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Kerala cultural festival begins

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Beat of nostalgia: Artistes perform on traditional instruments at the annual ‘Aavanipoovarangu’, on Saturday.
Beat of nostalgia: Artistes perform on traditional instruments at the annual ‘Aavanipoovarangu’, on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

Poets meet, fireworks display and food festival part of extravaganza

CHENNAI: Literary, sports and cultural events marked the opening of a two-day programme to showcase the ‘cultural extravaganza of Kerala’ here on Saturday.

Malayalam film lyricist and poet Gireesh Puthencherry said, “I feel that Keralites living outside Kerala, celebrate and cherish the memories of traditional festivals such as Onam, more than those living there.” He was inaugurating a poets meet, held as part of the ‘Aavanipoovarangu 2007’, the two-day Onam celebrations organised by the Confederation of Tamilnadu Malayalee Associations,

“Memories of those good old days when Onam was celebrated in a proper manner are now a part of our nostalgia. Those days are over,” he remarked. On Malayalam poetry, he said that though changes have come about over the years, the purity of the poems have remained unchanged. He added that the avoidance of yesteryear poetic techniques have not led to a decline in the standards of poetry. M.R.R. Warrier, writer, presided over the meet.

On Sunday, as part of the staging of Thrissur Pooram, a herd of 11 artificial elephants in full regalia, including peacock-feather fans and silk umbrellas, would make an appearance. Some 250 artists from Thrissur would be playing the melam, panchavadhyam and other instruments associated with the Pooram. It would be followed by an hour-long fireworks display. A food festival and consumer exhibition is also part of the event at the St. George’s AIHSS on E.V.R. Periyar High Road.

A ‘pookkalam’ competition has been scheduled for Sunday morning with the Pooram starting at 2.30 p.m. The public meeting commences at 5.30 p.m. with Governor Barnala, Kerala Minister for Law M. Vijayakumar and U.S. Consul-General David T. Hopper as special guests.

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