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Clothing Brand's 'Inaccurate' Onam Sadhya Pics With Dosa, Idli Draw Flak on Twitter

Cottons Jaipur's promotional photo featuring the controversial 'Sadhya'. (Credits: Facebook/Cottons Jaipur)

Cottons Jaipur's promotional photo featuring the controversial 'Sadhya'. (Credits: Facebook/Cottons Jaipur)

Clothing brand 'Cottons Jaipur' showed an Onam Sadhya featuring dosa and idli in its promotional pictures.

The biggest festival of God’s own country, Onam, is celebrated with fervour by the Malayali community. Some of its well-known rituals include donning the traditional kasavu and a feast that involves some particular dishes, called the “Sadhya". A clothing brand called “Cottons Jaipur" attempted to represent a piece of this culture for its Onam collection, which went slightly awry and ended up drawing the ire of social media. The brand, in its promotional pictures, showed two models dressed in white and gold salwar suits and eating a Sadhya meal that included South Indian dishes dosa and idli, which, social media users pointed out, do not belong in the traditional Sadhya. Onam Sadhya is a multi-course vegetarian elaborate meal usually spread on banana leaves, while people sit cross-legged on the floor.

Some Twitter users said brands should not “use" cultures of which they know nothing.

“I’m guessing this is how it went; they hired a random mediocre creative agency who were like, Onam is a south Indian festival. Go to a south indian restaurant and order the first three things on the menu. Because South-India is a monolith," another user wrote. They went on to point out the following:

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Another user said that what was depicted was a “waste" of a Sadhya meal.

One user started a thread on the Onam festival and its cultural significance for Malayalis. “Onam belongs to everyone who was born or has links to Kerala. “In the eyes of Asura King Maveli (Mahabali), all Keralites are the same regardless of caste & religion," they wrote. They ended their thread with the assertion: “Stop the Northsplaining of South Indian History & Culture."

Here are some of the other arguments that came up on Twitter:

The clothing brand, after some conversations with social media users who messaged them privately, took down their Instagram post depicting the Onam Sadhya. Their Facebook post, however, remains.

Gigantic banana leaves, fresh flower decorations, power-packed boat races are some of the best highlights of Onam festivities. Erissery, rice puttu, kadala curry, rasam, thenga choru, paal payasam are some of the popular Onam sadhya dishes.

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first published:August 13, 2021, 13:59 IST