Volvo Race participants to get a taste of 'Cultural Kerala'

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Kochi, Nov 10 (UNI) The ten-day stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race here from December 3 will be a packed extravaganza showcasing traditional and contemporary culture and art forms of Kerala.

A 'mini Pooram', replete with tuskers, fireworks, 'chendamelam' (percussion performance), Kathakali and Mohiniyattam would be the highlights of the cultural feast.

A 'mini Pooram' with 'Kudamattam' and fireworks would mark the official welcome to the race teams in Kochi, the only stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in India, on the evening of December 3.

To be jointly organised by the Cochin Stopover Organising Committee and Kerala Tourism, the welcome ceremony, titled 'Keraleeyam', would comprise an entertainment show performed by 45 traditional artists.

Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Kalarippayattu and Thiruvathirakali will be staged. Recreation of the Thrissur pooram with elephants, Kudamattam and aerial fireworks will be another attraction during the stopover days, a release by the organising committee said here today.

Mattannoor Sankarankutty Marar and Balabhaskar will perform chenda-violin fusion. Stephan Devassi, Krishnakumar, Sayanora and Binni Krishnakumar will perform fusion music. Arabanamuttu, Kolkali and Margamkali are also being planned.

Cultural performances by students, quiz programme, Naval Band, an inter-collegiate fashion show on Kerala clothes and Western music competition would be the other highlights of the stopover.

A Cochin-Kavarathi offshore race will be flagged off during the stopover. A snake boat race in the Ernakulam channel will give the visitors a glimpse of the local boating traditions.

The Yachting Association of India will organise a sail boat race in the Mattancherry Channel.

A multi-religious event will mark the blessing of the Fleet Return.

Kerala's biggest food carnival, an exhibition by Volvo, para gliding and air shows would be some of the attractions for the general public visiting the race village.

Billed as the ultimate mix of sports, business and glamour, the Volvo Ocean Race would be making a stopover in Asia for the first time.

The race started from Alicante in Spain earlier this month. It is scheduled to visit 11 ports across the world including Cape Town, Singapore, Qingdao (China), Rio de Janeiro, Boston and Stockholm before finishing at St Petersburg, Russia.

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