| Zee Yusri |
ONAM festival was celebrated at the auditorium of Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College (SOASC) yesterday with more than 800 attendees especially the Keralites from India residing in Brunei Darussalam, as well as the special guests, High Commissioner of India to Brunei Darussalam, Dr Ashok Kumar Amrohi and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Baiduri Bank, Pierre Imhof.
Sabu Kuttemperoor Antony, the Chairman of Onam Celebration Committee 2014, said the colourful celebration is marked after rice harvest in commemoration of the Vamana avatar of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali.
He added that Onam is the state festival of Kerala and falls during the month of Chingam, which is between August and September and lasts for 10 days.
The celebration is marked by various festivities including intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches and snake boat races, he said.
Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in modern times and is a mixture of cultural programmes. The beauty of the festival is an Onam-style grand feast named Onasadhya for which fully traditional vegetarian meals are prepared.
The vegetarian food comprising 10 to 18 different scrumptious dishes are served on banana leaves, and traditionally people sit on mats laid on the floor to have the meal.
This year, the Onam festival was organised by the chairman himself with help coming from BSBIA Indian Association together with the hardworking committee members.
The event was very vibrant with beautiful performances by talented children and adults.
An act ‘Arrival of Mahabali’ was showcased to the audience with King Mahabali portrayed by Vinod S before the start of the cultural performances.
The festival then saw the lighting of the lamp ceremony led by the High Commissioner of India to Brunei Darussalam and CEO of Baiduri Bank followed by the chairman of the event.
The first cultural programme that was showcased to the audience was the opening dance choreographed by Manju Anil, followed by the boys’ dance choreographed by K Sowmiya, and the Semi Classical Dance choreographed by Renu Nair.
It was made livelier with an Oppana performance choreographed by Babita Nambiar and Dayana Josesh, as well as a comedy skit choreographed by the chairman of the event, Sabu Kuttemperoor Antony.
They were splendidly performed and kept the audience glued to the stage until the end. Many more performances were lined up for the celebration, including Thiruvathira, cinematic dance, duet song, skits and Mimix Action 2014, just to name a few.
The event concluded with a grand finale and the beginning of the Onasadhya feast.