A Taste of Kerala Culture: IHS Celebrates Onam


Onam is a four-day festival which falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam, and is a state holiday in Kerala. This year, the Onam festival began on 13th September. Senior School Malayali students, along with the Student Council, worked together so that IHS students could experience Onam in a very traditional way. Celebrations were held on Uthradom, the first day of the festival, though Thiruvonam, or the second day, is usually the main day. The preparation began the day before with students and teachers coming together to prepare the flowers for the next day. The dress code was white and gold. Girls dressed up in white and gold kurtis and the boys wore dhotis for a change.

A special assembly was held in Tarana, which began with a comedic re-enactment of the legend of King Mahabali. Middle School students performed the traditional kaikottikali around the pookalam. Jyotsna akka sang Maharaja Swathi Thirunal’s celebrated kriti Bhogeendra Sayinam in Raga Kuntalavarali. A video by Put Chutney about how to eat on a banana leaf set everyone in peals of laughter. The video marked the end of a very cultural morning and kept all waiting for the best part of the day – Onam Sadya, or – in simpler words – the Onam feast! Banana leaves were laid out and all of us sat down for a scrumptious lunch. One by one all the items came by:- puli inji, nendran banana chips, chakka varuthathu, cabbage poriyal, olan, avial, rice, vendakka theeyel, pineapple rasam, curd, appalam, mango pickle and palada pradhaman. At 5:15pm everyone gathered again in Tarana for a pookalam competition. Junior school was divided house-wise, and Middle and Senior School were divided class-wise. Pookalams were judged on originality, colour composition, optimal use of given flowers and class/house-participation. One and a half hours flew by feverishly with each team trying to conceptualize and create their floral creations. While all the pookalams had their own charm, a few stood out, and laurels were awarded.

Junior School

Winner – Jajji House

Runner Up – Arali House

Middle School

Winner – Akashmalli Class

Runner Up – Manoranjita Class

Senior School

Winner – Class 9

Runner Up – Class 8

Onam 2016 was definitely a day to remember.