Belonging in India during Onam festival means attending the various street parades and feasts throughout this four day event. We watched the procession of drummers and dancers in the streets of Kumily, in Kerala. The young drummers have a sense of pride and belonging as they lead the procession.
As part of Onam in southern India, dancers paint their bodies in the likeness of tigers to perform the annual ‘Pulikali’ or Tiger Dance.
The festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug – Sep) and marks the commemoration of Vamana avatara of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King. Onam is reminiscent of Kerala’s agrarian past, as it is considered to be a harvest festival.
Although we didn’t belong to this community, we were welcomed by the locals. Indians are very inclusive and community minded.
Thanks Ailsa, for another travel prompt in Where’s My Backpack. Where’s my backpack indeed! I feel like heading off to Kerala right now.