In city hospital, every floor has an onam corner
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Like most hospitals in Delhi, Max Hospital has more than 95 per cent of its nursing staff from Kerala and they took time out from their busy schedule on Monday to celebrate Onam at the hospital auditorium.
Other than a colourful cultural programme, the function ended with a traditional lunch called Sadhya, boasting a sumptuous spread of 22 dishes. Taking a break from their uniform, the nurses wore white saris as they cheered a group performing Kaikottikali — folk dance performed by women.
All the floors at the hospital and the main lobby were decorated with flower patterns. "We celebrate Onam in a grand way since more than 95 per cent of our nurses are from Kerala. This is the only regional festival celebrated in Max. We have around 2,500 nurses at the Max hospitals in the Delhi-NCR area," said Saravjeet Kaur, director (nursing) at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket.
"Christmas is also celebrated with the same enthusiasm for the same reason...almost all our nurses are from Kerala and mostly Christian," Kaur said.
"In my hometown, we celebrate Onam with our families. It is one festival that all Keralites celebrate irrespective of their religion. I miss all that," Honey Evigi, a nurse from Palakkad, said.
For Jijo John, a Malayali brought up in Bhilai, Onam means parents and friends. "I never went to Kerala during Onam, but celebrated it with my parents and friends," Jijo said.
Even non-Keralite nurses joined the celebrations. "We didn't know about Onam until we joined the nursing college, where all our classmates were from Kerala. Since then, we have been celebrating Onam," Marina from Manipur said.
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