|A pookkalam depicting the myth and |
story of Onam. Click on the image
to see a bigger size.
These flower designs or flower carpets can be comprised of pretty and colorful designs, while others also depict stories. The pookkalam pictured here tells the story of Onam.
The story of Onam shared below was written by my father-in-law, Narayanankutty Kartha.
The Story of Onam
|On Onam, men dress up like Maveli. I learned this |
year (2015), that it's acceptable to take a photo with Maveli.
|This says "Onaashamsagal" or |
"Onam Wishes"/"Happy Onam".
Mahabali, however, had requested the Brahmin (Vishnu) to allow him to come to the land once a year to meet his people and see and join in their happiness. The request was granted and this was the day –ONAM – when Mahabali came to earth to watch his people rejoicing and happy.
In their homes, with their families, Keralites and Malayalees all over the world welcome King Maveli into their home by creating pookkalams (flower carpets), like the one below. In addition to this, everyone partakes in a savory 26-course meal served on a banana leaf!
Another interesting thing I learned recently is that just like how Santa gets cookies and milk, Maveli is given a full sadya! For Onam, families may fix a banana leaf and leave it for Maveli to welcome him to their house.
I enjoy celebrating Onam with my family in India as well as at work with my colleagues and clients. I am grateful to experience other cultures and of course, eat Onasadya!
Jennifer Kumar is the Managing Director of Authentic Journeys. Authentic Journeys helps offshore teams in India and onsite teams in the US bridge the culture gap on distributed teams. Contact her for more information.
More about Onam:
Jennifer interviewed by Vanitha, Malayalam magazine
Onam Celebrations in Infopark