To keep its community members engaged during the lockdown, a community association has been holding online singing, drawing contests and Facebook live shows of its traditional recipes.
Founded in 1936 in the city, The Young Mens Bovi Association (YMBA) is an 84-year-old association of a community called Moyars - traditionally engaged in fishing. The community numbering around 25,000 speaks a dialect called Moya Malayalam having influences of Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Tulu.
While they have their roots in Coorg, they settled later in the coasts of Kerala and Karnataka. A sizeable number of them had moved to Bombay some generations ago for better opportunities.
The association has been holding online contests for its members during the lockdown period. In the past weeks, a singing competition ‘YMBA sing from home’ was held in which participants had to send in short videos of themselves singing. “We advertised about the contest in Whatsapp groups of our community and urged people to participate,” says Kripakar Kumble, Chief Editor of the community’s magazine ‘Moyar’ and a committee member of YMBA. “We then created Whatsapp groups for the contest and included participants and audience in it,” he adds.
Thereafter, a drawing competition ‘YMBA Art Showcase’ was held in which the youngest to participate was a three-year-old, while those above 50 years also participated. Participants registered for this using Google Forms. “We got suggestions that we must hold contests that would appeal to children. Since our community is traditionally engaged in fishing, most entries saw children sketch the old fishing days. To make the event more interactive, we asked children to introduce themselves in the video and say a little about their sketch,” says Kumble. The contest saw more than 130 participants across ages from India and abroad.
Also ongoing is a Facebook live twice a day of traditional cooking recipes of the community on a newly created Facebook group, open to the public. “The idea is also to bring our traditional recipes to the forefront and document them for future generations to follow,” says Kumble. Coming up is also a comedy show where people can show their comic skills with videos shot at home itself.