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New England Malayalee Association To Celebrate Onam With Divya Unni

Rajesh Menon

Onam, the foremost festival among the cultural repertoire of Malayalees, falls in the harvest season of August- September - Malayalam month Chingam. It is one festival that unites all people regardless of race and religion. Legend is that benevolent mythological king Maveli comes on his annual visit during this period to ensure that his subjects still lived a prosperous life. Ranging from four days to ten days, all the activities during this season are centered on music, dances, sports, boat races and good food.

This picturesque ten-day harvest festival has been part of Malayalee psyche for centuries now. After the rain soaked Karkidakam with its privations, Malayalees welcome Chingam as a month of plenty. The sky becomes blue, the deep forest becomes greener and it is time to reap the harvest, time to celebrate and to exult along with the nature. Family get-togethers, gifting each other clothes called Ona-kkodi and lots of merry making mark Onam festivities.

NEMA this year is planning to celebrate Onam in its true spirit and enthusiasm complete with Athapoo – traditional floral arrangement, Onam feast and various programmes. On October 1st, 2005, Joseph Keefe Tech School in Framingham would be the venue for NEMA’s Onam celebrations. Famous movie actress Divya Unni would inaugurate the event. Divya Unni, an accomplished dancer, who was crowned Kalathilakam twice, would also perform dances during the event. Following the sumptuous traditional Onam feast, NEMA would showcase the talents of the best in New England in the form Dances, songs, skits etc. Another attraction is the screening of a short film - Reflections - directed by a young filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar with Mohanlal acing in it. These programs are sure to enthrall the audience and invoke nostalgic memories.

The New England Malayalee Association (NEMA) is a registered, non-profit organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. NEMA strives to promote a deeper understanding of Kerala Culture, Malayalam language, literature, and art.

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