Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Shashi Tharoor is a surprise guest at Sydney Onam event

The author and former diplomat proved that he is also a true-blue Malayali when he attended his state’s biggest festival here in Sydney

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Shashi Onam.Indian Link
Tharoor with this reporter, who was the MC at the event

The Sydney Malayalee Association’s Onam celebrations at Blacktown recently had a very special guest: former diplomat, author and orator Dr Shashi Tharoor.
“This is the right opportunity for the kids who grow up here to be indirectly reminded of the roots that they are leaving behind,” said Tharoor, who is also a two-time Member of Parliament in India.

“For the migrant diaspora, once you skip a generation, you feel that the appeal of the motherland changes. Possibly the first generation of children will relate to Kerala, and the next generation – if you are lucky – will still relate to India, and thereafter it is the distant memories about the ‘grandparents’ country and grandparents’ states’. And that is where celebrations like this matter, where a conscious effort is made, to preserve the sense of identification,” Tharoor pointed out.

Along the lines of what he stated, Onam celebrations this year was truly the celebration of the spirit of Keralites.

The Bowman Hall in Blacktown saw close to 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds enjoying the Onam Sadya, a banquet traditionally served on a banana leaf. The blend of flavours was a scrumptious experience for the adults and children alike, and it was interesting to see the Australian Parliamentarians enjoying it.
Ray Onam.Indian Link
Ray Williams, Minister of Multicultural Affairs and Disability Services, was the chief guest of the event. He stated, “This generosity and welcoming spirit of the Keralite community that we witness here is the symbol of hope, sincerity and harmony for the entire nation; and it does contribute substantially to our status as the most culturally diverse country.”
Jodi McKay, Member for Strathfield, proved her love for saris once again when she wore a traditional number at the event.
Jodi Onam.Indian Link
Councillors Susai Benjamin and Moninder Singh and President of United India Association John Kennedy were also guests at the event. The day also had a spectacular cultural event and some traditional outdoor games as well.
“We endeavour to make sure that the members of our community remain connected to the mainstream, yet retain our cultural identity as well. We have been organising a range of activities the whole of last year in that regard,” said Mr John Jacob, secretary of Sydney Malayalee Association.
Onam.Indian Link
This has included a get-together for elderly members, a spelling bee competition for children, a public speaking training workshop, a symposium on the topic Cultural Conflicts, and a barbeque and musical night featuring the much adored Malayalee musician Vaikom Vijayalakshmi.
Women’s forum and youth forums have also been formed, creating space for people from different realms to life to work amongst the community.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

Seniors, adult, match, cricket, sport, outdoors, park, day, ball, holidays,

Have you registered yet for National Backyard Cricket Day?

  If you played gully cricket as a child in India, you're probably already into backyard cricket. Well, here's your chance to do a bit of...
indian diaspora

India has world’s largest diaspora: UN

  India has the world's largest diaspora with about 18 million people born there now living abroad, according to John Wilmoth, the director of UN's...
netflix film tribhanga

Review: Tribhanga (Netflix)

  The great thing about Kajol is she can light up a scene as few stars do, with her zeal to enthral. The flip side...

Tandav on Amazon Prime: REVIEW and backlash

  Tandav opens with a raging kisaan andolan in Greater Noida over a government decision to turn farm land into a SEZ for urbanisation. Soon,...
lilly singh

WATCH: Lilly Singh’s rivalry with her overachieving ‘cousin’, Kamala Harris

  "Growing up I always got compared to my Indian cousins," shares Lilly Singh, reminding us of those unforgettable sibling rivalries we've all experiences at...