MUSCAT: Kerala expats living in Oman is celebrating the spring festival of Vishu on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, within their homes due to restrictions imposed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The festival marks the first day of Medam, the ninth month in the solar calendar followed in Kerala. For many in Oman Vishu this year will be a low-key affair following the coronavirus outbreak that has infected 813 people in the country.
Speaking to The Arabian Stories, Rakesh Nair, Managing Director of Creative Glass Engineering L.L.C and Wolt UPVC Solutions Oman said: “This is the first time we are celebrating Vishu in a very low-profile manner because of Covid-19. My family is now in India as they had gone for summer holidays and cannot join me till the airports are opened. And I am on a self quarantine at home due to the lockdown. My shops are closed because of the pandemic. I hope the situation improves and business run as usual soon. I wish every Malayali in Oman a happy Vishu.”
The festival of Vishu is usually celebrated with a lot of fanfare and typically sees a lavish ”sadhya” (meal) prepared.
Praveen Divakar, Senior Marketing Executive, who is currently working from home due to Covid-19 said: “My company have asked me to work from home so we will be making sadhya at home but unfortunately I cannot invite my friends. So there is no celebrations involved this year.”
Meanwhile, hypermarkets across Muscat had displayed traditional items to arrange the kani kanal (arrangements for the first sight). “Usually, we see a huge rush from customers to buy groceries and Vishu items every year but for the first time, we witnessed low turn out,” said a manager of a major hypermarket in Muscat governorate.