Expats from other Indian states join Malayalee women and girls for mega-Thiruvathira
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Dubai: Passion and patriotism united when 1,246 Indian women in the UAE presented a performance of a traditional dance form of Kerala, Thiruvathira, in Dubai on Friday.
The women, a majority of them hailing from the South Indian state of Kerala, presented the dance at the Etisalat Academy.
Their performance was part of a carnival named ‘Pooram Dubai 2017’, an event replicating the mini version of Thrissur Pooram, the most famous cultural festival of Kerala.
From young girls to grandmothers, the dancers — dressed in traditional Kerala attire and with jasmine flowers adorning their hair — offered a visual feast of rhythm and grace to thousands of spectators.
Their two-month-long practice sessions in 40 groups at homes, parks and other venues across the UAE found fruition as they danced, uniformly bedecked in finery, for 15 minutes and 30 seconds, choreographed by Malayalam actress and dancer Asha Sharath.
Sreerekha Ajithkumar, one of the coordinators of the performance, told Gulf News that a lot of effort had gone into the arrangement for the first-of-its-kind, all-women performance in Dubai.
“It was a challenge to locally source the same items for such a large number of participants. We had to get the set sari and mundu (traditional attire) and jewellery from Kerala and also book a bulk order for jasmine garlands from a flower shop here.”
Another coordinator, Smitha Suresh, saluted the spirit of the participants. “These wonderful women and girls put in a lot of effort to make this happen.”
Age, faith no barThe coordinators particularly appreciated the participation of Seethala Babu, a grandmother in her sixties.
“She is the oldest participant and is dancing with a torn tendon in her right hand. She postponed a keyhole surgery and has been managing with physiotherapy sessions to not miss the event. She is also the team leader of 48 women from Al Khail Gate community,” explained Sreerekha.
Jaya Gopakumar, another coordinator, said it was heartening to see women of different faiths and non-Malayalees also joining the troupe.
“We have Hindu, Christian and Muslim participants. Around 50 women are from other states in the south and north of India.”
Hailing from Maharashtra, Ashwini Mohinani, whose daughter Gayatri took part in the dance, said she was excited to join the women dancers after she got to know of the event from an Onam festival celebration she attended with Malayalee friends.
“It is a beautiful show they have come up with. I had to drop out in between as I couldn’t manage to go for practice daily due to work. I’m glad my daughter could be a part of it.”
Daily practiceRajani Prasanth from Abu Dhabi, who led a 14-member team, said the friends living in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, did not miss the daily practice and also made it to the weekend practices in Dubai, all thanks to their passion for dancing.
Vaishnavi Sreekumar, who runs a private dance institute in Al Ghusais, brought in the biggest team of participants. “We are 76 members. Except three teenagers, all are mothers and four of them are dancing for the first time.”
Remya Bineesh, another dance teacher, said the women were excited to be a part of the performance said to bid for the record of the largest Thiruvathira performed outside India.
“Whether we set a record or not, we are thrilled that we are participating in this and spreading happiness in Dubai. It is also our tribute to this city and this country.”
The Pooram Dubai carnival, organised by Crystal Top Events, also featured a grand percussion performance by traditional drummers flown in from Kerala and ‘kudamaattam’, the changing of the traditional ornate umbrellas by mahouts sitting atop elephants, for which five life-size elephant replicas were arranged.
Backwaters : Backwaters of Kerala are a maze of lagoons criss-crossed with rivers, shallow pools and canals, all separated from the sea by a narrow strip of sand banks. In many places, the backwaters connect to form large lakes. Backwaters are present throughout the state Astamudi Lake is highly unique due to its topography. This is the most beautiful backwater of Kerala The annual Vallam Kali boat races take place in the backwaters. The boats are large wooden canoes that can accommodate 60 to 100 rowers. The most famous race is for the Nehru Trophy Vallam Kalli, held on the second Saturday of August as a tribute to the former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who had a keen interest in this sport.
Mountains : The Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats, popularly known as Nilgiris which has numerous hill stations in this area. The most popular is Munnar, the honeymoon capital of the state. The highest peak of the Western Ghats is located at Anamudi (2,695 metres) and is good for trekking. The area is also home to several sanctuaries and forest reserve areas. Several small and big Hill stations, spread in Eastern Districts of Kerala are highly popular picnic spots. Wayanad and Idukki offers several such idyllic picnic spots. There are more than two dozen waterfalls, both large and small, with numerous rapids and springs. The largest fallwaters are at Athirampally, where three milky waterfalls fall at great speed.
Forest Parks : Periyar National Tiger Park, Eravikulam Reserve, Silent Valley Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Reserves are some of the most popular tourist destinations, offering spectacular insights to the rich flora and fauna biosphere of Kerala. Many of these parks are well known internationally due to presence of exotic animals like Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, Indian Muntjac, Sambar Deer, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Dhole, leopard and the Indian Tigers, which many are endangered rare species. Some little known animals such as Nilgiri langur, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Indian Porcupine, Nilgiri Marten, small clawed otter, Ruddy Mongoose, and Dusky striped squirrel offers a visual treat to tourists. Wild elephant herds making seasonal visits to water bodies are also seen in many of these parks.
Kerala also has several bird parks, with more than 132 species of birds on record. Thattekkad Salim Rajan Bird Park is one such famous destination along with Malayatoor Forest Reserves
Many popular hill-stations like Nelliyampatty, Peechi Dam, Ranipuram, Vythiri and Kumarakom offers unique natural wildlife parks, with lots of rare flora and fauna to be explore
If you were to ask us, where to head for New Year 2018, we will certainly say that you must visit Kerala. Kerala is one of the most happening New Year party destinations not only in India but across the world. Kerala also offers a chance to celebrate New Year and Xmas in the sunny outdoors in beaches or backwaters . Tourists from across the globe can be seen in Kerala if you are here during New Year 2018 Celebrations.
While cruising in houseboat is an appealing way to celebrate new year that is unique to Kerala, you will be in for an awesome treat if you attend cochin carnival or the burning of the gigantic Pappanji or Santa in Fort Kochi beach. When you attend any new year party in Kerala you’ll find everyone in an enthusiastic party mode, locals and tourists alike and the sun doesn’t set on the New Year celebrations in Kerala.
If you are planning for your X’mas and New Year 2018 Celebrations in Kerala, here are some tips from us on how best to make this new year a memorable day.
Varkala, Kovalam or Fort Kochi will be among the best places to spend the New Years Eve 2017 in Kerala. However if you ask us to pick one place we would surely pick Fort Kochi, simply because of the carnival celebrations on the day of new year 2018 which falls on a Sunday, January 1.
In Kochi, burning of Pappanji or a giant statue of Santa that marks the start of a new year.Burning of Pappanji, is a 500 year old tradition to mark the end of Xmas and New Year festivities which was started when Portuguese established its first base in India at Kochi as part of Portuguese New Year celebrations.This is usually celebrated in Fort Kochi beach and nearly a hundred thousand people attend the celebrations in the beach every year.
Cochin Carnival is hosted every year in the last week of December and it runs with the New year and ends with a massive procession on New Year’s Day through Fort Kochi. The highlight of the carnival is the massive procession on the New Year”s Day. Led by an embellished elephant and accompanied by drums and music, the carnival is a moment to behold and stays with you….well….until the next year! There is also staging of different South and North Indian folk dances during the festivity.
Preparations begin months in advance for hosting the carnival games, fairs and partying. Dressed up in fancy costumes, everyone including the children are seen bursting with enthusiasm and unbridled energy. The available space on the streets host impromptu competitions and multifaceted celebrations. Kalam Vara (floor drawing), tug-of-war, bicycle race, swimming in the sea, beach volleyball are some of the programs that take place during the Carnival.
New Year 2016 in Kochi (last year )was also marked by the Kochi-Muziris Biennale which was also a major factor for attracting domestic and international travelers. Art lovers from around the country and abroad visited Fort Kochi for the first Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2015 and here are some snapshots from Kochi Muziris Biennale in 2016.
The Vasco Da Gama square and the streets are dotted with makeshift shops selling kerala souvenirs , artificial jewellery and traditional garments in New Year and if you are planning to go for New year Parties in Kochi in 2018, you need to book much in advance.
If you are not in Cochin, don’t worry. Most hotels in Kerala have grand New Year parties with live band and DJs. If you are already booked with a hotel , check the rates to see whether the Grand New Year Ball rates are included with the room rates. It is a compulsory inclusion in most New Year itineraries. However be forewarned that tickets will be expensive to get into any new year ball and stags are not allowed.
Kerala may be one of the most ideal destinations to celebrate new year and December – January is cold and comfortable and is ideal for sightseeing in Kerala. There is no snow and it will be comfortably cold. However it is better to book hotels and resorts early for your New Year in Kerala as this is the peak season and the rates of resorts are very high and climate in Kerala is ideal for a holiday. New Year has good climate for houseboat trips in Kerala , bird watching, fishing and canoeing.
There's a new summer hit in town, which has got the internet up on its feet.
A song called Entammede Jimikki Kamal has become famous around the world after people decided it's the next big song for a dance challenge.
One routine in particular from the Indian School of Commerce has shot to stardom, with over 16 million views already.
Now, the original video for the song has over 20 million views too.
Watch the video to see what the hype is all about!
ന്യുയോർക്ക്∙ അമേരിക്കൻ നാഷണൽ സ്പെല്ലിങ് ചാംപ്യൻഷിപ്പായ "സ്ക്രിപ്പ്സ് നാഷണൽ സ്പെല്ലിങ് ബീ" യിൽ മലയാള...
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പള്ളിവാള ഭദ്രവട്ടകം ... !!
നമ്മുടെ നാടൻപാട്ട് ലോകം കീഴടക്കുന്നു ...!!
വിദ്യ വോക്സ് എന്ന പേരിലറിയപ്പെടുന്ന വിദ്യ അയ്യർ എന്ന ഇന്ത്യൻ വംശജയായ അമേരിക്കൻ ഗായികയിലൂടെയാണ് നമ്മുടെ നാടൻ പാട്ട് ലോകം കേൾക്കുന്നത് . പ്രശസ്ത കർണാടിക് സംഗീതജ്ഞയായിരുന്ന പരേതയായ ഡോക്ടർ ഡി.കെ പട്ടമ്പാളിന്റെ സഹോദരൻ ശ്രീ.ഡി.കെ നാഗരാജൻ ആണ് വിദ്യയെ കർണാടിക് സംഗീതം പഠിപ്പിച്ചത് . പോപ് സംഗീതം കൂടാതെ ഹിന്ദി, ഭോജ്പുരി, ഫ്രഞ്ച്, മലയാളം,തമിൾ,തെലുഗു തുടങ്ങിയ ഭാഷകളിലും ഗാനങ്ങൾ ആലപിക്കാറുണ്ട്. 250+ മില്ല്യൺ views, 2.1 മില്ല്യൺ subscribers ഉള്ള "VidyaVox" എന്ന യൂട്യൂബ് ചാനൽ ലോക പ്രശസ്തമാണ് .
അങ്ങനെ നമ്മുടെ നാടൻ പാട്ടും ലോകം കേൾക്കുന്നു ... !!
BOLLYWOOD DANCE BY TEACHERS IN SAN RAMON, CALIFORNIA, USA :Bollywood Dance by Quail run teachers in San Ramon, California, USA
Import: Currency Regulations in IndiaLocal Currency (INR) -
Any person resident in India, who had gone out of India on a temporary visit, may bring into India at the time of his return from any place outside India (other than from Nepal and Bhutan), currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) per person.
Any person residing outside India and visiting India may bring into India currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) per person
There is no limit to bring foreign exchange in India from the US. However, the aggregate value of foreign currency notes in excess of USD 5000 or equivalent and the aggregate value of foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or traveller's cheques in excess of USD 10,000 or its equivalent must be declared to the customs.
The limit for foreign currency notes is USD 3,000 and must be declare by filing CDF (Currency Declaration Form) if it exceeds the limit.
Export: Currency Regulations in IndiaForeign Currency-
There is no limit to carry foreign exchange to the US. However, amounts exceeding USD 5,000 or equivalent and foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or traveller's cheques in exceeding USD 10,000 or its equivalent must be declared to the customs.
Local Currency (INR) -
There is a limit of INR 25,000 per person for Indian residents to carry from India to US.Any person who resides outside India is allowed to take out of India, the unspent money bought by him/her.
Any person residing outside India may take outside India currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) per person
Eminent as the Gods Own Country, Kerala is the nature lovers’ delight and adventure seekers dream spot. There are several fascinating elements that make Kerala an ideal location for a memorable vacation. The state is rich with its amazing greenery, swaying coconut trees, backwaters, wildlife, culture, history, and food, offering a unique experience for the travelers. The National Geographic Traveler voted Kerala as one of its ‘Ten Paradise Found.’ Take a look at these incredible places that are most suitable to experience the best of Kerala.
Discover the Marvelous Culture and History at Kochi
Popular as the “Queen of Arabian Sea,” Kochi is a major port city and important trading centre of Kerala situated by the Arabian Sea. The city was one of the first European colonies and has a huge collection of impressions left by the British, Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese. Kochi can be a perfect place to start the Kerala trip with a feel of the History of Gods Own Country. Some of the many tourist attractions in Kochi include Chinese fishing nets, Vasco House, Jewish Town, Dutch Palace, and Museum of Kerala history. Apart from these, the Hill Palace- Built by the Kochi Rajas in 1865 is ideal to explore and experience the rich History of the state. The palace now is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala displaying several murals, sculptures, manuscripts, inscriptions, and belongings of the Kochi royal family.
Enjoy the Beauty of Nature at Idukki and Wayanad
Idukki is one of the well-known tourist destinations of Kerala. This hill station located along the Western Ghats is a nature lover's delight with its majestic waterfalls and foggy- green carpet coated mountains. Idukki is the most naturally rich place in Kerala which includes the famous tourist spots like Munnar, Thekkady, Ramakkalmedu, Vagamon and the names are numerous.
Renowned as the Green Paradise of Kerala, Wayanad is nestled among the Western Ghats along the borders of the state. The land is not only filled with natural greenery and hills but also rich heritage, culture, and history. The place is calm, peaceful, serenic adorned with abundant wildlife with a blend of nature and heaven.
Relax at the Backwaters of Kottayam and Alleppey
Escape from the city life and relax with extreme travel pleasure at the Backwaters of Kumarakom. Kumarakom, situated 13 Km away from Kottayam is a little village along the VembanadLake in Kerala offering wide variety of flora, exotic sightseeing, boating, and fishing experience. The dancing palm trees and the exquisite houseboats add a unique flavor to the vacation. Don’t forget to try the Kottayam cuisines especially the non-vegetarian dishes.
Better known as "Venice of the East," Alleppey is known for backwater tourism and the matchless non vegetarian cuisines. The mouthwatering fish verities and exquisite traditional Kerala food with the famous toddy offers a unique experience to your taste buds.
Enjoy a Memorable Evening at the Beaches Of Trivandrum and Kannur
Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala. The city is of great historic importance and one of the famous tourist destinations as well. The city has two beaches- Kovalam – rated as one of the best beaches in Kerala and Varkala - an amazing beach with a little seaside. Kovalam is the best place to enjoy a great evening witnessing the sun set.
Kannur is home to the Kerala’s only drive-in beach- the Muzhappilangad beach. The beach is one of the longest drive-in beaches in India which stretches across four kilometers.
Experience the Jungle and Wildlife at Palakkad