Thiruvananthapuram, January 15th 2018: Utsavam 2018, Kerala’s unique annual cultural fiesta that charmed visitors in all 14 districts of Kerala, culminated after offering a mega feast of traditional folk arts for a week through the rhapsody of rhythms and mesmerising performances.
The festival was organised by the Kerala Tourism Department from January 6 to 12, 2018, across all 14 districts of the state at 28 different venues with an objective to rejuvenate the traditional folk art forms of Kerala. Unlike last year that had 14 venues, the Utsavam festival this time around had added more venues, taking the total to 28. Further, an additional amount of Rs 1 crore had been set aside for conducting the festival. The total money spent this year for Utsavam was to the tune of Rs 2,32,00000.
Being able to organize the Utsavam festival during the tourism season has helped in providing a fillip to the Kerala tourism sector, said Sri Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, Government of Kerala. According to him, it is imperative that the folk art forms of Kerala, which hold aloft the state’s heritage, are to be preserved. Helping the traditional folk arts forms live on is a must so as to conserve our traditional heritage, he added.
Smt Rani George IAS, Secretary, Department of Tourism, said that “By hosting such a grand event, the tourism scenario in Kerala has offered its tributes to the art forms that bear the soul of the state’s heritage. The Responsible Tourism Mission in the state has also been encouraging the local artisans to make and sell local products to represent the art and culture of the state.”
According to Kerala Tourism Director Sri P Balakiran IAS, Kerala’s heritage, known by its songs and dances, ballads, rituals and intellectual pursuits, has been acknowledged by several national and international trade fairs. The popularity is growing manifold, and the number of tourists arriving from distant lands proves this beyond doubt.
Over the past one week, Ustavam 2018 showcased a variety of art forms, such as Kolkali, Theyyam, Irulnritham, Ganabali, Paanaporatt, Kaakirissinaatakam, Bhoothanum Thirayum, Thidambnrtham, Poorakali, Poopadathullal, Dharika Mayooranritham, Chimmanakali, Kothamooriyattam, Tholpaavakooth, Ayyappan Theeyaat, Nokkupaavavidya, Naadanpaattu, Kanakanritham, Mayilaattam, Koratttunritham, Sanghakali, Udukpaat, Badrakaali Theeyatt, Seethakali, Ashtapathiyattam, Kandaakarnanthira, Pakkanaaraattam, Cheruneeliyaattam, Charadupinnikali, Thiri Uzhichil, Pulluvanpaattu, Vilpaattu, Oottam Thullal, Chavittunaadakam, Kalamezhuthum Paattum, Mudiyaattam and Kethaarattam.
Utsavam 2018 witnessed more than 5000 artists performing in various venues. The Folklore Academy also brought on stage ‘Navadhwani’, with 264 artists who are experts in as many as 20 different ritualistic folk art forms, on a single platform. Around 150 art forms, 350-plus folk arts shows and more than 5000 artists had been part of Utsavam 2018.