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Expat excitement

Compiled by Vriddhi Kumthekar
Filed on August 19, 2021


Lovell Menezes- Student

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"Onam to me is a day of love and laughter, a time where I gather with my friends and their families from Kerala to celebrate a joyous festival and immerse myself into a culture that’s bold and vibrant! Aside from the cultural aspect, it’s a time to enjoy a feast of traditional food on a beautiful banana leaf."

Beena Vinod Kumar- Teacher

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"Onam is a festival of memories for me. I miss those times with my grandma and relatives in Kerala. We also used to celebrate with lot of programmes in the UAE. Now things have changed but we still try to create the feel of Onam at home by making pookalam, sadhya and celebrate with our immediate family."

Rekha Sriram- Blogger and content writer

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"Every year I would be clad in fineries waiting for Mahabali’s arrival (like a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve to admire our pookalam every year. Since last year, display of the festivities have been online without losing the festive spirit. Happy Onam to all and to Mahabali who spreads happiness and prosperity even online!"

Ankita Rejith- Student

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"Onam is a major festival for us Keralites. On this day we all come together to celebrate our values and feast on the mouth-watering sadhya, which is an indispensable part of our festival. Normally during this time, I'd be celebrating with my family back in Thalassery but due to Covid-19 restrictions we are celebrating in the comfort of our home in Dubai. While my parents prepare the Onam sadhya, my brother and I come together in sibling spirit to lay down the beautiful pookalam. It's a day we all look forward to and cherish by wearing our new traditional attire."

Dr Nair- Orthodontist Specialist, Clove

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“My Onam home away from home."Being a Keralite, hailing from the capital city of Kerala, Onam is one festival that brings in so much memories of colourful flower carpets, the last-minute Onam shopping, the family gatherings, the excitement of wearing the brand-new dress and of course the most majestic flavoursome meal, Onam Sadhya. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate nature, love and humanity irrespective of religion or cast.Onam is not just a festival, it’s a feeling for any Malayali. The way we celebrate Onam might have changed due to pandemic, but the essence remains the same. To my surprise, friends became family, the cultural community and the associations admits of the busy life brought in the full essence of Onam with all the love, fun and culture for us non-residents, our future generation away from Kerala, so that they feel their roots and more over letting the world know and become a part of this beautiful celebration in this global city."

Lallumaria Tony- Registered school nurse

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"Onam takes each Keralite to their childhood memories as it is mostly enjoyed by children. Inspirof religion, every malyalees around the world celebrate Onam. Floral decorations and onam Feast are the major attraction of this festival. Around 30 varieties of vegetatarian dishes are made for the feast. In UAE, we celebrate Onam with lots of cultural programmes, wearing traditional dress, and by the preparation of sadhya."

Shrijit Pillai- Associate, compass broker

"Onam is not just a festival for me. It has emotions attached with all our dear and near ones, to spend time with them, to celebrate with them. The traditional costumes and attires, the ambience, your surroundings, the celebrations, the crowd near you, the banana leaf sadhya, is all together a different feel and I can realise this right now. Pls do celebrate onam with family and friends but maintain covid protocol with adequate precautions.Happy Onam!"

Girish Kumar Manal- Businessman, Fitwells Scaffolding

"My Onam starts with my family all fresh and dressed up, ready to create a pookalam —flower mat to welcome Mahabali. Me and friends will be preparing the sadhya while children having loads of fun. Sadhya is served with all those wonderful delicacies and all ends well if it ends with two varieties of payasam and papadum."

John Abraham- Manager Advisory, Continental

"Well for me and my family we usually enjoy days of Vishakam and Thiruvonam being that Vishakam (fourth day) is the day we prepare sadhya, even though we do not end up making 26 delicacies we round up to having more than enough delicacies to give us a vibe of Onam.Now because of Covid situation we shorten our celebration by inviting family members only, But now things are much better this year and hopefully next year we can celebrate Onam as grand as we use to."

Athul Manoharan- Student

Expat excitement (https://images.khaleejtimes.com/assets/png/KT29974829.PNG)

"Onam for me is an absolute joyous occasion, both at my home town and my home away from home. It's a time where me. my family, my relatives and my friends all get together in a festive spirit and follow the traditional Pookalam (flower decorating thingy) clothing, the afternoon Sadhya (feast) and the gifts to follow from the mythology that follows the tradition of Onam. It's always a very positive and jolly energy that brings in."





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