[ Praveen G ]
The Kerala Kala Samskarika Vedi (KKSV) is a socio-cultural organization of Keralites or Malayalees which was established in 1994 with the objective of bringing all the Malayalees residing in and around the capital under one umbrella that would enable them not only to showcase the rich and varied culture of Kerala but also to work for the welfare of the community and the state.
The KKSV has been striving hard to promote the culture, cuisine and other rich traditional practices of the Malayalees since its incipience, and it has been successful in its venture to a great extent. The organization has also always encouraged imbibing good practices from other cultures to further enrich their own Kerala culture.
In an effort to create a bridge between Kerala and other states, the KKSV often organizes cultural exchange programmes that help in creating a cultural mosaic and unity in diversity.
It will be a proud moment for the Malayalees residing in the capital to participate in the silver jubilee celebration of Onam festival on 14 September this year. The Onam festival celebration, which started with a humble beginning in 1994, has today grown by leaps and bounds, and has completed 24 years of its celebration in the capital.
Today, Onam festival is a huge calendar event for the Malayalees and other festival revellers in the capital. The silver jubilee of Onam festival will be celebrated with enthusiasm, gaiety and pomp, featuring attractive programmes.
It is worth mentioning here that today there are about 350 Malayalee families in the capital, who are wholeheartedly contributing towards the growth of the Malayalee culture.
Mythology of Onam
According to the legend, Kerala was once ruled by an asura (demon) king, who was known as Mahabali or Maveli. The king was greatly admired and revered in his kingdom by his subjects for his kindness and generosity. It is believed that Kerala witnessed the golden era of all-round prosperity during the reign of king Mahabali. There was no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour and economic status, and everybody was treated equally by the society. There was peace and tranquility in the state, and crimes and corruption were never heard of.
It is said that during his reign, people did not use locks and keys at their homes because there were no thieves to fear or to be wary of. The people were prosperous, and poverty and miseries were not heard of during his reign.
The people of Kerala even today believe that the pious soul of the noble and benevolent king Mahabali visits the people every year during Onam to enquire after the wellbeing of his people. This is why Onam festival is celebrated by the Malayalees in honour of their beloved king Mahabali.
During Onam, every household in Kerala, irrespective of rich or poor, young or old, welcome their king with love and happiness. They decorate their homes with myriad flowers, called Athappookkalam, and other beautiful decorations to mark the occasion. Onam also heralds the harvest season in Kerala. (The writer is general secretary of the KKSV.)
[ Praveen G ]