International virtual Kerala Onam floral contest gets a warm response

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Kerala Onam.

Kerala Tourism’s Global Pookkalam (floral carpet) contest to be held virtually has got a good response from the country and abroad, said State Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyaz.

The government is hosting the virtual competition, titled ‘Viswa Manavikathayude Loka Ona Pookkalam’, in the backdrop of Covid-19 that has forced Malayalis to remain indoors and celebrate the harvest festival.

Riyaz said the international Pookalam contest gives a common platform to both Malayali diaspora who are unable to visit the state during Onam and Keralites who miss their opportunity for social get-togethers this year owing to Covid-19 conditions.

“The theme of the event sends across the Onam message of unity and fraternity. Usually, expatriate Malayalis celebrate this festival along with fellow members of their associations. This time, the Pookalam contest facilitates them to celebrate Onam with all Malayalis across the globe,” said Riyaz who is also the son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Minister has asked all Keralites wherever they are to participate free of cost by registering at https://www.keralatourism.org/contest/pookkalam2021, where the Pookkalam image can be uploaded till August 23 midnight.

The jury under the Department of Tourism will evaluate the Pookkalams and select 100 from among them. They will be uploaded onto the website of the department.

The contestants will be awarded first, second and third prizes in two categories: individual and organization/association. There will be ten consolation prizes. Also, all participants will be given a special Onam gift.

All contestants can download from the website their certificate of participation.

Kerala Tourism is also readying a comprehensive video programme featuring folk arts by the state’s performers who are in financial difficulties owing to the pandemic. The 15-minute clips will be beamed online through audio-visual and social media.

The three main days of the harvest festival of Onam starts on Friday and due to the pandemic, like in the last year, this time also all public celebrations are forbidden.

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