eNarada, Bengaluru, September 17, 2016
Onam is now no longer limited to Kerala as it has turned out to be a global festival. In fact, many in Bengaluru too celebrate Onam in a traditional way as done in Kerala. So, if you are wondering where in Bengaluru? Then, you have to head to Namma East Cultural Association (ECA).
For the last four decades, ECA’s Onam celebrations have grown to become one of the most sought after events on the Malayalee Bengalurean’s calendar. ECA’s Onam celebrations typically encapsules an entire month of activities, competitions and entertainment. This year, kicking things off was the Onam sports and games tourney, aptly titled as the ECA ‘Onampics’. Members and their families, across generations, enthusiastically participated in a mixture of formal athletics and sports events as well as fun competitions, which were spread across three weekends in August.
Come Attham day, which formally heralds the Onam festivities, ECA organised a grand cultural evening on the September 3 featuring Thiruvathira Kali and Mohinyattam by danseuses brought down from Kerala, as well as a medley of Onam songs by the well known singer Chengannur Sreekumar and his team.
Going forward, the action moved to Thiruvonam Day, on September 14, when a team of traditional cooks from Palakkad whipped up the traditional Onasadya. Members, along with their families and friends converged at ECA to relish the delectable preparations, served, as is customary, on a banana leaf.
Now, the celebrations will reach a crescendo on the September 17 and 18 when over 300 people – members, spouses and children – come together to curate, choreograph and execute a cultural extravaganza of epic proportions. On the 17th, the festivities begin in the evening, when a chenda ensemble forms a majestic musical backdrop to welcome the Chief Guest, Mr. Ramesh Chennithala, Leader of the Opposition, Kerala State Legislative Assembly, and the Guest of Honour, popular film star and television host, Mr. Jagadeesh.
The function proper commences with a re-enactment of the story of Onam’s provenance, familiar to all Malayalees, where the noble King Bali is crushed underfoot to the another world by Lord Vishnu in his Vamana avatar. What then follows is three hours of non-stop high quality entertainment, performed on stage by the members of ECA and their families. It will be a veritable guided tour of the cultural map of India that culminates in a spectacular fashion show, again with members themselves walking the ramp in style.
On Sunday the 18th of September, the action commences early in the day with the Pookkalam competition. The ladies of ECA bring their artistic talents to the fore in an attempt to create the most innovative and aesthetic version of this floral decorative art that is iconic of Onam. Following this is a Fancy Dress competition, and a ganamela of Onam songs rendered by members.
Post lunch, the stage is set for the professional cultural programmes. This year, the featured performances include Chakyar Koothu, by Kalamandalam Renjith, as well as Kalaripayattu and Singarimelam by well reputed troupes from Kerala.
The grand finale to the celebrations commences in the evening at 7:30 pm, when Vijay Yesudas, the young star of the south Indian musical firmament and the son of the Gana Gandharvan himself, takes centre stage along with popular play back sensation Sithara and team. It promises to be a grand musical feast, perhaps a fitting complement to the Ambi sadya, in a manner of speaking, and an evening not to be missed.
All these events will be webcast live by Enarada.com so that not just Malayalees sitting at their homes in Kerala but also those across the globe can watch the festivities live.
Keep watching http://enarada.com/ for interesting, exciting and innovative live videos.