Thursday, 19 September 2013

[] News Letter september 2013 [1 Attachment]

[Attachment(s) from prakash bhanu included below]

Celebrating Mahabalis visit

A Malayalam proverb has it that Onam must be celebrated even if one has to sell ones possessions to do so. Malayalis have been doing this for centuries to commemorate the golden period of king Mahabalis reign.

It is believed that Mahabali, who resides in Patala, the underworld, is allowed to visit Kerala once a year to reassure himself that everything is all right in the state. People make sure that they keep their houses tidy, eat and dress well, so that Mahabali may return to his abode knowinthat all is well with his subjects.

Onam is also a harvest festival. It falls in Chingam (AugustSeptember), the first month of the Malayalam year. Keralas was an agrarian society and the celebrations were essentially farm-centric. Over the decades, however, the nature of the revelry has changed.

Malayalis, being one of the most migratory of communities, have carried Onam with them everywhere, be it Singapore, Malaysia, the US or the Gulf.

Onam in Kerala is celebrated over a 10-day period and concludes with the famous snake boat race on the river Pampa at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district. But in Delhi, where festivities tend to be institutional rather than individual, it is celebrated a few Sundays before or after Thiru Onam, which was on Monday. For instance, the 74-year-old Kerala Clubs Onam feast is scheduled for October 6.

A typical Onam meal may consist of 40 dishes. Old-timers know which item should be eaten when and with what. There is as much science as there is art in the preparation and partaking of an Onam sadya (feast).

Delhi has a vibrant Malayali community, whose members began arriving in the city in the first decades of the 20th century. There are several associations, temples and churches set up by them which take the lead in celebrating Onam as a community festival. These days, some restaurants even provide an Onam feast. The avial, olan, kalan, injipuli, pulisseri, ada prathaman and payasam are delicacies bursting with flavour that carry the goodness of the seasons harvest.

No matter how busy he is or down in the dumps, the average Malayali makes sure he has a great Onam, for he cannot afford to disappoint Mahabali. Onam is as much about merry-making as it is about keeping a myth alive.


Attachment(s) from prakash bhanu

1 of 1 Photo(s)

Recent Activity:
KERALITES - A moderated eGroup exclusively for Keralites...

To subscribe send a mail to
Send your posts to
Send your suggestions to

To unsubscribe send a mail to



No comments:

Post a Comment