By Geeta Goindi
Oakton, VA, August 6, 2016 – The fifth edition of Mela Teeyan Teej, a popular festival for ladies, organized by Moni Gill of Punjabi Women Culture Association (PWCA), in the Washington area, was a resounding success.
The annual event drew over 800 women and girls, clad in colorful attire, to the Oakton High School on a hot day in August alleviated partly by rain showers. Inside, the atmosphere was festive with Gidha and Bhangra dances, Boliyan (couplets), a Matka (vessel) race, henna, Indian cuisine and shopping.
Among the highlights was a Miss Teeyan contest with Tanya Malik of Maryland crowned the beautiful and talented winner.
Clearly elated by the success of the event, Moni said: “On behalf of PWCA and the Mela Teeyan Teej team, we want to thank each and every one who was there to support female power and talent! Our mission is to promote our culture, traditions and customs to the younger generation. It was a proud moment when a five-year-old girl, the youngest participant, performed in Punjaban Avatar”.
Teeyan is the Punjabi name for the festival of Teej which is widely celebrated in the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. It is celebrated during the monsoon season and focuses on daughters (teeyan). Married women go to their maternal home to participate in the festivities. It is a joyous occasion replete with traditional dance and songs.
In some states, the festival is known as Hariyali Teej and celebrated by Hindu women in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh – with gusto!