Kerala diaspora kicks off Onam festivities in the UAE

Abu Dhabi, Aug 28 (IANS) Keralites began celebrating Onam – the harvest festival – in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday.

The expatriates on Thursday thronged the supermarkets for Uthradappachil – the mad rush for grocery, vegetables, flowers, and so many other household articles for Uthradam (the eve of Onam), Gulf Today online news portal reported.

Some restaurants in the UAE are organising special Onam feasts for the community.

The Onam Sadya (feast) is an indispensable part of the festival. The feast is served on banana leaves and consists of 26 dishes.

In Kerala, the harvest festival is celebrated as an elaborate 10-day extravaganza but in the UAE, the celebrations will only be held on Friday and Saturday.

“For some time, we feel we are missing Onam,” Radhakrishnan Machingal, former office-bearer of UAE-based All Kerala Colleges Alumni Forum (AKCAF), was quoted as saying.

Apart from AKCAF, many organisations including Indian Social Centre, Indian Association Sharjah celebrate Onam in a grand way. In addition, some private groups are also planning to hold Onam celebrations.

“Onam is a family affair for us. But since my children are grown up and in universities, it is difficult for a family reunion for Onam. Still I have other family members with whom I can dine,” Revi Karicherry, a senior official of Dabur India in Ras Al Khaimah emirate, said.

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