Rashtrapati Bhavan Celebrates An Early Onam
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee hosted hundreds of guests last evening at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for a special Onam programme organized by the Government of Kerala. The programme, “Kairali,” offered a unique glimpse into the traditional art-forms of Kerala, demonstrating the secular spirit of Onam, a true celebration of unity in diversity.
Organised by Kerala’s Department of Tourism as part of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s “Indradanush” series of cultural events, ‘Kairali’ was graced by a number of dignitaries including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Kerala Governor P Sadasivam, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues A C Moideen, E Chandrasekharan, Kadannappally Ramachandran, A K Sasindran, K K Shylaja, J Mercikutty Amma, and K T Jaleel.
Kerala High Court Acting Chief Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar was in attendance as well as members of Parliament and senior state and central government officials including the Chief Secretary, S M Vijayanand. Ambassadors from the Gulf nations also were also in attendance.
Pinarayi Vijayan spoke on the occasion and had this to say, “Onam is a festival that transcends the barriers of caste, creed and social status. It is a secular festival celebrated by one and all. Onam reminds us every year of the spirit of love, brotherhood, peace and harmony.” Press Secretary to the President Venu Rajamony, instrumental in bringing the first state-led Onam celebration to Rashtrapati Bhavan, welcomed the gathering.
Around 70 artists demonstrated a range of traditional art-forms at the hour-long cultural programme. The performance began with a “Vadyamanjari” a percussion ensemble presented by the Delhi Panchavadya Trust. This was followed by a performance of Kerala’s classical dance, Mohiniyattam, by Dr. Jayaprabha Menon and her team.
Artists from the Kerala Kalamandalam presented a Kathakali demonstration. Girija Chandran choreographed a performing arts medley which featured Mayoora Nritham, Kerala Natanam, Margamkali, Oppana, Thiruvathirakali, Theyyam, and Kalaripayattu, Kerala’s martial art. The medley was set to a song written by Prabha Varma, to music by Mathew T Itty, who conceived and directed the show. Guests were treated to a grand “Onasadya” feast during the celebration.