Pappanji’s framework arrives at Fort Kochi

Pappanji’s framework being brought to Fort Kochi in a swan shaped boat.

Pappanji’s framework being brought to Fort Kochi in a swan shaped boat.  

The 40-ft tall Pappanji is designed by artist and writer Bonny Thomas

The framework of the Pappanji, which represents the departing year and is customarily burnt to welcome the New Year at Fort Kochi, was brought along the waterway from Ponjikkara to Fort Kochi in a festive procession on Thursday.

Designed by artist and writer Bonny Thomas, the Pappanji this time around has the figure of a dapper old man with a flower stalk on one hand while a dove sits on his walking stick held in the other. It was brought in a boat decorated to resemble a swan. Two aeroplane-shaped boats and percussionists accompanied.

Rousing reception

A rousing reception was accorded to Pappanji by Cochin Carnival organisers led by K.J. Maxi, MLA, and the local councillor. Further work on the figure will be done at Greenix cultural art centre. Final touches will be given after its installation on the groyne behind the Cochin Club on December 30. Former Mayor K.J. Sohan said the erosion of the Fort Kochi beach, the largest of Fort Kochi’s community and secular spaces, was regrettable. “Constructions happening across the channel are causing erosion of the Fort Kochi beach. Continuous maintenance dredging only adds to it. The beach is where the people get together and spend time into late hours. The locals want the government to rebuild shoreline protection and also extend the five groynes so that the beach is safe.”

Thanks to the damage to the beach, the Pappanji would be burnt on December 31 midnight on one of the groynes.

The 40-ft tall Pappanji has a steel frame welded together at Anson D’souza’s shop at Ponjikkara. To make it eco-friendly, it’s been covered with sack, fabric and paper. The rubble after the burning of Pappanji, meaning grandfather and demonstrating Fort Kochi’s Portuguese legacy, would be removed immediately, said Greenix spokespersons. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran will torch the figure, welcoming 2018. Last year, nearly one lakh people witnessed the event.

As part of the Carnival, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) will organise a concert by popular rock music band Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate on December 31.The music night, led by the Kochi-based guitarist and composer, will be held from 10 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on New Year’s eve.

According to KBF Secretary Riyas Komu, the concert is a tribute to the cultural heritage of Kochi which was a major factor in helping the Kochi Biennale hog the limelight globally. “The Cochin Carnival is one of the hallmarks of this heritage; so, through this music event, the KBF becomes a participant in the cultural legacy,” he said.

Carnival committee secretary V.D. Majeendran said that since its inception, the KBF had a close association with the Carnival.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 2:41:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pappanjis-framework-arrives-at-fort-kochi/article22319889.ece

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