Vengarayankudikadu, a village in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district hums with the letter ‘V’, just like the prefix in the names all villagers, irrespective of their gender. The act has been in practice in resemblance with the tutelary deity for more than three generations in the village.
Situated at about 10 kilometers from Thanjavur district on Marungulam road and on the western edge of Kasavalanath in Thanjavur, Vengarayankudikadu comprises of 230 families and 1,000 people resided in the village. With the temple at the heart of the village, goddess ‘Villayi Amman’ is the tutelary deity, believed to protect the village and its residents from evil.
For over three generations, the residents of this village have been naming their children after the goddess, who guards the community and its residents. Meanwhile, the female children born in the village are named Villammal and Villayi, while male children are named Villapan. Moreover, the rituals for the newborn children were first offered as prayer at this temple shrine.
According to villagers, ‘No matter how far the women belonging to this village get married and live, they come to the village during the festivals including Pongal and offer their prayers to Villayi Amman. Not only the people of this village, but also devotees from other places visit the temple to offer their prayers. Also, the Goddess receives special abhishekam and worships every Friday evening’, they said.
To get hold of the tradition and culture, the villagers, after more than three generations, name their children with prefix ‘V’ in their names and the villagers claim that the names change according to the trend set and not the letter ‘V’ in the name.
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