brought all back to reality.
The lunch was followed by some friendly sports activities including volleyball, tug-of-war and, of course, the obligatory limited-overs cricket match. The cricket umpire took special pains to ensure a tie by awarding the losing side with some extra runs by randomly calling out ‘no balls’ and ‘wide balls’. As dusk approached, all members congregated in the picnic area to elect the executive committee for the social group while sipping fresh chai with helpings of golibaje/chutney.
The group thanked the outgoing committee members and unanimously selected Bhaskar Sherigar Mala as the new president of the Tulu Koota for 2 years. Puja Shetty and Sharath Amin were also unanimously elected as secretary and treasurer for the association. A new position of Youth representative was unanimously bestowed on Sneha Shetty. The other supporting members of the new executive committee included Sudhir Prabhu, Krishnaprasad Shetty, Raghavendra Kudrethaya, Aneesh Puttur and Raguchandra Kinnigoly. The outgoing president Sudhakara Rao and secretary Fred Fernandes were appointed as honorary president and secretary of the association. This concluded the day’s activities with promises to reach out and expand the membership of the Koota and to continue celebrating our joint heritage and culture.