I noticed a couple of nice things about this Navarathri:
1. People give recycled, and mostly jute or paper carry bags for Tambulam. Previously, I'd get tambulam in plastic bags bought specially for the occasion. Now I have wedding bags, vegetable bags and all kinds of bags from other occasions recycled into this one. In fact, I have been giving out tambulams in the excess jute bags from MY OWN WEDDING many years ago. I discovered them when I was cleaning the attic at my parents' house a couple of weeks back.
2. Kids (both boys and girls) sing at golus with no fuss and hesitation. This is a big difference from my own growing up years, when we would look for an excuse to NOT sing at golus ("my throat is paining", "I have a cold", "I haven't practised in a long time"....)- we were too self-conscious and shy. Kids these days are a lot more enthusiastic. Kudos to them. Either they are more mature than us, or as parents, unknowingly, we are doing something good.
3. Many women exhibit their handwork. See for example the handwork made by my friend Radha in her golu.
The following are embroidary by Radha: (yes even the kolam)
I cannot capture the intricacy in the camera. Each line is a row of chain stitch.
The following never fails to take my breath away, no matter how many times I see it. It is a crocheted mat, even the swans are crochet.
She also makes dolls -
And my personal favorite....
Some people hoard all the talent ! Not fair.