Students from Malabar districts often turn the region’s collective consciousness about certain arts to their advantage when they participate in the State School Arts Festival. This collective consciousness or team spirit, coupled with the strands of selflessness from certain parents, helps the students of Malabar emerge triumphant in certain art forms that enjoy a regional legacy.
As expected, Malabar districts such as Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad are cruising ahead of others when Asia’s biggest school arts festival entered its fourth day on Friday. With one more day to go, it is almost certain that any of those Malabar districts will lift the overall championship.
Group art forms with a strong regional rooting and tradition like Oppana, Poorakkali, Arabanamuttu, Duffmuttu and Kolkali give some edge to Malabar students over their counterparts from the other side of the State. “More than having a solid rooting in Malabar, what makes those group items give an edge to the students of Malabar districts is the collective pride the region takes in those art forms and the parents’ approach towards those group items,” said Anil Kurupan, a senior school teacher from Malappuram.
Such group items not only provide an opportunity for the large audiences to enjoy a colourful treat, but also help participants secure more points, and thus help their respective schools and districts go up in the scale of points.
Hardly anyone will dispute that Oppana is one of the most colourful and favourite events of the State School Arts Fest. If the event is held in Malabar, then it is guaranteed to pull the biggest audience. So is Kolkali, one of the fastest and thrilling stage events of the youth festival. And once again, Kozhikode has proved it.
“The people of Malabar give more thrust to their traditional art forms when it comes to school arts festivals. This rare link of tradition is evident especially when it comes to group events. That is definitely a factor giving Malabar districts an edge over their southern counterparts,” said Mr. Kurupan.
“It is unfair to compare the people of Malabar and the southern districts. But in my experience of 23 years, I have found that those in the south are more concerned about their children’s individual performance. But when it comes to Malabar, I have seen many examples of selflessness among parents,” said a woman teacher from Kollam who requested not to be named.