For about 500 people from the state of Kerala in India and currently living in Malta today was a special day as they gathered in a hall at Fleur de Lys to commemorate the annual Onam Festival dedicated to harvest in the Hindu calendar, the religion of most of them.
According to legend, King Mahabali reigned in the state of Kerala, a kind and generous king whose subjects were really happy so much, that evil was unknown. However, one of the Hindu gods was jealous of Mahabali because the people loved him so much, so much he ended up killing him.
“Before he died he made a promise to all the people who loved him, every year I will come and visit you, so that’s the remembrance of him every year,” explained Maria Fijohn.
For this festival men and women wear traditional dress with many ornamental decorations and spend the day chanting, dancing and taking part in activities, including games that are much looked forward to.
Naturally, the highlight of the harvest event is food.
“Food actually. We have different kinds of dishes, I think about 15, rice is the main one, we have like different vegetables,” said Sanjolucy Prameela.
Indians from Kerala, wherever they are, celebrate the Onam festival, and not only those of the Hindu religion.
“This is the celebration which we all enjoy, whatever the culture, the cast, the religion, the Hindus, Muslims and Christians, in our state, we celebrate it together,” said Saikumar Nellikkunnu.
In Malta, this is the first time that Indians from Kerala have celebrated in such a big way.