Aviyal-bit of everything

Handful of rice (Pidi Ari)

Posted on: May 21, 2009

In Malayalam: Pidi=handful, Ari= Rice

 UL’s recent post on folklore did not trigger much folklores in my head (actually by the time I got to comment on it, most of what I know were already listed there), but this tradition sure did come to my mind.

 In southern India, rice is the staple food as most of you know. The lunch and dinner is cooked rice plus curries.

 The tradition: you measure the required amount of rice for your family into the pan and then take a handful of rice and put into another container kept aside. So everyday 2 handfuls went it that special container (each meal was cooked fresh in those days, unlike now). Then every month end, a man appointed by the church go knocking house to house to collect the rice from that special container (never from the main rice container). This rice went to poor families who did not have enough for daily meals. Most of the families did that religiously.

 What a great gesture. Looked like it served 2 purposes: cut down on your own intake, be reminded of the less fortunate.

 I don’t think it is done anymore there. May be there are no more poor people. Rice is cooked only once in most households (lunch and dinner together).The old man Varghese (nick named Pidi Ari Varghese) was one of the regulars at our house for lunch (mom’s special friends as dad calls them) till he died.


4 Responses to "Handful of rice (Pidi Ari)"

Oh this is beautiful Shy…never heard of it and such a humble caring thing to do…I think such traditions should never die…it should be continued…do it for your children…doesn’t have to be rice, it can be coins even that can be passed to charity?? I love it, something I can easily teach my own children…

Growing up, amma used to do the same thing. There was a new temple that was built in our neighborhood and they gave all of us a box, where we used to add a handful of rice everyday and whenever this box was full, we will give it to the temple, who will donate / provide food to the under-privileged. Never thought much about it, but thinking back I realize what a wonderful gesture it was – truly, charity begins @ home.

Never heard of this tradition before.It’s a beauiful gesture

Meant to leave a comment here Mia. What a lovely practice. Makes me want to start something similar at home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 16,697 hits


%d bloggers like this: