Onam pageantry as a prestigious and awaited event in State

Public patronage for the Onam pageantry is showing a steady rise with new art forms being included in the procession every year, Additional Director of Tourism M.S. Venugopal has said.

The pageantry had, over the years, evolved as one of the most prestigious and awaited events, Mr. Venugopal, who is also the joint convenor of the pageantry committee, said.

There was an overwhelming interest among artistes to be part of the cultural procession despite the fact that they were paid only a meagre amount, he said. “Of course, money counts, but, for most of them, it is a moment of pride participating in the event. Displaying their prowess before a huge crowd matters a lot,” he said.

The pageantry was an opportunity for children to witness all traditional art forms in one place.

It was also the place where we get to see some of the art forms which are on the verge of extinction, he said.

This year, there was an increase in the number of artistes participating in the pageantry, around 3,000 from various parts of the state. Around 2,000 people performed a wide range of roles including in the making of cultural floats, Mr. Venugopal said.

Preparations commenced a month ago, he said adding the committee, headed by Varkala Kahar, MLA, and K.R. Jyothilal, convenor, met regularly up until the event.