Kerala Fest: United Malayalee Association Kicks Off 3-Day Cultural Extravaganza In Bhopal With Spectacular Inauguration To Mark Its 40th Anniversary

Kerala Fest: United Malayalee Association Kicks Off 3-Day Cultural Extravaganza In Bhopal With Spectacular Inauguration To Mark Its 40th Anniversary

Kalaripayattu, Theyyam , Mayoora Nritham ,Kalaroopangal enchant audience

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, June 08, 2024, 06:25 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The United Malayalee Association (UMA) joyously inaugurated the inaugural Kerala Fest in Bhopal, heralding the commencement of an exuberant three-day celebration of culture at the Bittan Market Ground. Bhopal witnessed an enthusiastic turnout as residents congregated to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Kerala.

This cultural extravaganza, spanning three days, is organized in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the United Malayalee Association. The entrance to the Kerala Fest depicted heritage Kerala homes, giving a princely look of olden days, with the driveway projecting life and times of Kerala.

The evening’s main attraction was the electrifying Kalarippayattu demonstration led by the renowned K F Thomas Gurukkal. As the Chief Master Trainer and proprietor of Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam, Thomas Gurukkal brought his extensive expertise and passion to the stage. His journey in Kalarippayattu began under the guidance of M.A.

The inaugural day began with a captivating performance by the Pratibhalaya Arts Academy. The classical dance segment, choreographed by Manju and Vishal Hatvalne, paved the way for an evening filled with enchanting performances. The dancers' graceful movements and evocative storytelling captivated the audience, showcasing the timeless beauty of India’s classical dance forms.

Following this mesmerizing performance, attendees were treated to a vibrant showcase of traditional Kerala art forms under the segment titled Kalaroopangal. This segment featured performances that depicted the rich cultural heritage of Kerala, offering a unique opportunity for the people of Bhopal to delve into the traditional arts of another Indian state. Distinguished guests and dignitaries shared their insights and expressed their support for this significant cultural initiative. Their speeches underscored the importance of cultural exchange and the role of such events in fostering unity and understanding among diverse communities.

Thomas Gurukkal’s performance, alongside his team of 13 skilled artists, was a thrilling display of martial prowess. Their coordinated movements, agility, and strength left the audience in awe. The demonstration not only showcased the physical aspects of Kalarippayattu but also its philosophical and spiritual dimensions, reflecting the holistic approach of Thomas Gurukkal, who has also delved into Kriya Yoga under the guidance of Soryanda Baba of the Himalayas. His holistic approach extends to his expertise in Kalari marma massage therapy, where he personally gathers and prepares Ayurvedic medicinal herbs for therapeutic oils.

In addition to the martial arts performance, the evening featured another segment of classical dance by the Pratibhalaya Arts Academy. Over 100 stalls adorned with Kerala spices, ornaments, clothes, educational institutions, and builders offered a glimpse into the diverse facets of Kerala’s culture and lifestyle. Attendees also had the opportunity to indulge in Kerala’s traditional culinary delights, experiencing the rich tapestry of flavors that the state has to offer.

Highlighting the Folk - Tribal Studies Research Training Center's "Manikyakallu” program, attendees were treated to mesmerizing displays of traditional art forms from Kerala's districts. Among the highlights were the iconic Theyyam Dance, known for its vibrant costumes and powerful performances, and the graceful Mayoora Nritham (Peacock Dance), which captivated the audience with its elegance and beauty.

 OD Joseph, President of the United Malayalee Association said  "We are thrilled to see such an overwhelming response on the first day of Kerala Fest. This event is a celebration of Kerala's rich cultural heritage, and it warms our hearts to witness the people of Bhopal embracing it wholeheartedly. We eagerly anticipate the next two days of festivities."

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