September 26th, 2016

Community joins in Onam celebrations

REDDITCH’S Kerala Cultural Association celebrated their harvest festival of Onam with a major event at Woodfield Academy last Saturday (August 29).

Featuring songs, dances and fun contests all performed in traditional costume it proved an enthralling day for all.

Joining the community celebrations were council leader Councillor Bill Hartnett, borough Mayor Coun Pattie Hill and her husband Graham Lailey as well as the ex-headteacher of St Thomas More School, Elizabeth Fitton.

Paul Joseph, who took the role of King Mahabali who traditionally visits at the time of Onam, said: “It’s a family and community get-together where we can all unite and celebrate.

“It’s also an opportunity for the children to learn more about our culture and take to the stage for perhaps the first time.”

Events included a hotly tug-o’-war contest which had everyone joining in – including the Coun Hill – as well as traditional dancing and songs.

Appetites were satisfied by a meal that included a choice of 18 different vegetable curries plus rice and breads.

Commenting on the day Coun Hartnett said: “I have attended several KCA Onam celebrations and it is always a great day as well as being one of the most important dates in the Keralan cultural calendar the day.

“It’s a mixture of the story of King Mahabali, the famous 18 ingredient vegetarian lunch served on a banana leaf, this is a fun family day with music, dance, drama and games. The Mayor and I joined in with Pattie being part of the winning women’s tug of war team while I was part of the men’s winning tug of war team.”