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Coimbatore Vizha gets off to a colourful start

Esther Elias &
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Inaugural showcases Kerala’s traditional art forms; 110 events will be held over nine days

A show of harmony:A procession of traditional art forms of Kerala marked the inauguration of Coimbatore Vizha 2013 in the city on Saturday.– PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
A show of harmony:A procession of traditional art forms of Kerala marked the inauguration of Coimbatore Vizha 2013 in the city on Saturday.– PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

This year’s Coimbatore Vizha began on Saturday with a liberal dose of Kerala flavour. From the display of traditional art forms in a procession to a music programme by Kerala’s popular reality show performers, the annual event took off by stressing Coimbatore’s cosmopolitan character and even going on to show that its large Keralite population is an integral part of the city.

Confederation of Indian Industry-Young Indians, whose members have their roots in various States across the country, have come together as Coimbatoreans to organise the event.

The opening procession of ‘Coimbatore Vizha 2013’ brought the culture of Kerala to the streets of Coimbatore. Over a thousand students as well as members of Coimbatore’s numerous Kerala associations walked from Park Gate to VOC Park Grounds accompanied by street performances of many Keralite art forms such as kavadiyattam and theyyam . The walk was a precursor to the inaugural function conducted at the Grounds.

Coimbatore Vizha aims to showcase the inclusive nature of Coimbatore’s culture towards immigrants from other States and since Coimbatore is home to several Keralites, the inaugural function was organised by several Malayali associations in the city, said Mithun Ramdas, Chair of ‘Coimbatore Vizha 2013’.

“Seventy-five groups such as Kerala Club, Coimbatore Malayali Samajam and Arya Vaidya Pharmacy have combined to organise the walk’s cultural display,” said Dr. T.C.P Nambiar, one of the convenors of the Coimbatore Vizha Inaugural Organisation Committee. The procession was led by panchavadyam performers drumming the chenda and blowing the kombu and kuzhal to a strong beat. “Many of the performers have come to Coimbatore from different parts of Kerala such as Thrissur, Palakkad and Chittoor just for this inaugural walk,” said Dr. Nambiar. Students from various educational institutions in the city that have a considerable strength of Keralites also took part in the procession. “Institutions such as Nehru Group of Institutions, CMS Group of Institutions, Sree Narayana Guru College and Indus College of Engineering have brought several hundred students each,” said K. Rajagopalan, Chairman of CMS Group of Institutions.

Later, the gathering at VOC Park Grounds – the inauguration venue – was treated to a feast of Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi movie songs by Idea Star singers Soniya and Vidhya Shankar. Students of four colleges presented panja vadhyam, kavadiyattam, pulikkali and other folk arts of Kerala.

Chairman of CII - Yi, Coimbatore chapter, Anush Ramasamy, said the organisation provided a platform for several associations and organisations to come together and showcase Coimbatore’s strengths and harmony. This year, 110 events would be held for nine days by 85 organisations.

Inaugurating the programmes, Coimbatore Mayor S.M. Velusamy said Coimbatore Corporation was focusing on improving the infrastructure of the city to meet the requirements that came with growth.

Ashok Bakthavathsalam, Chairman of CII- Coimbatore, said the city had its strengths in textile, engineering, educational and healthcare fields. “Coimbatore Vizha celebrates the uniqueness of the city,” he said.

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