Onam is celebrated with exuberance and zeal not just in Kerala, but by the Malayali community everywhere around the world. The festivities are incomplete without donning the signature kasavu or enjoying a traditional feast or Onam ‘sadhya’. However, one brand’s modern take on the festival is drawing flak online. Reason: a salwar kameez collection and dosa and idli on the platter!
The 10-day annual event, which celebrates the return of King Mahabali, who had promised to visit Kerala once a year, is essentially a harvest festival that holds a great cultural significance. Hence when a clothing brand decided to give a modern twist to the biggest festival moving away from its true essence, it left many irked.
Sharing some promotional pictures of its new products from the ‘Onam Collection’, Cottons Jaipur showed women dressed in white salwar suit, enjoying a meal served on a banana leaf. The image showed dosa and idli on the plate, along with three steel bowls with sambhar and chutney, with a little rice on the side.
With people arguing that just a white-and-gold combination doesn’t make it fit for Onam, people tagged the brand to take down the post. Many also wondered since when dosa and idli were part of ‘sadhya’ meal.
Since when did Dosae and Idli be a part of Onam Sadhya? pic.twitter.com/bObh14Gun5
— Anubha Upadhya (@ahbunaa) August 12, 2021
Check out what goes into a Onam Sadhya and how to serve one here.
The screenshot of the post started a serious conversation online, with many asking how difficult is it to do a proper research before doing such elaborate photoshoots. Some were even unhappy that that the festive collection didn’t feature a kasavu. While most criticised them for their ignorance, others took on the brand with sarcasm.
However, some defended the brand and argued that not every meal eaten on a banana leaf is a ‘sadhya’ just because the collection was dedicated to the festival.
By that yardstick we should serve ‘sarson da saag’ to Biharis for ‘chhatt puja’ and ‘litti chokha’ to the Punjabis for ‘lohri’. Same same.
— Veeraa (@ferrero_raocher) August 12, 2021
Sadya is served on banana leaves, but all food served on banana leaves is not sadya.
— Dark Light (@LightBringer_00) August 12, 2021
Any part of south = Idli + dosa + chutney + white gold + maligai
— Nareal Chutney (@VeduVada) August 12, 2021
Why are they having dosa and appalam? And rice is literally in a corner 😭😭
— -_- (@jananee_17) August 12, 2021
WHERE IS THE KASAVU https://t.co/R89zJ049jBAdvertisement
— pick me stuff me name me she/her🏳️🌈 (@mysadsadmelody) August 12, 2021
well atleast the direction of the leaf is correct😵💫 https://t.co/mDt7Pa1aa8
— JOHN PEERS HATE ACCOUNT (@towerparkkannii) August 12, 2021
If they didn't want to go through the whole effort, they could have avoided the sadhya shots altogether and just done the pookalam shoot. If you're going to appropriate our culture to sell your crappy clothes, at least get your specifics right.
— Sethu (@theSethu) August 12, 2021
this looks like someone who’s never been to the south tried to replicate what they might eat and boy they’re so off lmfaooo https://t.co/Uo54gc4AL9
— hand cream slut (@broccolibaaabe) August 12, 2021
Serving fish fry would’ve made more sense than idli/dosa. But then y’all wouldn’t know jack about a North Malabar sadhya :) https://t.co/Vdz0f7Dzjk
— foxglove (@juweeih) August 12, 2021
When you don’t really want to put in any effort and just want to you the culture as a prop https://t.co/C9slwbFdUT
— Dr Sunitha Job 🌈 (@SunithaJob) August 12, 2021
🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️ There’s nothing Sadhya about this meal. So sad. https://t.co/V7sOPwCece
— V (@Dhichkyaaon) August 12, 2021
When you’ve had Onam Sadya only in influencer stories. https://t.co/1TWytEYywM
— Kshitij Salve (@JaisiAapkiMasti) August 12, 2021
WHAT IS THIS ATROCITY https://t.co/aFRfWLLbWe
— michiko (@michmalandro) August 12, 2021
What made you assume that it’s an Onam Sadhya ? We eat all kind of food using a banana leaf. I will assume they are having breakfast and keep scrolling my feed. https://t.co/3dGKjfPnVy
— Comrade RED (@comradarjun) August 12, 2021
Onam, that time of the year when northie models in kasavu fill up every malayali ad space. https://t.co/I6rA7dm62z
— Rag (@EgoPappadam) August 12, 2021
As far as I see, no one has mentioned Onam Sadhya They only said Onam collection which is most probably referring to the dress those models are wearing
ഇലയിൽ വിളമ്പുന്നത് എല്ലാം സദ്യ അല്ലെന്ന് ആരേലുമൊന്ന് 🤭🤫 https://t.co/VHqTWjp9Po
— LAKSHMI (@Lakshmi_ammuz) August 12, 2021
It is on the 10th day of festivities or ‘Thiruvonam’ that the lavish Onam ‘sadhya’ is cooked in Kerala households. Spread on plantain leaves, the meal includes nine courses, but may go up to over two dozen dishes. The feast typically comprises of chips (especially banana chips), Sharkaraveratti (fried pieces of banana coated with jaggery), pappadam, various vegetable and soups such as injipuli (also called puli inji), thoran, mezhukkupuratti, kaalan, olan, avial, sambhar, dal served along with a small quantity of ghee, erisheri, molosyam, rasam, puliseri (also referred to as velutha curry), kichadi (not to be confused with khichdi) and pachadi (its sweet variant), moru (buttermilk or curd mixed with water), pickles both sweet and sour, coconut chutney and not to forget the varieties of payasams.