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Onam celebrated for the first time in House of Commons

world Updated: Sep 12, 2010 20:02 IST

PTI
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Onam, Kerala's biggest festival was celebrated for the first time in Britain's House of Commons.

The two-hour celebration, with a display of Kerala's art forms followed by a delicious Onam feast, was attended by several prominent people including Indian-origin Labour MP, Keith Vaz, Virendra Sharma, Labour MP, Stephen Timms, MP and Stephen Hammond, MP.

George Raju, Second Secretary (Economic) of the Indian High Commission, read out a message from the High Commissioner Nalin Surie.

Three art forms of Kerala - Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam were displayed on the occasion.

The celebrations started with an illustration of different Mudras and the power of expressions used in Kathakali by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Barbara Vijayakumar followed by a short performance of Kathakali by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar.

The Kathakali performance was a prelude to the National Kathakali Tour in about 50 venues all over the UK by the Kala Chethana Kathakali Company.

Several artists from Kerala, including Padmashree Kalamandalam Gopi will join the tour, starting later this month.

Sreedevi Veneesh and Kairali Narayan from Bristol gave a Mohiniyattam performance followed by Bharathanatyam by Vinod Nair.

The Chief Advisor of Kerala Business Forum T Haridas said: "Indian food and art forms are very popular in Britain and we are happy that both of these were presented to the British Parliamentarians on the occasion of Onam."