By Sajeev K Peter
KUWAIT: The Malayali community in Kuwait celebrated a low-key Onam yesterday amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although big celebrations were missing this year as well, many families prepared beautiful floral carpets and multi-course vegetarian feasts called Onasadya at their apartments on ‘Thiruvonam’ day which is the most important day during the 10-day-long harvest festival.
As the authorities eased COVID-19 restrictions, some residents could visit their close families and celebrate the occasion this year with traditional lunches to celebrate the important festival of Kerala. Many restaurants around Kuwait offered and home-delivered attractive Onam package meals to the convenience of the families. “Onam celebration was much better this year, compared to last year,” said Arjun Gopinath, who visited his family friends in Salmiya yesterday to celebrate the festival.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador Sibi George hosted a traditional Onam lunch in honor of the ambassadors of other countries in Kuwait at India House yesterday. The ambassador also held an interactive session with Indian community members at the India House yesterday. As part of the virtual Onam celebration, Kerala Tourism has conducted a ‘Global Pookkalam (floral decoration) competition’ in which hundreds of residents from Kuwait also participated. According to organizers, individuals and institutions, associations and organizations participated in the competition from Kuwait which began on August 13 and will conclude tomorrow.
“As most people across the world are confined to indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online Onam festivities aim to bring together all Malayalees on a virtual platform,” N Ajith Kumar, director, Kerala Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Board, said. This program will be the first Onam celebration with participation from non-resident Malayalees across the globe on a large scale, he added.