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Loyalty to Tradition Honoured: The Blue Yonder Awards
  • October 2016

The annual event was conducted to honour five artists/artisans who remain loyal in their pursuit of traditional arts and crafts and uphold the very culture that defines the civilization of River Nila.

Nature was handpicked- a collection of pebbles, sand, grains, red seeds and kora grass was handed over to the awardees as precious souvenirs from The Blue Yonder as part of their annual Near the Nila event. The Blue Yonder award ceremony was conducted at the Varikkassery Mana, Ottapalam on October 1st 2016. The annual event was conducted to honour five artists/artisans who remain loyal in their pursuit of traditional arts and crafts and uphold the very culture that defines the civilization of River Nila. The Chief Guest of Honour was Rika Jean-Francois, Commissioner of Corporate Social Responsibility - ITB, Berlin, Germany, the world’s largest travel trade show.

The Pulluvar musicians Vasu, Janaki and Jaya along with Padmashri Dr. P.K Narayanan Nambiar opened the ceremony with a Mizhavu recital. 

The award winners were Kothavil Ramankutty (Kathakali Koppu maker), K.C. Ramakrishnan (Glove puppeteer), Ramachandra Pulavar (Shadow puppeteer), Santosh Alamkode (Musician and Social Entrepreneur) and MP Krishnakumar (Craftsman of Adakaputhur Kannadi).

The awards were handed over by Founder & CEO Gopinath Parayil along with Padmasri Dr. P.K Narayanan Nambiar, Dr. Suresh Kumar of the Institute of Palliative medicine, Ms. Prabhavati Amma of Killimangalam Cooperative Weaving Unit, Master Craftsman Mr. Ezhumangad Gopalan, Mr. Aurelio C. Hammer international musician and composer.

The visually distinct souvenirs were a special feature. Glass jars that contained natural origin materials and textures from Nila were presented to each award winner along with a certificate and a cash award of Rs. One Lakh (INR 100000/-). The venue was anointed with traditional décor and floor designs. Almost all materials used in the event were plastic-free, non-pollutant, organic and locally sourced. The end of the award ceremony was marked by a special ritual where mud diyas were lit by the awards winners and the light was shared with hundreds of lamps in the hands of the audience. A moment of silence was observed with prayers for River Nila. These lamps were handmade by local potters and the wicks used were from “Ammoommathiri”, the unit that empowers residents of old age homes by providing employment.

Other highlights were the acoustic musical offering to the river by Svaram - Auroville and Vayali Bamboo Orchestra, both of which work with organic instruments from natural materials. A rich audio visual presentation of the river trails conducted by The Blue Yonder was also screened for the audience.

Rika Jean-Francoise, Commissioner CSR ITB Berlin said "It was a fantastic event and it was the right initiative to honour these magnificent artisans. Each one of them deserves much respect and it is wonderful to see with how much energy they do their part in reviving their cultural heritage. I was very happy and touched to witness this very moving event at this historical venue close to the River Nila. A true intervention to create holistic destinations upholding values of responsible travel."

 
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