Welcome to my Golu (Doll display)


The last week has been so crazy, in a wonderfully beautiful way, as we celebrate one of the nicest festivals in India – Navratri.

Navratri means ‘nine nights’. While there is a lot of spiritual meaning to this festival, these nine days in most IndianΒ  homes spell joy, fun, food, music and dance, and of course a lot of camaraderie and bonding, not to forget all the vibrant and colourful sarees.

So,  that was why I was MIA from blogosphere this week. The festival is nearly done, and I am back.

People from our community celebrate Navratri in a unique way! We put up a display of dolls (yes, dolls). Dolls that have been passed down from our ancestors, dolls that we have collected over the years, dolls of every possible type.

These dolls are arranged on steps (these stands can be assembled). The stand is then covered with a cloth and serial lights put on them.  On the eve of Navratri, the dolls are brought down from storage and put on display.

I have a few hundred dolls, mostly terracota dolls. Once we set up the dolls, we invite friends home to see the display and have food.  I had a lot of friends visiting this week, and had lots of fun.

One of the most important dolls in the Golu (doll display) is the ‘Marapaachi’ doll. These dolls are made of wood, and passed down from generation to generation. These dolls usually come in couples, man and woman, boy and girl.

We dress them up in different costumes, every year. Each year we add new doll sets to our collection. Over my next few posts, I will share pictures of a few special doll sets that I have at home and the story behind them.

This is a picture of my Golu. With new dolls, my Golu is expanding horizontally as well.  Below the picture of my Golu is the picture of the ‘Marapaachi’ dolls, that have been handed down in the family.

Each doll is special, each doll has a story and so many associated memories. I love my dolls, each and every one of them.

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        Main Golu, Sections 1, 2, 3 & 4

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                      The Main Golu

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                 Section 2 of my Golu

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             Section 5 of my Golu

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The Marapaachis – handed down from generation to generation.

Hope you enjoyed these pictures. Over the next few posts, I will talk about my favourite dolls and their stories.

I look forward to catching up on all your blogs too!

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30 Responses to Welcome to my Golu (Doll display)

  1. i’m not much of a ‘doll person’ Nimi
    but these are really nice

    john

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Erika Kind says:

    That is very interesting, Nimi. I have a Ganesha in my practice room (and a Tara, but that is another party… I know…lol). So my doll is displayed pretty quick πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sabiscuit says:

    Nimi, these are fantastic. I look forward to reading their stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katelon says:

    Lovely collection. Thanks for sharing your holiday and collections and with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, these are beautiful. I know this may sound crazy, but my son plays this video game called Skylanders and it comes with these little crazy action figure creatures which decorate our TV stand. Your dolls reminded me of them. Some day I’ll have to take a picture.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Shivangi says:

    Simply lovely Nimi πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow so beautifully displayed!! Although I’m from India too, I never knew of this particular tradition..India is indeed unique and diverse when it comes to different cultures and practices πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸΌ

    Liked by 2 people

  8. D K Powell says:

    Fabulous doll collection – wonderful to see. Navratri hasn’t made it to Bangladesh (to the best of my knowledge) despite recognising the ‘nine nights’ which is almost the same in Bengali. Could you tell me a little more about the significance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • nimi naren says:

      Thanks Ken. The nine nights are actually divided into 3 groups. On the first 3 days, we pray to Goddess Durga (she is the Goddesd of power or Shakthi). We pray to her to destroy all the bad qualities in us such as hatred, anger, greed, jealousy etc.

      On the 4th, 5th and 6th days, we pray to Goddess Lakshmi(the Goddess of wealth), not for material wealth but for spiritual wealth such as love, compassion, purity of mind etc.

      With all negative qualities gone and replaced by good qualities, we are now ready to receive knowledge and wisdom from Goddess Saraswathi on the last 3 days.

      Why we put up the dolls in steps is to signify the spiritual journey of man, how he has to evolve into a better person. So the bottom step usually has human dolls, then moving on to leaders and spiritual master dolls, then demi gods, gods and then to realization

      Liked by 1 person

  9. NJ says:

    This was a huge collection πŸ™‚ Meanwhile I noticed that you put God statues too in doll section ? What is the reason behind this display? Any special significance ?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alka says:

    This is beautiful! I didn’t know anything about Golu and its symbolic association with Navratri.

    Liked by 1 person

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