Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Onam Pookkalam in Orthodox Church in India.

Traditional Onam lunch ..
Orthodox Church in India is the 2000 year old church established in 52 AD by St. Thomas, Jesus' disciple,  and is the oldest church in India. It celebrates Onam festival, the harvest festival of Kerala, in all its fervour, traditions and culture.

The traditional Pookkalam (circle with creative geometrical designs, decorated using different colours of flower petals) is laid out in the church verandah or hall with the traditional sadya (lunch) with all seated on the floor. About 15-20 different vegetarian traditional dishes with 2-3 desserts are served on banana palm leaf on the Sunday following the festival in the church premises.

Ghee, rice and boiled lentils curry forms the first course. Aviyal, Sambhar, olan, pachadi, kichadi, upperi, mezhukkupiratti, thoran, chakkarapuratti, pappadam, achar (two or three types), butter milk and rice is the main course. The main course is taken as two or three sub courses. The desserts come in the final two or three courses, like payaru payasam, ari payasam ada pradhaman, curd and liquid jaggery (sarkara paani), green gram stuffed roti with sweet lentils dessert etc..

Kaikottikali, the traditional folk dance played by ladies, which requires great co-ordination, practice  and body flexibility, have not yet been played on church premises. Watch it here..  Some churches get the traditional percussion band, chendamelam played on the church premises. Here is a video ..

True reflection of the Indianness of a middle-east based faith. Even the church main premises (HQ) is in Kottayam, India with an Indian spiritual Head.

There is a branch of people who claim that Jesus got trained in spirituality and working wonders in India till the age of 30. (the Bible does not mention anything bout where Jesus ws till age of 30 years). Then he went to his home town in middle East and continued efforts only to refine Judaism which later became Christianity.

I have also heard learned people claiming that Jesus was not crucified and instead came to India and spent the rest of his life in Kashmir, India. A matter of contention !

Ge ..

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