The Australian Malayalee Islamic Association (AMIA) held a full-day event celebrating the culture of Kerala on Saturday 11 August 2018 at Old Government House in Parramatta as part of the National Trust’s exhibition “Tales from the East.”
The Lonely Planet describes Kerala as South India’s ‘most beautiful state’, comprising 600 kilometres of glorious Arabian seacoast, glistening backwaters, and spice and tea-covered hills. It is home to famous backwaters, elegant houseboats, Ayurvedic treatments and delicately spiced, taste-bud-tingling cuisine, Kerala is also renowned for its fauna: wild elephants, exotic birds and the odd tiger.
The event attended by almost 500 people with free entry for all was inaugurated by the Consul General of India, Mr Vanlavawnaon presented a rich array of activities including displays of beautiful saris, Kerala crafts, Cooking demonstrations of South Indian food, traditional dancing, and Henna painting.
The program also included short talks on subjects including traditional medicine, faith and culture and Lachlan Macquarie’s links with Kerala.
The visitors experienced the delights of Kerala, had a glimpse of the historical narrative and viewed furnishings and collections on display at Old Government House as part of the Tales from the East exhibition.
AMIA NSW showed the best of Kerala Muslim’s Culture, for one and all to educate, learn, feel and then provide a platform to integrate. The world has witnessed and seen for the past 1400 years, that Muslim culture of Kerala co-existence with the numerous cultures, subcultures and with the value systems of Multicultural India with a long track record.
Mr Hasim opened the event followed by a talk on General Macquarie & Kerala by Ian Stephenson, Kerala: A precis & its Islamic bequest,
Dr Mohamed K Shaffi talked on Vibrant Transformations since AD 629 while Mr Nizar Moideen presented the Mesmerising Kerala Brand: The tales of Eastern Medicine and Dr Rafeena Kidavinintavida explained The Iconography of Prayer Rugs.
The Consul General, AMIA President and chief coordinator of the event Dr Ali Parappil and Ian Stephenson inspected the exhibition and displays together followed by observing Kerala traditional Muslim kids activities: oppana ( little girls) and Duff muttu( boys) performances in the courtyard.
The event concluded with the closing ceremony and awards of certificates to the participating kids by Nation Trust President, Brian Power,
A special vote of thanks was given to Mr Ian Stephenson from the Old Government House for his help in holding the event.