Hindus to observe Malayali New Year later this month

On April 23, 2023 (10.30 am) at Shirdi Saibaba Community Hall, Onehunga, Auckland

 

Venkat Raman
Auckland, April 7, 2023

Speeches, cultural performances and an elaborate lunch are on the cards for the members of the Organisation of Hindu Malayalees New Zealand (OHM NZ) as they celebrate Vishu, ushering in their New Year.

The event will be held on Sunday, April 23, 2023 from 10.30 am at the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Community Hall located at 12 Princes Street, Onehunga, Auckland.

About the Auckland Event

OHM NZ President Sasi Nambissan said that Vishu is one of the most important observances for the Malayalee Diaspora and that it marks a new beginning.

“Vishu marks the first day of Medam, the first month of the Malayalam Calendar followed in Kerala. Our forthcoming event will comprise cultural items such as music and dance presented by our members and their families. Among the highlights will be Vishu Sadhya, a sumptuous lunch with more than 20 items of food served on banana leaves. We expect at least 500 people to attend our Vishu 2023 Festival,” he said.

Mr Nambissan hoped that the programme will contribute to the cultural diversity, richness and positive race relations in New Zealand.

According to the Association’s website www.ohmnz.org.nz, the sale of tickets is closed.

Vishu in Three States 

Although typically a Hindu observance, people of other faiths also join in the festivities to celebrate Vishu. While it is predominantly popular in Kerala, Vishu is also celebrated in the Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka and the Mahe District of Pondicherry. Tamilians with a strong influence of Malayalam (such as those from Palghat) mark Vishu in their homes.

The forthcoming celebration of OHM NZ will be a strong example of this Malayalam-Kerala-Kannada combo.

Vishu is noted for its solemnity, characterised by family time, preparing colourful auspicious items and viewing these as Vishukkani, meaning that which is seen first. Malayalees seek to view the golden blossoms of the Indian laburnum (Kani Konna), money or silver items, cloth (Pattu or Silk), a mirror, rice and other harvest products. Vishu Kaineettam is the hansel given by elders to children. The Vishu arrangement includes an image of Vishnu (usually Lord Krishna).

The day also attracts firework play by children, wearing new clothes (Puthu Kodi) and Sadhya, comprising a mix of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items.

Vishu derives its name from ‘Visuvam,’ meaning equal, and connoting the celebration of the spring equinox in the past, although the equinox occurs 24 days earlier. It marks the first day of the Astronomical Year and hence Lord Vishnu and his Incarnation Lord Krishna are worshipped. Lord Vishnu is considered the God of Time.

It was on this day that Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and hence his idol or image is kept as a part of Vishu Kani.

About OHM NZ

The Organisation of Hindu Malayalees New Zealand focuses on the integration of the members of the Malayali community into New Zealand society through various development programmes focused on charity and social harmony while inculcating the ‘spirit of giving.’

The Association focuses on the younger members of the community, nurturing their moral, social, community and traditional values to serve communities.

It aims to grow this community as a major contributor to social progress by being progressive and by bringing the ethos of the diversity of Hinduism and creating awareness of the ‘Hindu way of life.’

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