NEW YORK – The Malayalee Association of Southern Connecticut (MASCONN) celebrated Onam on September 9, at Madison Middle School, Trumbull, CT. Over 300 people attended the meet.
A four-hours long cultural extravaganza, with a break for the traditional lunch feast Onamsadhya, kicked off with the lighting of the traditional nailavilakku, a lamp, followed by the ‘arrival’ of the legendary King Mahabali, who was welcomed to the stage by the audience.
Masconn members Aparna Bijoy Namboodri, Aswathi Rajesh, Amy Lloyd, Sabitha Ranjit, Mahima Hardy, Veena Ramesh, Mia Wilson, and Teressa Joseph performed a traditional thiruvathirakkali dance, to start the cultural part of the festivities.
Unni Thoyakkattu, President of Masconn, in his welcome address, said the organization has “grown by leaps and bounds and we strive to meet the growing needs of our community.”
Celebrated around the world by Malayalees during the month of Chingam of the Kerala calendar, which falls in August-September, the Onam festivities, which mark the onset of the harvest season, and the arrival to Earth of the legendary King Maveli, last for 10 days.
Intricately decorated pookalam (flower arrangement), onamsadhya comprising of a dozen and more dishes served on banana leaf, thrilling snake boat race and exotic kaikottikali dance, are some of the remarkable features of Onam celebrations in Kerala.
In his Onam message, at Trumbull, King Mahabali told the audience that the “beauty of the festival lies in its secular fabric. People of all religions, castes and communities celebrate the festival with equal joy and verve. Onam also helps to create an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood by way of various team sports organized on the day.”
Masconn Vice President Tijo Josh gave a vote of thanks to members and volunteers who helped organize successfully the 9th edition of the annual festival.