Onam is a Hindu festival that marks the homecoming of King Mahabali It is celebrated in Kerala, India. Cuyahoga Community College western campus in Parma hosted an Onam Festival.

I was invited along by my friend Mike Smith. We were the only non-Indians. What made us stand out even more was what I wore. I was in a wedding the day before. I told the groom I don’t care where I go I will be wearing this suit somewhere on Sunday and I did to – Onam. Most of the attendees wore traditional Indian garb and there I was all spiffy in this suit.

We ran late for the meal but they set a table just for us anyway as they were wrapping things up. This is as close to authentic Indian food as you can get in the states. Little differ from the real meal in India. The food was served from buckets and scooped out onto green paper instead of  banana leafs. The food is eaten with the hands but we asked for utensils.

I had to ask what I was eating because I had no clue. The dishes were rice, kitchadi, pachadi, avail, sambhar, thoran, parripu, and two others that I didn’t understand. I loved everything, wonderful, just wonderful tasting and spicy hot. The food was prepared by “Taste of Kerala” in Mayfield. After our meal Mike bought me a cup of Spiced Milk Tea (Masala Chai) that was also good.

 We only stayed for a couple of the acts on stage in the auditorium. Most were spoken in their native language so understanding what was going on was a bit hard but unique to watch especially the dances.

Here are just a few of the many events listed in the program:

Bharatanatyam

Onam Song

Kaikottikali

Panchavadyam