A clothing brand is receiving huge flak online for including dosa and idli-sambar in the Onam Sadhya meal. Essentially a 10-day harvest festival, Onam is very popular in Kerala but not restricted to only the southern state. The Malayali community spread all around the country and abroad celebrate this annual festival with great excitement and zeal. So, when Cottons Jaipur tried to give the traditional festival a modern look by promoting its new salwar-kameez collection and not paying enough attention when designing their ad campaign, it triggered a backlash on social media platforms.
The image shows several dishes spread out on a banana leaf serving as a platter. Among those are idli and dosa, which are believed to have originated in Tamil Nadu, not Kerala. Also, the Sadhya meal is served on a banana leaf and has 26 dishes, but not everything is served on a banana leaf. In Malayalam, it means a banquet or grand meal.
Many people did not find idli and dosa on Sadhya meal platter in good taste. They called out the clothing brand for its insensitivity to respect individual cultural heritages.
Another person commented on the above tweet, saying idli and dosa were never served to him in 30 years.
Rightly pointed out. In my 30 years of having Onam Sadhya never was dosa or iddli served— Rajan Govinda???????? (@GovindaVijayan) August 12, 2021
Another user said he found “so many things wrong” with this ad campaign that he does not even want to talk about.
Onam is a festival that also marks the homecoming of King Mahabali, whose reign was considered a golden era in Kerala. He had promised to visit the state every year. In his honour, the Sadhya meal is prepared.
All the 26 dishes served in this meal have a distinct place where they are placed on the banana leaf. For example, Pappadum (papad) is placed on the extreme left and banana is served on it. As the papad leads from the right side of the platter, salt is placed next, after that sarakarapuratti and then banana wafers.
For this meal, people sit cross-legged on a mat laid on the floor.