Kerala expats in celebrate Onam in style

MUSCAT: After a gap of two years, expats from the Indian state of Kerala are celebrating the harvest festival of Onam.

In Oman, shopping malls, restaurants, community groups, professionals and corporate houses have kicked off the celebrations the festival.

Onam is celebrated to mark the mythical homecoming of King Mahabali, during whose reign the state known as ‘God’s Own Country’ is said to have witnessed the golden era.

Keralities wear new, traditional outfits and jewellery and also prepare the sumptuous Onasadhya, the grand feast that forms the most important part of the celebration. Served on banana leaves, a typical Onassdhya will include more than a dozen items along with rice.

“Thursday being a working day, it is difficult to celebrate Onam but thankfully my office has approved my leave, so my sadhya is at home,” said Rakesh Muttam, a senior engineer based in Muscat.

“Now that we are free from all Covid restrictions, this is the first grand Onam in two years,” he added.

For Aishwarya Nair, Onam is all about nostalgic memories. “This is my first Onam away from home,” said the newly wed who recently arrived in Oman. “My husband has taken off so we can celebrate it together,” she added.

From supermarkets to restaurants and jewellery shops, hundreds of commercial outlets, have also come up with various offers.

Restaurants did roaring business, but most of them found it difficult to meet the orders for Onam sadhya. “By 5pm on Wednesday itself, we stopped taking further orders for takeaways because we knew we would be unable to meet the demand,” a restaurant owner in Muscat said.

Keralites make for the bulk of the expatriate Indian population in the GCC countries.

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