Malayali Association (MA) Brunei celebrated Kerala’s most significant harvest festival ‘Onam’ with an extravagant cultural show at the Pusat Insani Hall in Seria last Sunday.
Onam is the festival that Malayalees celebrate with their families and friends.
The event started with the national anthem of Brunei Darussalam, followed by the recitation of Doa Selamat.
Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam and chief guest Ajaneesh Kumar struck the Chenda (Kerala drum) to mark the inauguration of the event.
Ajaneesh Kumar noted that Onam is the colourful harvest festival of Kerala, based on the myth of the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali and his ruling – where there was no discrimination of caste, corruption or crime. It is annually celebrated among Malayalees with much fervor and revelry.
He also discussed MA’s proactive work on the social, charitable and cultural fronts, and applauded MA’s efforts for working closely with the Brunei community.
He highlighted the services rendered by the Indian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam in supporting the Indian community working in Brunei.
Malayali Association President Anil Kumar TV thanked His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Brunei Government for supporting MA in conducting such cultural functions in Brunei Darussalam.
He also urged the Malayali community to actively participate in MA’s charitable social drives to support the local community.
A video presentation portraying MA’s local social and charitable activities was the highlight of the function.
The Indian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam officials, and guests from the Belait District Office and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd participated.
MA presented Academic Brilliance Merit Awards to the MA members’ children who excelled in their examinations.
BSP Deputy Managing Director Yap Khong Fah handed over welfare donation cheques to the Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei; and Pusat Bahagia Eric Goh; while Anil Kumar handed over an MA cash donation to a representative of Belait District Orphans Fund. MA also presented mementos to event sponsors. The three-and-a-half hour show was enlivened with colourful dance and cultural performances by children, men and women from Malayali community.
Nearly 550 people attended the function. The event concluded with the guests being served Kerala traditional Sadhya vegetarian dinner on banana leaf.