KOCHI: After the flood, Kochi wears a festive look thanks to the ongoing Cochin Carnival and the Kochi Muziris Biennale. These festivals put the spotlight on the never-say-die attitude of the people of the district and also the state. This is the 35th year of the carnival, which is a celebration of unity in diversity. Cochin Carnival, which began on December 9 with a programme that included remembering the brave hearts who laid down their lives for our country, this year is being organised with the help of donations made by well-wishers.
According to a member of the Cochin Carnival Committee, an amount of `30 lakh will be needed for the event. “But till date, we have managed to collect only around Rs three lakh. Unlike the other years, in the aftermath of the flood, the government has not earmarked any amount for the carnival,” he said.
Without financial aid from the government, the organisers are forced to look for sponsors and other well-wishers. “The funds are not pouring in. This is expected since everyone’s hard-pressed for funds. The amounts coming in vary from `5,000 to `10,000. What we need is a bulk contribution for the smooth running of the festival,” he said. However, the organisers are confident of making the festival a grand success and will help the people of Kochi ring in the New Year in a grand manner to dispel the gloom cast by the flood.
As part of the festival, a cake-cutting function was held on Sunday. “We have put together a 40-kg Christmas cake to sweeten the celebrations,” said a committee member. The vanilla cake is a tribute to Pappanji, the central figure of Cochin Carnival. The cake was put together by the bakers right on the stage set up at Vasco Da Gama Square at Fort Kochi.
The day seven of the celebrations began with a badminton tournament at Kumbalangi. The tournament was organised by DTPOS.The day ended with a ghazal recital, which was organised as a tribute to Umbayi, at Pallathuraman Ground, Fort Kochi. On Monday, the festivities will begin with a drama titled ‘Mathayiyude Maranam’. The play has been written and directed by John Fernandes MLA. It will be staged at Pallathuraman Ground. The programmes will end with a ‘kathaprasangam’ by Edakochi Salimkumar.