Evincing keen interest in the folk art forms of Kerala, a group of seven students from New Zealand reached Kerala from the far off nation and was here to experience and learn the nitty-gritty of the ‘Yakshagana-Bommayattam (puppetry show).

Led by their lady teacher Alicin East, the seven-member girl students of the nearly one-and-a-half century old Otago University in New Zealand converged at the Yakshagana-Bommayatta centre near Ivor Bhagavathi temple premises at Pulikkunnu locality on Saturday.

They later interacted with Mr. Ramesh, who runs the centre to promote the ‘Yakshagana’ puppetry shows as part of learning the detailed aspects y and the history of the unique art form.

The students group who had touched Thiruvananthapuram a week ago, had also spent time in Payyanur where they tastes the aesthetics of Kalaripayattu, north Kerala’s ritualistic ‘Theyyam’ performance, besides Kathakali, Mohiniyattam dance forms before reaching the district.

The New Zealanders’ visit here was facilitated by V. Jayarajan, Chairman of the Thrikaripur-based Folkland, an institute devoted to promotion of the folk art forms of Kerala.

The group of students later left for the hilly hamlet of Parappa where they visited tribal families to carry out study on the tribal art forms like Mangalamkali, Mulamchenda.

Mr. Jayaraj, who accompanied the group during their tour here, told The Hindu, enchanted by the pristine and picturesque natural beauty of Kerala, the group maintained that the unique art forms of the State is a role model for the entire world,