As Mina Cander joyfully belted out the good old Onam songs “Poovili..Poovili…Ponnonamayi” and “Payippattatil Vallamkali..” in her accented Malayalam, the natives of Fort Kochi couldn’t hide their excitement.
From Turkey Mina flies all the way to Kerala every year to celebrate her favorite Onam festival. This year she brought some friends too. Kanan Osack, Serif Tokat, Asiye Yukan, Bikan Yukan and Memet had heard a lot about Onam festivities and they came along with Mina to experience it.
As soon as the group landed in Kochi on the day of Uthradam, they bought themselves brand new ‘kasavu’ sarees and kurta to shine as perfect ‘Malayali’ men and women. They happily wore the traditional attire to have a mouth watering Onasadya(feast) on Thiruvonam day organized by ‘Friends Of Njaliparambu’. In return the group distributed some authentic Turkish sweets making it a perfect occasion where two cultures met in harmony.
Mina's friends are photographers and they have been shutter-happy since they arrived. Rajasthan is also one of their favorite destinations. Mina artist has been traveling to Kochi for the past ten years during Onam as the spring season and colorful festivities have swept her off her feet. Two years ago Mina could not celebrate Onam at Fort Kochi as the sea side tourist destination suspended all celebrations which followed a tragic boat mishap. Mina says that she returned home disappointed that year.
The Turkish group which happily took part and sang songs at the Onam celebrations organized by the Fort Kochi Home Stay Owners Association will go back to Turkey on 9th carrying amazing memories of the festival of love and camaraderie.