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  • Category: Festivals

    How I miss the Onam celebration forty years ago when I was away from Kerala

    Today is Onam-the largest festival for Keralites and Malayalis residing anywhere in this world.
    If I can take liberty to coin a new word to describe Onam celebrations then I may say Omnicelebrated-celebrated by every Keralite all over the world.

    Though every one will have some nostalgic feeling of one's native place and being there, about Onam celenbrations I always remember with nostalgia the one we had celebrated forty years ago when I was not in Kerala residing some two thousand kilometres away, in another state.

    I was in my early twenties and had just joined my job. I had been staying in a township like colony –staff quarters of a government sector organisation. As the project has just been commissioned, many of us were freshers, in our first job and first time so much away from home and native place. Naturally we felt very much homesick.

    However at the end of the day on that Onam I felt that I was more at home than I could have if I was in my native home.

    We all started planning and preparing for the festival many days before. There was no formal organisation leading it, but all was voluntary effort. Some were preparing for the cultural activities, some for the OnaSadya(grand feast for Onam). Every one from the top most executive to the latest joined employee were on the ground doing some or other activity for the festival celebration. Pooling resources, cleaning and cutting vegetables, cooking, serving and cleaning- everything was done shared and well delegated all taking up voluntary responsibilities.
    It was a real enjoyment, a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, a commonness.

    When I see now the advertisement of Onam feast and price for parcel Sadya, and price of per litre 'Payasam',-indicating a 'purchased Onasady' I feel a sense of loss and nostalgia about that festival celebration forty years ago. That day our Onam was a real festivity with full involvement of everyone head,hands and heart. I miss that Onam celebration eventhough many more Onam days have come and gone.

    The love towards home and family and nativity becomes more when we are away from them. I feel the Non-residents know this better.
  • #607864
    I can understand the feeling of the author for missing the Onam celebrations at the native place which will always have special attention and lots of memorable events when ever people mingle and share during such big festivities. When we are away from home though festivities may be celebrated, but we may not get the liking and belonging which was absent in outside celebrations. Onam Sadya has become a business for some as they are arranging to mass gathering by just giving order and every thing is taken care off. Those who do not mind about money but wants to have all recipes in sadya that is always possible. Just now my neighbor who is the Malayalee has shared their Avial, payasam with us and surely I am going to taste shortly. One thing sure, those who are longing to visit their village, they must do so during Onam and enjoy the festivities in full.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #607866
    Mr. Mohan: Does the thread say:"missing the Onam celebrations at the native place"? TThis is a beautiful thread on organising Onam in another state. I understand the feeling of the author because I am involved in Durga Puja celebration outside West Bengal.
    Caution: Explosive. Handle with care.

  • #607869
    The other name of our country is 'Land of Festivals." Since ancient period, festivals are part and parcel of human lives. They bring changes and give us relief from the monotonous routine of our daily life. I have heard a lot about the 'Onam' festival from my Keralite friends and their enthusiasms and zeal for the festival is worth seeing.
    We have been living outside our home-state and many of our festivals like 'Dolyatra (Holi), 'Jhulan' (Janamasthmi) and such others reminds of our native place and we become nostalgic. But the greatest among them is the 'Durga Puja'.
    Here also we take active part in the Puja for five days and do the things with our own hands. Except for the Main Puja which is performed by a priest, specially called from West Bengal, all other things are done by ourselves. We forget about our social or work status and enjoy the festival to the fullest.
    In the end, greetings to one and all for the Happy 'Onam'.

    I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

  • #607883
    The thread by Mr.Venkiteswaran reminded me the Ugadi festival We have celebrated in Cochin with some of my family members a few years back. Generally I make a point to go to my native place to Ugadi. Very very rare cases I miss it. Few years back we have made a plan to go to Cochin for site seeing with my family and another two brother's families. My brother was staying in Cochin. He was working as Manager in Tata Tele Services. Actual planning is to come back to ugadi to my native place. But we couldn't do it and we stayed back in Cochin. My brother has taken all the troubles in arranging all the ingredients required for making the Ugadi special chutney. We have all taken new clothes. All the ladies put together made specials we make on that day. My brother invited another two friend's families. We all spent a very good time. Children entertained us with their singing skills and dancing skills. We all felt at home and still I remember that day.
    drrao
    always confident

  • #607885
    I know sometimes we are forced to celebrate the festival outside our native and that will be very moving because we miss our relatives and friends on the occasion. Ever since our father settled in Hyderabad since 1954, we have totally forgotten Tamil Nadu in general and Chennai in particular over all these years, and we were celebrating every occasion on our own and thus even today I may not know many father side and mother side relatives by face. We might have seen some of them during occasions but not all the relatives from the maternal and paternal side. So I can feel the author.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease


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