No place to eat. That’s the dilemma some Keralites will face today, as restaurants are serving the traditional Onam Sadhya - 26 dish menu served for lunch – are packed to the rafters.
All Kerala restaurants in Dubai that Emirates 24|7 spoke to said bookings for lunch are full.
“We extended the lunch timings by another hour, yet there is no more place to sit. All tables for this afternoon are full,” said a spokesperson at Nalukettu restaurant in Dubai.
Another staff at Kairali said they are inundated with calls for bookings for lunch, but there is only so many seats they can accommodate.
“Most of the callers are office-going who cannot afford to cook. We are expecting many non-Malayali guests as well,” he said.
There are over 100 Kerala restaurants operating in Dubai. K Rony who works in Barsha in Dubai says he has been trying to book a place since last afternoon.
“I called three restaurants and they were already full. Now, I am planning to take a take-away lunch for me and four other colleagues,” he said.
Keralities dress up in their traditional set sarees and mundus (traditional wraparound worn by men) and prepare an elaborate meal on the 10th and penultimate day of the Onam celebrations.
Lunch is traditionally served on a banana leaf.
Many working Keralites who cannot afford to go home or eat out for lunch are planning an evening dinner as part of Onam.
“Unfortunately, we have to adopt based on our circumstances here.
“In Kerala where it is a public holiday today people can afford to cook elaborate meals and participate in festivities.
“For us here, an evening dinner and a six to seven course meal is all that we can think of,” said Rakesh K, employed with a company in Dubai Media City.
Onam is Kerala’s harvest festival celebrated every year.
People believe that their king Mahabali visits his erstwhile kingdom on the occasion.
People dress up in new clothes, paint and decorate their houses with various festive and sporting activities planned for the event.