The Kerala diaspora in Townsville, North Queensland in Australia, went nostalgic on Saturday when 250 of them gathered to celebrate Onam. The celebrations were held under the banner of the Townsville Malayalee Association.
Association member C.K. Vinish told The Hindu over telephone that many came dressed in traditional Kerala attire to take part in the Onam celebrations. The whole programme was in Malayalam. The participants created a colorful pookalam with Australian flowers to welcome Mahabali.
The Townsville Malayalees sang popular Onam songs in groups and solo. Traditional dances were also staged. The star turn of the celebrations was a sumptuous traditional Onam lunch served on synthetic banana leaves. The meal also comprised a payasam. All the dishes for the meal were cooked by the ladies of the association.
There was also a competition for the best dressed person in traditional Kerala attire and Sithara Hamza won it. The prize to her was given away by senior member of the association Dorothy Gale, native of Murukumpuzha in Thiruvananthapuram. The programme ended with a tug-of-war and a group of Malayalee students from the James Cook University won it.