The event kicked off by a brilliant performance by the school band of Indian School Muscat, lining up more than 30 students comprising a full-fledged orchestra band. It was followed by an exciting traditional Kerala orchestra of Panchavaadyam, performed by one of the best panchavadyam groups in Oman lead by Tichur Surendran.
The stunners of the event were the two groups belonging to different genres and different styles but generating the same kind of excitement and vibrance, folklore music group, Thavam Grama Vedi and independent fusion band, Pragathi.
While Thavam is a multi-award winning group currently part of the Kerala folklore academy, Pragathi, headed by Dr K S Harisankar and State Award Winner Madhusree Narayan, has been known in the music world as one of the most promising young fusion bands. The scintillating performances by these two highly talented groups captivated the crowd.
The Indian Community Festival, catering to a pan Indian audience, was true to its commitment of showcasing talents from all over India with fascinating performances ranging from traditional dances by Odia Wing, mesmerising Garba by Kachchi Wing, as well as unique Bhavai dance performed by Indian School Darsait, reflecting the cultural vibrance of India.
The formal inauguration of the festival was done in a colourful ceremony with eminent guests such as multiple national award winning movie director Kamal, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Alameri, Strategic Planning Advisor, Ministry of Civil Services, Eranholi Moosa, legendary mappilappatu singer and vice chairman of Kerala Folklore Academy, Murugan Theruvoram, social worker and founder of Theruvoram, an NGO working for the rehabilitation of street children in Kochi, Dr P Muhammed Ali, Mfar Group managing director, C M Sardar, vice chairman, Indian Social Club Oman, Vinod V T, managing director, Mars International and Badr al Samaa Group of Hospitals, Badr, marketing manager, Shahi Spices, representative Abdul Rahman, Saji Abraham, cultural secretary and observer Indian Social Club Oman, Biby Jacob, managing director, Ananthapuri Restaurant, and Wilson V George, chairman board of directors Indian Schools in Oman.
The inauguration of the event was carried out by lighting of the traditional lamp by the guests of the evening. This year’s prestigious Kairali-Ananthapuri Award was presented to Theruvoram, recognising his outstanding humanitarian work. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to legendary singer Moosa for his contributions to India’s cultural identity. Ratheesan K, convener, Kerala Wing made the welcome address and the function was presided over by ICF Organising Committee chairman P M Jabir.
The inaugural function was followed by the theme dance of Kerala Wing presented by the members and a nostalgic musical evening by Mappilappattu sultan Moosa. A dance performance also presented by Kerala Wing members in tribute to renowned Malayalam poet and lyricist O N V Kurup. A dance troupe from Oman enthralled the audience with traditional Omani dance.
Indian Community Festival 2017 was made all the more special by the third edition of Muscat Science Fest - Science Project contest for children below 17 years. The contest winner bagged a prize money of RO1,000; first and second runner-ups won RO750 and RO500, respectively.