Mangaluru, Mar 26, 2017:The modern times are looked upon as a time when young educated people shun old culture and community traditions. This pilot flying commercial aircraft in Tanzania, Capt. Manoj Salian, 29, regularly is visiting his village near Mangaluru to lead the annual ’Bhoota Kola’ connected to his family
This year too the air pilot is at Elathur, near Kinnigoli, not far from Mangaluru, to lead a Kola as the Daiva Paathri of Jumadi (Dhoomavathi) Bhoota, which was held on March 25, Saturday evening at Kollurgudde. A couple of days ago, Salian participated in another Kola at nearby Shimanthoor.
Bhoota Kola or Bhootaradhane (spirit worship) is a unique cultural practice of Tulunadu, comprising Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod in Kerala. People believe that the spirits protect their land, crops, wealth, and health. Salian is the only child of Sundar Salian and Gopi, small-time agriculturists.
He was passionate about becoming a pilot since childhood. Capt Salian said he rarely witnessed Kolas till 2003 from when he began to do ancillary works connected to the family daivas . Asked about his passion to participate in these annual rituals, Salian said one should not forget one’s roots. Respect for tradition, he said is very essential and added that he takes leave for a month every year during the annual festival season.
Salian had his early education at Sri Narayana Guru English Medium School and Vijaya College, Mulki, and then did his Aircraft Maintenance Engineering course at Indian Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, Dehradun. Later, he did commercial pilot training at the Flight Training College, George, South Africa.