Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    May 31st, 2015adminRecords, All, Sports
    Over 50 Kodavas have represented India in international hockey. Photo: Abhilash Mandappa

    Over 50 Kodavas have represented India in international hockey. Photo: Abhilash Mandappa

    Every summer, about 250 families from Kodagu go back home with an agenda: to compete against each other for a prized hockey cup

    It’s a sultry Saturday in Virajpet, and the stands around the college grounds are packed with spectators. The teams in action, Chendanda and Palanganda, in orange and yellow respectively, pass, block, and swing their way to a tie, followed by a tense penalty shootout. After four failed attempts on either side, Palanganda’s Muthanna scores. The crowd erupts with wild cheering. It’s official: the Palanganda family has reclaimed victory at the 2015 Kodava Hockey Festival.

    At a time when cricket monopolises our sporting imagination, the Kodava community commits itself to India’s national game with renewed vigour every summer. The annual Kodava Hockey Festival in Kodagu (also called Coorg) is now touted as the world’s largest field hockey tournament, with about 250 family-clans (okkas) participating every year.

    Pandanda Kuttappa was inspired to start this tournament in his hometown after attending the 1982 Asian Games. The Indian hockey team then had many Kodava players and had already won eight Olympic gold medals, but the people in Kodagu could only hear about their players’ skill, techniques and wins over radio. “I wanted to create a hockey festival that would bring the Olympians to Kodagu. So people from all over Coorg or anyone interested could come, watch and observe their skills,” he says.

    The festival started off in the 1990s in the village of Karada, with 60 family-clans competing. Over the next decade, at least 10 more teams would join in each year. “Often, the organisers would cook for the teams and dine with them, helping them rediscover lost family connections,” says Sandhya Kumar, who has made a documentary, Hockey in my Blood, on this unique tournament.

    Now in its 19th year, the tournament is seeing a drop in turnout, particularly for the initial matches, says Kumar. “The stands are usually only around 30 per cent full until the quarterfinals, when things really start to heat up. After that it is packed with close to 10,000 people. It seems the tradition of families cooking and sharing food has died down over the years, but the competition seems to be getting fiercer,” she says.

    Why do the Kodavas love hockey so much? Over the years, more than 50 Kodavas have represented India in international hockey, earning their district the title ‘Cradle of Indian hockey.’ The festival is clearly an extension of this love. “It isn’t clear why the love for hockey is so ingrained in Kodavas,” confesses Kumar. “When I explored the subject for the film, I realised it could be anything from colonial influences to the fact that the Kodavas are a very active and physically-fit clan.” Shot over two years in Kodagu and screened at this year’s hockey festival, the documentary chronicles the history of the tournament and the popular contenders.

    The Palanganda family, which features prominently in the film, has won the cup five times and been runner-up twice. Spoiler alert: the winner in Hockey in my Blood is Anjaparavanda, which is a rare team with a woman player, Vishma Appaiah. Another woman player, Amulya Akkamma captained her Kongetira family team to reach the quarterfinals this year. “When the game is on, there is no question of special treatment because I am a girl. I push, shove, get pushed and shoved just like anyone else,” she says. “One of my biggest supporters is our goalkeeper, Harish Appanna. People like him are the reason young players like me are getting interested in hockey again. I hope a lot more young people play for their families in the future.”

    It seems to be more than just love for hockey that draws these families to compete. Every year, different family-clans submit detailed proposals to the Kodava Hockey Academy to host the tournament.

    Over time, it has become a matter of pride and honour to be the host. “I was on my toes all of last year,” says Rajiv Cariappa, convenor and treasurer at this year’s tournament. “With the contributions from the members of the Kuppanda clan, including women who married into other families, we raised a sizeable amount. We were able to put up LED TV walls for the matches and even played the ads of our sponsors, adding a new dimension of professionalism to the festival. With the leftover money, we are making contributions towards hockey training camps to encourage young players. Over the past three years, I have seen a surge in interest among the younger audience, which is great. This year, I heard, vehicles were parked up to a kilometre radius around the grounds. The stands and food stalls were packed, there was so much excitement in the air,” he adds.

    Scenes from the Kodava Hockey Festival – 2015 at Kodagu. Photo: Abhilash Mandappa

    Scenes from the Kodava Hockey Festival – 2015 at Kodagu. Photo: Abhilash Mandappa

    In a lifetime, a Kodava will only get to see his or her family host the cup once — there are 800-odd family-clans in Kodagu — and this seems reason enough for family members to drop jobs, request extended leave at IT companies and even arrive from overseas to organise and participate in the games. The winning team gets a cash prize of ₹2 lakh, while the runners-up get one lakh.

    The tournament is also ideal for talent spotting. Scouts from Sports Authority of India arrive here to select men and women players, some of whom can barely afford jerseys and equipment, and provide them training. Quite a few of them have gone on to become state and national players.

    So is the festival finally about serious hockey or a family reunion? “It is primarily a reunion,” says BP Govinda, chief selector, Indian hockey team and former Olympian and Asian Games player. “The teams consist of people aged 12 to 40. Some are professional players, some are old-timers, and some are just playing their first competition. In my opinion, there may not be much serious hockey there, but it’s a lot of good fun.”

    The documentary declares, “It is said that if a Kodava is not working on a coffee plantation, he is likely to be either in the Indian army, or playing field hockey.” Hockey’s popularity may be fading in much of India, but in the coffee-growing cradle of Kodagu, the sport is nurtured and loved.

    Hockey in my Blood (a documentary in English and Koda-thak) will be screened in Bengaluru next month.

    Tara Rachel Thomas is a Bengaluru-based writer

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Watch / by Tar Rachel Thomas / May 29th, 2015

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    May 31st, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    At Sriranga in Rangayana premises on June 1


    Mysuru :

    Rangayana, as part of its Annual State-level Amateur Theatre Festival, has organised staging of a Kodava play ‘Badk’ at Bhoomigeetha in Rangayana premises here on May 31 at 6.30 pm.

    The play, brought out by Addanda C. Kariappa, will be enacted by the Kodagu theatre troupe. The play has already been staged in Bengaluru and Delhi, well-acclaimed by critics and theatre buffs. Kariappa has scripted the play based on the story ‘Mithuna’ by Vasudendra. The play is a classic example of Kodava culture and projects the art of theatre in Kodagu.

    Kariappa is well-supported by senior theatre artiste Anita Kariappa and budding artiste Santosh Medappa with direction by Malatheesh Badigera.

    The play will be staged at Sriranga in Rangayana premises again on June 1 at 6.30 pm.

    Tickets are available at Rangayana office. For online booking, visit www.bookmyshow.com

    For more information contact Mob: 94484-22343.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / May 29th, 2015

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    Anila Madappa is seen lighting the lamp to inaugurate the workshop ‘Spoorthi’ at Kodava Samaja in city this morning as (from left) Secretary of Deenabandhu Charitable Trust (DCT) Pattada A. Jayakumar, Dechu Karumbaya, Reena Jayakumar, Shanthi Ganapathy, Wing Commander C. G. Madappa (retired) and President of DCT Kattera A. Kariappa look on.

    Anila Madappa is seen lighting the lamp to inaugurate the workshop ‘Spoorthi’ at Kodava Samaja in city this morning as (from left) Secretary of Deenabandhu Charitable Trust (DCT) Pattada A. Jayakumar, Dechu Karumbaya, Reena Jayakumar, Shanthi Ganapathy, Wing Commander C. G. Madappa (retired) and President of DCT Kattera A. Kariappa look on.

    Mysuru :

    The three-day motivational workshop ‘Spoorthi’ conducted by Deenabandhu Charitable Trust (DCT), Mysuru, for its beneficiaries, was inaugurated at the Mini Hall of Kodava Samaja in Vijayanagar here this morning by Chendrimada Anila Madappa by lighting the lamp.

    Eminent speakers from SVYM, RUDSETI, Infosys, Defence, Police, Bank, prominent doctors and educationists will be addressing around 40 students from Kodagu, focusing on topics like motivation, self-confidence, leadership and counselling. The workshop concludes on May 27.

    Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Codanda K. Karumbaya, who delivered the inaugural address, called for unity among youth to protect themselves and said that there will be strength only when there is unity.

    He urged the youth to fight for their rights and be conscious of the nature and environment around them.

    Reminiscing his days as a NCC cadet, Karumbaya said that he learnt the importance of unity at the NCC camps and added that it was unity that made them repair an entire stretch of road around Bhagamandala.

    A yoga demonstration was organised by Maneyapanda Ganapathy and team early this morning.

    Senior Advocate Pandanda D. Medappa delivered a motivational talk while Pattamada G. Ponnappa spoke about goals and aspirations.

    Trust President Kattera A. Kariappa encouraged the students to join the army. Secretary Pattada A. Jayakumar, Dechu Karumbaya, Reena Jayakumar, Shanthi Ganapathy, Wing Commander C. G. Madappa (retd.) and others were present.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / May 25th, 2015

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    Kodagu Gowda Samaja, which proposes to release a booklet containing details about Kodagu Gowdas residing in city has called upon those who have not given their details to the Samaja for inclusion in the booklet to provide the same before May 30.

    This apart, the Samaja also plans to accept advertisements from people of the community to be printed in the booklet, which is in finishing stages, according to a press release.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> In Brief / Saturday – May 23rd, 2015

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    May 27th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, Coffee News

    The scope for bringing Hasanur in the list of coffee regions has been explored successfully at Hasanur in a plantation spread over 30 to 40 acres.

    Traditionally, the farming community in Hasanur area have been growing vegetables. It is, perhaps, due to the smallness of the holdings, according to Horticulture Department officials.

    Hasanur is at an elevation of 1,100 metres above sea level, an altitude considered ideal for coffee cultivation. More or less, the climatic conditions are the same as in Gudalur where coffee is a dominant crop.

    According to Coffee Board, Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, regions with high elevations are ideally suited for growing Arabicas of mild quality while those with warm humid conditions are best suited for Robustas. The climatic condition augurs well with regard to blossom showers and backing showers between February and April.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Tamil Nadu / by Special Corrrespondent / Erode – May 21st, 2015

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    Kannada actress Nidhi Subbaiah will soon be joining the cast of Grand Masti 3. The actress is paired opposite Riteish Deshmukh in the franchise, which is being directed by Indra Kumar. Though the film is underway, she will begin shooting for her portions from Sunday.

    Nidhi, who has been part of Ajab Gazabb Love with Jackky Bhagnani and OMG Oh My God! in Bollywood, says, “I play Riteish’s wife in the film. Our track will have a lot of humour element, and I’m excited about starting shoot. I think we will be filming a wedding sequence first.”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Entertainment> Kannada / by V. Lakshmi, TNN / May 21st, 2015

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    May 7th, 2015adminSports, World Opinion

    Kuwait City:

    Indian squash player Joshna Chinappa settled for a bronze medal after losing to current world champion and top seed Nicol David of Malaysia at the semifinals of the Asian Championships here on Monday.

    Joshna Chinappa

    Joshna Chinappa

    28-year-old Chinappa, seeded fourth, went down 6-11 9-11 7-11 in the women’s singles semifinals to become the only Indian to win a semi-final berth.

    “Joshna possibly played one of best squash today. Some of her drives and volleyed drops were wonderful and took her famed opponent by surprise. On several occasions she was in front of Nicol,” said national coach Cyrus Poncha.

    Yesterday, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal suffered surprise losses in the quarterfinals to crash out of the tournament.

    source: http://www.post.jagran.com / Jagran Post / Home> Sports News> Other Sports News / Jagran Post News Desk, Jagran Post Editorial / May 04th, 2015

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    May 7th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Madikeri :

    On Friday, all roads from Bengaluru and surrounding areas led to the picturesque town of Madikeri, with weekenders packing their bags to make the most of the extended holiday.

    Homestays, lodges and resorts did brisk business. Tourists who came to Madikeri without bookings had to return disappointed. In fact, many small restaurants ran out of food.

    On Saturday, the small town saw a snaking line of vehicles and massive traffic jams with police on their toes, trying to control the steady inflow of tourists.

    It took more than an hour to cover the distance from Sudarshan Circle to Mangerira Muthanna Circle, just 1km apart. Madikeri DySP Rajashekhar told TOI that 25 traffic constables, six Home Guards, three SIs, three ASIs, a Kaveri mobile squad worked round the clock to ease traffic. Ten persons were injured when a jeep toppled at Mandalpatti tourist centre near Madikeri.

    Homestays Association president Nali Achaiah said many of the homestays had to turn away tourists as they had not booked in advance. “Most of the guests tucked into Coorg cuisine. In fact, our cuisine is not too spicy, which suits most palates,” she added. Nali had a word of warning for homestay owners. “Don’t take in guests who have not made bookings or paid for it. Recently, we had a case where the owner and his wife were attacked and robbed by tourists who checked in as students,” she added. She urged all unregistered homestays to get themselves registered.

    Adventure sports, too, were a big draw over the weekend, as the unseasonal rain failed to dampen spirits.

    Cheyanda Satya, head of Travel Coorg, said even luxury resorts were fully booked for the weekend.

    “The major inflow is from Bengaluru and Chennai, with some tourists from Mumbai and Hyderabad. We did get complaints of homestays overcharging and taxis fleecing unsuspecting tourists. It’s most unfortunate, and the tourism department should interfere in such situations,” Cheyanda Satya said.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Bengaluru / TNN / May 03rd, 2015

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