The New England Malayali Association (NEMA) held its first celebration of Onam on September 04, at Fuller Middle School, Framingham, MA. This inaugural program had special significance for all attendees, many of whom expressed their appreciation of both the entertainment and the banquet in honor of Onam. The voyage begins. This is the Sunrise in New England, the glory of Malayalis.
The program began with the ceremonial lighting of the Nilavilaku, the traditional lamp near the Attappu. The floral decoration took the form of the traditional ten circles (Attam Pattinae Thiruonam), each circle dedicated to one day of Onam, beginning with Attam. The ample floral decoration was festooned auspiciously to greet and honor the memory of King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit the state on the day of Tiruonam. Garbed in traditional dress, Paul V. Paul represented King Mahabali in this part of the celebration.
The festival lunch (Ona Sadya) followed with traditional Kerala cuisine, greatly appreciated by all attendees. New England Malayalees generously assured the program organizers that the rich tastes of the Kerala cuisine would certainly bring them back for next year's Onam.
The program of entertainment began with a welcome address by Dr. Om Prakash Pillai, President of NEMA. Dr. Pillai assured all attendees that the inauguration of NEMA is rooted in the joy of providing ongoing support for New England Malayalis. The guest speaker, K. G. Manmadan Nair, gave strength to the President's words.
The entertainment included first a description of the program by Arts Club Secretary, Malini Nair. The Masters of Ceremony were Wajida Aminudhin and Sheeba Phillip. The actual program of dance and song lasted over two hours and ended with a vote of thanks by the Secretary, Anand Puravangara, who expressed gratitude for the joyful celebration at this inaugural program.
Plans are being made for a September 18 movie at the Belmont Theater. Please check the website:www .nemausa.org for other programs
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