Tue | Dec 6, 2022

A taste of God’s own country of India

Published:Sunday | September 11, 2022 | 12:08 AM
A floral decoration named pookkalam made on the occasion of Onam festival by Jojo Thomas and group, in memory of victims of 26/11 terror attacks, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, India.
A floral decoration named pookkalam made on the occasion of Onam festival by Jojo Thomas and group, in memory of victims of 26/11 terror attacks, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, India.
A group of people play traditional drums on the occasion of Onam in Chennai, India.
A group of people play traditional drums on the occasion of Onam in Chennai, India.
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Festivals in India are centred around changing seasons, and being a predominant agrarian society, they pay homage to mother nature for bestowing a good harvest.

In the southern Indian state of Kerala, which is, among others, the spice capital, home to endless backwaters, Onam – a festival celebrating rice harvest – makes the whole state come alive. Onam celebrations include boat races, tiger dances, flower Rangoli (designs made on the floor), martial arts, music – it is the New Year day for Malayalis (the people of the state of Kerala).

It is celebrated in remembrance of the good governance of king Mahabali, a mythical king who ruled Kerala. The homecoming of goodness signifies the celebration of Onam.

Elaborate feasts are prepared on this occasion and served on banana leaves. On Sunday, September 4, a group of Indians from Kerala brought alive the flavours and aroma of Onam at Mona Community Centre in St Andrew. In their own special way, they encapsulated the spirit of ‘God’s Own Country’ – another name given to the state of Kerala.