The World Malayalee Council Sydney province organised multicultural Onam celebrations in Sydney bringing the ancient Indian festival to multicultural Australia. The event was attended by the diaspora from across the four corners of India left mesmerised by the Mega Thiruvathira, Keralanadanam and the beats of Chenda melam.
Onam is a Hindu harvest festival from the Indian state of Kerala and is celebrated over ten days between August-September every year in India and amongst the diaspora around the world. It is symbolic of the legendary and virtuous King Mahabali’s annual homecoming. This year Onam is being celebrated between 20th to 31st August.
Irfan Malik (WMC Australia Chairman), Babu Varghese (WMC Sydney Province President) Deepa Sujeet Nair (WMC Sydney Province Secretary) and Kiran James (WMC Far East and Australia Region Chairman) were instrumental in organising this cultural feast which was a blend of the ancient with the modern.
The Onam celebrations began with the traditional lighting of the lamp.
This was followed by a Mega Thiruvathira.
Then came the beautiful Keralanadanam. The Mega Thiruvathira and Keralanadanam dance were choreographed by Lekshmi Sujith with groups based on suburbs led by team leaders, Sandhya Soman, Febitha Shebin, Devi Sujith, Swapna Jomon, Reshmi Nair, Arya Krishnan, Preetha Mathews, Nisha Mannath, Kavitha Mohandas, Dhanya Praveen, and Rajani Nair.
The team leader for Keralanadanam was Poornima Rajeev. The team leaders played an integral part by coordinating and managing practice and preparation. Sujitha Sugunan, Joint Secretary of WMC Sydney was the dedicated WMC representative, who played a vital role, along with Priya Balan, who is also an Executive Member of WMC.
There was also the symbolic homecoming of ‘King Mahabali’
And then came the beats of Chenda melam performed by IndOz Rhythyms Sydney
There were many multicultural cultural performances by Team Laasya, The Nachle Dance School, Shanz Danz, Kids Dance coregraphed by Ms Poornima Rajeev, Anjana Dance Group, Naach2day and Aparna Dance Group, and the kids band by Little Maestros. The programmes included a dash of Indian filmi music while Freddie Mercury’s legendary song ‘We will we will rock you’ also made an appearance.
The event organised at St Jonh XXlll Catholic College Hall in Sydney was attended by several dignitaries including acting Consul General of India in Sydney, Sanjay Muluka, NSW MPs Mark Hodges, Julia Finn, Warren Kirby and Stephen Bali, Niyati Mehta, Director SVCC in Sydney, Deputy Mayors Suman Saha and Barbara Ward and councillors Sreeni Pillamarri, Reena Jethi, Susai Benjamin and Livingston Chittilappilly.
The celebrations were hosted by MC’S Karthik Mohandas and Manasi Khanna Bhatia. Ahalya Rentala, Director for Rotary Club The Ponds also played a crucial role with the coordination of this event.
The Onam celebrations also included a sumptuous Sadya and took everyone back to the delicious flavours of ‘God’s own country’.