Changing times changed the Onam celebration .


If given an opportunity to travel back to those days  as Kid to celebrate Onam  I would graciously accept the opportunity with open hands , Yes for all , days, when we were young, are the most wonderful  periods  of our  life. The same applies to all  Malayalees back home  .Those days are simply awesome  the best cherished  moments are the build up to the celebration ,cleaning the house ,whitewashing walls , elders of our  house preparing well to welcome the Onam  with all its fervour and flavor, Designing pookalem  by collecting  flowers from nearby . Buying new clothes for the entire family , preparing Onam feast at home , family members jointly congregating at their ancestral home or under one common roof  , the smell of the paddy straw  just after the harvest  fills the air around us with attractive aroma  , preparing the  rice harvested from the field  , Different type of pickles made with mangoes and ginger , Banana Chips and “Sarkara varatty” makes the Onam Sadhya a complete feast if   served on neatly cut plantain leaf from our backyard   . Frankly, I  miss those days  of Onam badly  , wish if I have a time machine with me I would  have definitely  travelled back to  those old days   which is still fresh with sweet  memories in the deepest  corner of my mind  . If you  I do a reality check now, those days are the best days of my life .

   Onam  feast  is so instant today just like  a  fast food or Takeaway.

The present generation Onam  really symbolizes the true mark of brand  consumerism ,shopping malls queuing one after the another to offer too many products be it mobile phones , consumer durables , Apartments  and much more it is full of brands offering discounts , gifts, and lucky draws . The market-driven economy has slowly changed the contours of Onam , rather manufacturers see this  an opportunity to woo the consumers to buy their  new products which society  anymore  cannot resist. Advertisement campaigns in media both visual and audio is full of  offers , lucky draws and bumper prizes .  Most interesting thing doing rounds are the various catering services offering ready made feasts with different flavours of payasam .So today everything becomes  so instantaneous   , the hustle and bustle of preparing Onam feast have already missed from the majority of the households.

Changing times changed the way we celebrate Onam.

I think the significance of Onam  lies in days of harvesting , the exhibition of  traditional art forms   has lost its sheen at present, no one has the time to promote the art forms or majority of them are ill-informed about its origin.  Change from an  agrarian economy to a consumer driven economy is one of the  fine achievement  every Malayalis should  be proud of  . The paddy fields and cultivation have become a thing of the past , As an icing  on the cake    self-centric &  materialistic  nature of the society made the situation  far worse . than ever before .Things have attained sea of change from what it was 20 or 30 years back. The mythological significance of Onam remembering great king Mahabali just now  remains only  in the history books , but nobody in today’s time  bothers  to rekindle those good virtues which Mahabali stood for . The young generation has lost sight of the significance of Onam  in our socio-political landscape of Kerala. I am sure in next 10 years  young kids would just treat Onam as just another occasion to celebrate without knowing the true  underlying  spirit of Onam. The changes in lifestyle from joint family system to more concentrated nuclear family culture played a great part  in destroying true ethos of Onam as a cultural festival of Kerala.


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