Monday, November 29, 2010

Kottankulangara Sridevi Temple at Chavara in Kerala – Men Cross Dress for Goddess in Chamayavilakku Festival

According to Hindu tradition all animate and inanimate rise and fall in the Supreme Truth. This concept has given rise to numerous unique traditions in Hinduism like the Ardhanareeshwara and unique temple festivals related to the concept half-man and half-woman. One such festival is the Chamayavilakku festival held at the Kottankulangara Sridevi Temple at Chavara in Kerala. Chamayavilakku Festival 2010 date is March 24 and 25. The temple is dedicated to Vana Durga – an incarnation of Goddess Shakti.
Please note that the festival is today being associated with homosexuals, crossdressers and transgender. But this is not correct. The ritual is a unique offering done by straight men to the Goddess. Homosexuals, crossdressers and transgender actively participate in the ritual.
The ritual is held during the last two days of the 11-day temple festival. On the day, regular men from all walks of life dress up as women for the chamaya Vilakku (chamaya is make-up, vilakku is lamp). The offering is made for the fulfillment of desires or as a thanksgiving for a wish fulfilled.
Beautifully dressed in female clothes and with flowers on hair, lamps in hand, men wait patiently till the wee hours of dawn for the goddess to bless them.
The temple festival also attracts large number of homosexuals and transgender.
There are two legends that are associated with the Chamayavilakku Festival and Kottankulangara Sridevi Temple.
According to legend, little boys grazing cattle had first stumbled upon the deity worshipped in temple. While trying to dehusk a coconut, they accidentally hit a stone which began to bleed. The frightened children told their parents about this. The adults then consulted astrologers. Finally, the phenomenon was attributed to the presence of Vana Durga. A temple was built. The little boys dressed as girls and held lamps to welcome the goddess.

Another legend has it that a group of cowherds used to dress up as girls and playfully offer remains of the coconut after it is grated and the milk extracted to a murti or idol. Pleased by their devotion, the goddess, in the garb of an ordinary woman, appeared before them and blessed them.


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Kottankulangara Festival
The '''Kottankulangara Festival''' is an annual Hindu festival in Kerala, India in which thousands of men dress as women. The festival takes place at the Kottankulangara Devi temple at Chavara, Kerala which is sacred to the goddess Bhagavathy.
The '''Kottankulangara Festival''' is an annual Hindu festival in Kerala, India in which thousands of men dress as women. The festival takes place at the Kottankulangara Devi temple at Chavara, Kerala which is sacred to the goddess Bhagavathy.
- - -There is a temple named Kottankulangara Devi Temple at Chavara in Kollam. This is a place in Kerala where there is a religious offering by hindus , in which men dress up as girls and all make ups will be applied on them so that they will look like a real girl.


- - - This is a rare religious festival performed in south india and this is done to show respect to the Devi for the favours and blessings received. The boys wear set mundu and saree or pattu pavadai , churidhars and apply lipstick and put long hair wigs and after completing all such things these devotees will light up lamps and start visiting the temple as a procession.
- - - Kottankulangara photos is a very beautiful scene to watch with beautiful girl like boys, who can make the girls jealous of their wonderful beauty that amazes everyone with this transformation. Chamaya Vilakku is also known as Make Up Lamp and this procession is conducted at night when all of them will walk in the procession with lighted lamps to the temple.


set saree wearing male offering worship as a devotee in kottankulangara temple at kollam at the time of chamayavilakku festivalpavada davani blouse wearing male offering worship as a devotee in kottankulangara temple at kollam at the time of chamayavilakku festivalred saree wearing male offering worship as a devotee in kottankulangara temple at kollam at the time of chamayavilakku festival.


set saree wearing male offering worship as a devotee in kottankulangara temple at kollam at the time of chamayavilakku festival.
Lot of Homosexuals and transexuals, kothis in India from places like Kerala, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai attend this festival. You can reach this temple which is 14 km away from Kollam. ( Take a Bus or Train from Your Place to kollam in kerala and then go to this temple and then enquire in Bus Station about the Next Bus to Kottakulangara. ( Do not get trapped in hands of agents or guides who will ask for Huge Fees to Guide you to the temple)
- - - To attend this festival of men dressing as women you have to follow below tips,
Bring Saree, blouse or half saree , pavadai (long skirt) and blouse, dupatta or salwar kameez from your place. (Modern Dresses or Jeans are Not Allowed to be used inside the Temple)
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- - If you want Womens Wigs, it is available for Hire or you can buy it near The stalls in Temple.
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- - There are lot of Make Up Stalls Near the Temple . The Cost of Simple Make Up will be about Rs.100 or 200 (One Hundred or Two Hundred)
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- - You can buy Bangles and Flowers also from near by shops.
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- - Wooden Lamps are normally used and is the main thing you must have for participating in this ceremony. Such lamps are available for Hire.
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- - When You get inside the Temple You Will have to Give Rs.10 or something to get a Coupon which you will have to Pin on Your Dress.
- - - Remember that This is an offering to the Godess , so You should Pray Very Well so that all your Needs are Fulfilled.

- - - A major Problem is that Lot of Men will be there to Disturb and pass comments on people like you. So Try to Move around in Groups so that you can be safe.
- - - - The temple features an unusual ritual where hundreds of men dress up females. 
- - - - This ritual is a votive offering to goddess Bhagavathy , the deity of the temple. In this unique ritual called Chamaya Vilakku (makeup lamp), the "damsels" come to the temple at night in a long procession holding lighted lamps in their hands. The ritual is held during March April every year. To know more about the ritual see Chamaya Vilakku .
- - Getting there
- Chavara is about 13 km from Kollam on Ernakulam route.


- - Nearest railway station: Kollam.
- - Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 71 km away from Kollam.
- - This festival is purely divine in nature. Five-year-old boy to senior citizen, without any age restrictions, used to participate in the festival as a part of a ritual to the Goddess for fulfillmentof their wishes. On an average 1200 to 1500 guys used to participate every year.
- - Participants should be dressed in decent female clothing and hold a lamp called â??Chamayavilakkuâ?? with them (available for rent at the temple premises). Those do not have lamp come with sexy dresses (even wearing sleeveless blouse) will not be allowed to participate in the festival.

- - Fem dressed males, in local language called as, â??Vilakkukal (lamps)â?? assemble first at the temple premises to ignite the lamp with them by the temple priest, then moving towards the pathway (small road) through which the deity is taken on procession. They will be taking position on either side of the pathway, about one km stretch. Once the procession is over they will moveto the temple to put off the light in their lamps in the place provided in the temple premises. While they hold the lamp they are treated as escort of the Goddess and will be respected by thelocal public, who are having belief / faith.
- - Though the â??Vilakkukalâ?? start assembling in the temple premises from 9 pm in the night, the procession will be taking place around 4 am in the next morning. There is no rules that you would wait till the procession is over. At any point of time, you can put off your lamp according to the custom and leave for your place. However most of them will wait till the procession is complete in all respects.

- - The temple is situated in a village called â??kottankulangaraâ??, which is about 14 kms from Kollam and 10 kms from Karunagappally, another nearby town in the Trivandrum â?? Salem National Highway (NH-47). Kollam and Karunagappally, both are suitable for comfortable stay. Since Kollam is the district headquarters availability of accommodation is more. Rooms are available from Rs.200/ to Rs.2500/- depending upon the facilities.

- - Bus services are available from Kollam and Karunagappally throughout the night to reach the temple. If you get dressed at your place of stay at Kollam / Karunagappally and going to the temple by bus, you have to face the public traveling in the bus, for which you should be prepared for. We cannot rule out presence of nuisance elements in the bus.
- - At the temple site many make-up kiosks are available, providing make up. They also give wig for rent. However dresses are not available for rent, which take note. Since the make-up parlors will be busy with clients, make up will not be that good to your expectations. There are many shops selling bangles, ear ornaments and other fem accessories but will be of cheap varieties only.
- - Participants should get a ticket of Rs.5/- from the temple authorities to enter the temple.
- Kollam Junction is a substantially big railway station in the main line connecting Ernakulam to Trivandrum / Kanya kumari. Since Trivandrum, capital of kerala, is directly connected with all the Metros by train, anybody coming from any part of India doesnâ??t have difficulty in reaching Kollam. Advance reservations are most important, as passenger traffic in this route is very high. Those who are coming down to participate the festival can get down at Kollam as all the trains, including super fast trains stop there. Nearest airport is Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), which is about 74 kms from Kollam.
- - The festival falls on March 24 and 25th this year. Though it is only starting of summer, temperature will be around 34 to 37 degrees, which you should be able to manage.


- - To and fro journey tickets are to be booked in advance.
- - Arrive at the place of stay on the previous evening to get decent accommodation.
- - Arrange your own conveyance if you wish to go to the temple site dressed from room
- - Go to the temple early to get lamp before the stocks get exhausted.
- - Donâ??ts
- - Avoid going outside the temple between 11 pm to 2 am without proper escorts.
- - Walking alone outside the temple premises is not advisable.

- - Avoid drinks and food items from temple site as they are polluted.
- - Face the comments from admirers with a smile and donâ??t react.
- - Advice to first time participants:
- First day visit the temple site in male dress; enjoy the festivities as admirer seeing and understanding happenings thereat. You can see how makeup parlors are working, the rate they charge etc. Donâ??t miss a walk through the crowds outside the temple at the peak time; say 11 pm to 2 am. Second day you can dress and participate in the festival and enjoy your feminity.
- - - - - Kerala is witnessing one of the worldâ??s most unique festivals. Hundreds of beautiful â??womenâ?? strolling on the temple premises on the festival night may not surprise you in the first instance until you realise that they are men in drags as part of a special ritual. Men dressing as women and making an offering to Bhagavathy, the templeâ??s goddess.

Kerala is witnessing one of the worldâ??s most unique festivals. Hundreds of beautiful â?? womenâ?? strolling on the temple premises on the festival night may not surprise you in the first instance until you realise that they are men in drags as part of a special ritual. Men dressing as women and making an offering to Bhagavathy, the templeâ??s goddess.
Line 126: Line 25: On a fateful day, Goddess Bhagavathy appeared before one of the boys. Subsequently, a temple came up and the ritual of men dressing up as women to offer prayers to the goddess got under way. 
On a fateful day, Goddess Bhagavathy appeared before one of the boys. Subsequently, a temple came up and the ritual of men dressing up as women to offer prayers to the goddess got under way. 

60 comments:

  1. shruti28071981@yahoo.co.in

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  2. i wish to go there this year.bye

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  3. i wish to go there next year
    sujataattili90@yahoo.com

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  4. i wish to go there next year, pl, give detail how to participent

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  5. Hate to wear jeans and like to wear saree.

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  6. I wish to go in Half sari, Blouse and pattu pavadai. Full of ornaments and loads of flowers. By the way, what are the dates of the festival in 2012?

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    1. I also wish like you to wear half sari, silk blouse and silk pavadai. also nose ring on left nose and nose stud on right nose. ear jumkas on both ears after piercing ears and nose. braid my hair and wear lots of jasmine flowers.

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    2. all participants male are pirced there nose ? is it compalsarry ? can we have nice parloers for makeup? how can we get coschuems? please guide me.

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  7. This year I wouls like to participate & I am from 23rd morning to 25th Morning I will be in ladies dress & pray the goddess blessing

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  8. HOW TO GET SAREE OR DRESS?

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  9. how to get ready made pattu pavadai and silk blouse since i want to wear pattu pavadai, blouse and dhavani along with nose studs, ear jumkas, lots of flower on hair. i'am a male and my parents have kept a female name for me, since they wanted a girl and they always teased me in front of others that i'am a girl

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  10. Hi i like to participate this festival, but iam very poor, therefore this is a dream for me

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  11. when it will be held in 2013

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  12. Hi, I am very much interested. Please let me know when it will be held in 2013.

    Email - Aakilla@gmail.com

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  13. hi, i am also interested to go in this festival and wearing saree jhumkaas , bangles etc plz help me when it will be start in 2013 ans how to go there. email id kanishkkumaranand@gmail.com

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  14. I am 26 F. I wore saree only 4 times till now. Though I like it, I feel it very uncomfortable. Just after an hour of wearing saree, I want to throw it away and switch back to my comfy jeans and tee. Even my mom who wears saree regularly wore a pair of jeans and kurta during a trip and she really enjoyed its comfort and felt it is more practical to wear. But she is not lucky like me to wear it most of the time.

    It is interesting to read this article. Most of the time, I go to temple in jeans but it is surprising to know that "men" go to temple in a saree. Thanks for saving the saree....
    Hope after marriage I won't be forced to wear a saree. I am OK with a husband who lets me wear jeans all the time and he wears saree on my behalf (strictly inside house).

    Will be more happy if he cooks and does all household tasks :-)

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    1. Most interesting. I'am ready to marry any woman who is interested in dressing me in silk saree and blouse with ladies undergarments and treats me like a woman making me wear ear studs nose studs lots of bangles and jasmine flowers on my long hair and i'am ready to do all the household work like any other woman. Though i'am born male my parents have always teased me that i should have been born as a girl and they have kept a girls name for me

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    2. Always wear comfortable dress 9744143244

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    3. Woww...so have you found such a guy?

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    4. i'am happy if my wife or mother-in-law makes me wear pattu saree and pattu blouse with ear jhumaks, nose stud with stones, lots of bangles, toe ring and lots of jasmine flowers on my plaited hair and treas me like a woman.

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    5. I wish my wife and mother in law dresses me in pattu pavada, pattu blouse and pattu half saree with ear jhumkas and nose studs and lots of bangles, lots of flowers on my braided her and treat me like a woman. so nice to be a woman

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  15. its good thik to me i am also perticipante next yext please give me more details

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  16. i am intrested....any1 int can join me on 9035778417

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    Replies
    1. am k,,,,wen u will be there

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  17. Avoid going outside the temple between 11 pm to 2 am without proper escorts. wy this instruction,,pls answer

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  18. what are the days in coming time it will happen can any body give the date

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  19. hai i want to wear saree.................please help me to wear it....i am also willing to participate in that festival next year.......

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  20. hai my name is mumtaj......i am a regular crossdresser......plzz contact me at sharmili199@gmail.com

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  21. Contact me 9773627649

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  22. I'd love to attend this festival in Half saree, with yellow pattu pavadai and matching jacket. A red color Halfsaree to contrast the same. Very well polished nails with red color nail polish. Long plaited hair filled with jasmine flowers, Hands full of bangles, jewelery, lipstick, bindi and eyelashes. I like women so much that I want to become one. Hope I will get a life partner who can understand my feelings and allow me to crossdress with in the house as and when I wish.

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  23. I will like to joint to this event pls help I will like to do that crossdressing

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  24. hi I am Rohit from Mumbai
    I want to attain kottankulangara sridevi temple in kerla for chamayavilakku festival in year 2015 can you please guide me properly about it or if you want can you join me
    Please contact me on 9769864928
    Or revert me back on mail

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  25. Hi,me ek maharashtrian ahe ani mala 2015 la ha festival atend karayacha ahe kripaya mala guide kara.contact-9021056671

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    Replies
    1. jar tu pudhachya varshi janar asashil tar mala contact kar mi tuzyabarobar yein.
      maza email id ahe priyyali1234@gmail.com

      thanks

      priya

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  26. I am participate in this festival bt saree blouse bra lipstic bindi and half saree are compalsory give me ans

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    Replies
    1. i will give u full details about the festival and more. please contanct me9037538531

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  27. hey I want to go there,but I want dresses also for rent plz any body sugget me frnds.I want to change like girl.email:ranikumarishe@gmail. com

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  28. I want to go to temple in this month &I want to pray durga Maatha as girl&I want to be a girl, please tell me details to I'd:kalyani507507@gmail.com

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  29. Clothes are not something which merely covers the body. It influences the character of a person. Men don't wear women's clothes because women's clothes are associated with submissiveness / timidness. Due to the society, men are always compelled to prove that they are aggressive and competent. Wearing a saree or salwar by men is seen as disgrace for them. Whereas men's clothes, especially the western clothes gives aggressive and dominating character to the wearer. But these days, there is nothing great about being a male. Women have excelled in many fields and doing better than man in many aspects. Women wear are educated, they earn, they wear jeans, drive bikes and they are independent too. Instead of competing with them, it is better to give up and seek some mental peace. I feel, instead of wearing men's clothes, it is better to wear saree and be relaxed like a woman. There is no better place than this temple to try it.

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  30. I am slight wrong in saying 'wear saree and be relaxed like a woman". Women today are more relaxed in jeans. But still I like to wear saree and stay humble. Let Durga give me a chance to get rid of my jeans and dress me in saree.

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  31. I have join this festival in 24 &25 Mar 2025 . I will also plan next year for joining may mail address given below
    Mahendrakshatriya@yahoo.in

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  32. I have join this festival in 24 &25 Mar 2025 . I will also plan next year for joining may mail address given below
    Mahendrakshatriya@yahoo.in

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  33. Whether makeup facility including wigs, dresses, availale throughout the year or only on festival day.

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  34. only on festival day makeup available

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  35. പൂമ്പൊടി വീഴുമീ പൂവിന്റെയുള്ളിലും
    പൊടിയും മഴത്തുള്ളി വീഴുമീ ഭൂവിലും
    പാതിരാ മുഴുവനും കരയിൽ തല ചായ്ച്ചു
    പിൻവാങ്ങിയൊഴിയുമീ കടലിന്റെ യുള്ളിലും

    ഓർമ്മയായ് ജീവനായ് ജൈവബിന്ദുക്കളായ്
    പരിണാമവീഥിയിൽ നാഴികക്കല്ലുപോൽ
    പഞ്ചഭൂതങ്ങളെ വസ്തുവായ്‌ മാറ്റുന്നൊ-
    രന്തരാത്മാവിലിന്നീശ്വരാധീനമായ്

    സ്പന്ദനം ചലനം വളർച്ചയുമായ്‌ത്തീരു-
    മിന്ദ്രജാലത്തിനും തുല്യമാണിന്നു നീ
    കാലമായ് മാറ്റമായ് വൈവിധ്യമായ് നിന്റെ
    ശക്തിയീസ്നേഹത്തിനേകപര്യായവും

    ഞാനെന്നഭാവം വെടിഞ്ഞു  ഞാൻ നില്ക്കുന്നു
    സ്വന്തമായുള്ളതിന്നന്യമായ്ത്തീർത്തു ഞാൻ
    പിന്നെയും ബാക്കിയാണേകാന്ത സ്വപ്നങ്ങൾ
    ഇല്ലാത്ത ചുവരിലെ തെളിയാത്ത ചിത്രങ്ങൾ

    ശലഭമായ് വന്നെന്റെയധരം ഭുജിക്കണം
    സർപ്പമായ് വന്നെന്റെയുള്ളിൽ വസിക്കണം
    ഇല്ലായ്മ മാറ്റുന്നൊരുണ്മയായ്ത്തീരണം
    കൃഷ്ണനായ്‌ വന്നെന്നെ രാധയായ് മാറ്റണം

    എന്നിലെ ഗർഭഗൃഹത്തിൽ നിൻ കോശവും
    എന്നുടെ കോശവുമൊന്നു ചേരുന്ന നാൾ
    ഗന്ധർവ രാഗത്തിനാലാപമൂർഛയിൽ
    ഒന്നായ് രതിക്രീഡയാവുന്നു ലോകവും

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  36. plse provide lady makeup artists cont number to mayadevicd@gmail.com

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  37. Are there any tourism packages including travel, accommodation, renting dress, and make up for March 2017. Kindly respond with price and contact details.

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  38. Hi I m planning to participate in this festival this year. Can anyone provide me details my email id Victorcarlos470@gmail.com

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. Even I want to wear a saree

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  41. Even I want to wear a saree

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  42. Thank God we do not have such idiotic festivals...because in our Bible it is written ""A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 22:5

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    1. I see lot of your women wearing jeans and shirt... Are they against Bible?

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

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