Onam Village


We celebrated Onam*, Kerala’s rice harvest festival, earlier today at Singapore Malayalee Association‘s annual Onam Village at Naval Base Secondary School. The function featured sports activities for children and families, which my toddler found a hoot, and a cultural program (which we didn’t stay to see, unfortunately).

The absolute highlight of our morning in Yishun was the Onam sadya, or banquet of vegetarian dishes, served on a banana leaf. The meal featured aviyal (steamed vegetables in a coconut and yogurt sauce); erissery (pumpkin in a roasted coconut sauce); kalan (plantains and yams cooked in yogurt); and three varieties of payasam (pudding made by boiling rice, green gram, or vermicelli with milk and sugar and flavored with cardamom, raisins, and nuts). It’s so rare to have the opportunity to share in such a slow and sumptuous meal; we savored it!

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In years past, Malayalees in Singapore have staged vallam kali, the festival’s traditional boat race, in Chinese Gardens (2011) and Jurong Lake (2012). Does anyone know if this event will be celebrated in 2014?

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* Thiru Onam, the most important day of the four-day festival, is actually on September 7.