May 15, 2017

CIIS alum Dianne Jennet (WSD, '99) wrote her doctoral thesis Women's Studies, the precursor to our current Women's Spirituality program, on the Pongala Ritual at Attukal Temple in Kerala, South India after first visiting the temple in 1993.

She continues her yearly pilgrimage to this day and has become a fixture of the temple. Read more about her journey from The New Indian Express and visit CIIS' Laurance S. Rockefeller Library to find her dissertation Red rice for Bhagavati/cooking for Kannaki: An ethnographic/organic inquiry of the Pongala ritual at Attukal Temple, Kerala, South India (1999).

Divine connection

Dianne Jenett carefully holds the steel plate, which contains upturned lemon rinds being used as an oil lamp. She places them one by one on a large circular stand, just outside the entrance of the Attukal Devi temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Her concentration is intense.

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