8 November 2008
The Annam Festival brochure was released by the Hon'ble Minister
for Food and Civil Supplies, Govt. of Kerala, Sri. C. Divakaran
by handing over a copy to the film star Bharat Suresh Gopi, the
goodwill ambassador of Annam Movement.
The well attended function held at the Press Club Hall in
Thiruvananthapuram, had the presence of other dignitaries like
Sri L. Radhakrishnan IAS, Sri T. P. Sreenivasan, Former
Ambassador to USA, Dr. K. Prathapan, Director, State
Horticulture Mission, Sri Ajith Venniyoor, and Dr. C. Suresh
Kumar. Actor Bharat Suresh Gopi, who took great interest in the
subject said that this was something he had in mind for a long
time and congratulated the organizers for the initiative. The
speakers regretted the erosion that happened to traditional
diets and food practices which was unfortunate and needed
conscious efforts to correct.
The event had the participation of professionals from various
sectors and was widely reported in the media. This was the first
public programme in connection with the Annam festival.
19 Decemver 2008
A Pre-launch Seminar was organized to explain and consolidate
the themes and philosophy behind the Annam Festival. The Keynote
Address was made by Dr. Vandana Shiva and the Seminar was
addressed by eminent persons in the field. This include Smt.
Sugathakumari, poet and environmental activist, Sri. J.
Sudhakaran IAS, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Kerala, Dr. K.
Prathapan, Director, State Horticulture Mission, Dr. G. Sunil
Kumar, District Programme Manager NRHM, Dr. K.G. Ajit Kumar, MG
College, Dr. N.S.Pradeep Kumar, TBGRI and Dr. A. Biju Kumar,
University of Kerala spoke on the occasion.
19 December 2008
A Student Rally was organized as part of the Annam Festival in
collaboration with Agri-Friends, a local NGO. Large number of
students from various Schools in the city and its suburbs
participated in the rally. The students brought with them local
food crops, seeds and other items and they carried placards
promoting traditional food. This was a colourful event and
successful in spreading the message of Annam festival to large
section of public. A magic show was organized at the end and the
students went back with awareness about the native food crops
and their importance. The Rally was flagged off by Worshipful
Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Sri C. Jayan Babu in presence of Dr.
Vandana Shiva, Sri. J. Sudhakaran IAS, Principal Secretary,
Govt. of Kerala, and Dr. K. Prathapan, Director, State
26 December 2008
The Media Centre of Annam festival was inaugurated by Sri. K P
Mohanan, Chief Editor, Asianet Communications Pvt.Ltd. at a
function attended by Sri L. Radhakrishnan IAS, Sri K P
Krishnakumar, Chairman, Exhibition Committee, ANNAM, Dr.G.G.
Gangadharan, President CISSA and Dr. C. Sureshkumar, General
Secretary CISSA. In his inaugural address Sri K. P. Mohanan said
that the food we take molds us and unlike dress we wear can
bring changes. According to Sri Mohanan, changing the food
habits shall take a lot of effort but it is worth and it will
mean a kind of liberation struggle . Narrating an incident in
his own life he said that he ordered a sandwich in the recent
past at a retail outlet and was not served what he wanted. On
enquiry he was told that the vendor only makes the items warm
and these are supplied by agencies far away from the place.
Pointing to the problems inherent in such centralized food
supply chains Sri Mohanan expressed apprehensions as to how
people can be weaned away from such trends and hoped that events
like Annam shall go a long way in doing that service to the
A team lead by Sri S. N. Sadasivan Pillai, of Parthasarathy
Caterers at Aranmula, a traditional expert in preparing
Vallasadya at the Aranmula temple was invited to the Annam
festival. This was a big draw for the visitors at the Annam
festival to whom this was a new experience in Kerala cuisine.
The ritual feast called Vallasadya (in Malayalam, 'vallam' means
boat and 'sadya' is feast') is annually held at the
Parthasarathy temple in Aranmula on Ashtami Rohini day, which is
celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. It is a grand affair
with thousands of devotees from all over the state taking part.
The feast is an offering by the devotees to the prime deity,
Lord Krishna. It consists of the main dish rice with 54
vegetarian side dishes. The sequence of each item and the
combinations of consumption has scientific reasons and are based
on the native sciences like Ayurveda. This is a unique case of
the rich biodiversity of the region reflected in the variety of
dishes. The nutritional value of the various items in their
native form points to the great wisdom of the native food
culture. The ingredients like spice powders of Valla Sadya are
ground by traditional ways and not with modern machines, which
makes a major difference in taste, said the Valla Sadya team.
Originally at Aranmula the feast is served first to the oarsmen
of 41 snake-boats who participate in the procession singing in
chorus. An interesting thing about the feast is that the guests
demand more food by singing in the Vanchippattu style. Devotees
can also conduct Vallasadyas as an offering. Highlight of the
event at Annam festival was the participation of the veteran
film star Smt. Aranmula Ponnamma. She arrived with her grand
daughter Smt. Radhika and Radhika's husband cine actor Bharat
Suresh Gopi. “This is an occasion of great sentimental value to
me' she said. She explained the various components of the ritual
feast to a group of school students from a local orphanage
Ekalvyashram. As she remembered in the ancient times a reception
in traditional style at the various temple ghats enroute on the
river Pampa used to be conducted. It used to be a colourful
procession on the river in all majesty.
19 December 2008
An artist's Camp was organized as part of the Annam festival was
inaugurated by the renowned artist Sri Kanayi Kunhiraman.
Eminent artists of the state like Prof. Kattur Narayana Pillai,
Prof. K K Rajappan among others participated in the inaugural
function. It was a gathering of artists in the state who felt
strongly for the cause of good food that CISSA was championing.
The Camp was coordinated by Sri Karakkamandapam Vijaya Kumar,
Member, Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy.
The participants painted on canvas on the theme of healthy food
and its related areas. The painting produced in the artists camp
were displayed during the Annam exhibition and gave color to the
whole program. The paintings are to be used by the organization
in promoting the theme at various places for awareness creation.
To reach the message to the general public through various means
was a key aim of the Annam Festival and the Artists Camp was
successful in achieving the aim.