Onam, the most celebrated festival of Kerala depicts the fascinating legend of King Mahabali’s homecoming. The festival is celebrated with fervour, as people engage in various traditional rituals and games, as a glorious tribute to the mythical king who once ruled over Kerala. Of all the lively rituals, the most vibrant and eye-catching one is the Pulikkali (Tiger Dance). Plus-sized men wearing tiger masks apply stripes on their body and bear the painted face of a tiger on their torso and dance to the rhythm of drums to entertain the crowd.
Radio Mango in association with Nerolac Healthy Home Paints launched ‘Pulikkali’, an Onam folklore themed statewide roadshow that resonates with the ideology of unity among all people, regardless of their caste, colour or religion. The campaign fondly recalls the popular Onam folk song “Maveli Naadu Vanee dum Kaalam, Manushar Ellaarum OnnuPoley”, which translates to ‘When King Mahabali ruled over the land, all people were considered equal’. What sets this campaign apart from the rest is that unlike the traditional two-toned pulis (yellow & black) seen during Onam festivities, these ‘Pulikkali’ performers will be painted in multicolour tones.
The unique campaign is designed around the ancient folklore of Onam, which mentions that people lived in utmost happiness during the golden reign of King Mahabali, as there was no discrimination on the basis of caste or class and there was neither crime, nor corruption. While adding more colour to Onam, the dynamic crew of entertainers, dressed as Pulis (Tigers) accompanied by Chenda Melam (Traditional percussion) artists would travel across Kerala for 15 days as part of the campaign to emphasise the fact that no matter what, we all are one and whatever the colour, we must unite to make this Onam colourful.
The flagoff to the ‘Pulikkali’ roadshow was conducted in Kochi by Malayalam actor Saiju Kurup in the presence of Mr. Ravindran Nair, Programme Director, Radio Mango and Rajesh C., Kerala Regional Sales Manager, Nerolac Healthy Home Paints at Malayala Manorama’s Panampilly Nagar office.