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IITF 2022: Traditional Art, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Products and Food Attracting People to Kerala Pavilion

The ongoing India International Trade Fair opened for the public on Saturday, receiving an amazing response from visitors. The 41st IITF has 2,500 traders from the country and abroad, exhibiting their businesses and goods. The pavilions of various states featuring stalls of their traditional attire, art-culture, food, projects, and innovations are attracting people in good numbers.

Kerala: God’s Own Country

This year, Kerala, popularly known as God’s Own Country, is one of the focus states. The pavilion at Hall 5 on the first floor has been designed beautifully and in an interesting setup. At the entry of the pavilion, there is a huge Uru, a yacht that tells the story of the spice trade from Kerala in the older times. The Kerala Pavilion has about 42 stalls displaying agricultural, herbal, handloom, ayurvedic, spices and textile products.

Artists Performing Live Art

8 artists are performing live art in the pavilion, these include Miniature forms of Kathakali costume by N. Parameswaran Nair, Aranmula Metal Mirror by Aravind S. Aranmula, Woodcraft /Dhow craft by Sasidharan, Mats weaving by Ramani, Leather puppet making by Rajiv Pulawar, Mural painting by Ambili, Clay modelling and terracotta sculptures making by Sivaprakash and percussion, instruments making by Simod R.

Artist Sasidharan is making a small Uru, an ancient creation by the people of Bepoor village in Kerala for the last 150 years. Cloves, cardamom, cashew, coconut and other spices were traded to Arab countries by this yacht. The use of wood in a contemporary-styled pavilion design, called Padippura also draws attention. Mirrors without glass, made of tin & copper plate by Aravind S. Aranmula, is the surprise element and catches the attention of the people. Artist Ambili’s traditional mural painting is also a centre of attraction in the pavilion, in this art form only organic colours – green from leaves, white of lime, yellow from a special stone, black from the red tail and blue from flowers are used. The leather puppet by Rajiv Pulawar and the passage from Ramayana in the Malayalam language is attracting the attention of the visitors. This art is known as Tolpavakoothu.

GI (Geographical Indications) Tagged Products of Kerala

About 19 GI-tagged products of Kerala, investments and achievements made by the state in MSME, SME, agriculture, textile, food, fishery products, women empowerment by Kudumbashree, Coir Department and the schemes being done by the state in the interest of the country, through the pavilion are welcomed by the visitors. In the coir department, sustainable, eco-friendly products made of Coconut, plants, and rubber are among the favourites for visitors. These products include doormats, pot hangings and decorative items. The coir slippers help minimise the heat and give relief from foot pain. The live demonstration about the use of coir in the construction of railway tracks preventing soil erosion is another attraction at this stall.

Spices of Kerala

As always, the trend towards spices remains amazing at the Kerala pavilion, a huge crowd pull was seen during day one and business days for the spice shopping. There’s a huge rise in the shopping for Spices from Kerala this year. On the occasion of Kerala Day, a performance by renowned flute maestro Rajesh Cherthala saw the houseful amphitheatre grooving to the mesmerising music of the flutist & his team.

Sini K Thomas, the information officer at the Pavilion, said, “We are getting an encouraging response to the Kerala pavilion. The rush and response to the spices as well as other stalls is great”. She said we have many VIPs visiting the Kerala pavilion which also includes foreign visitors & delegations, their tremendous interest in the products of Kerala is a big welcome, making the theme ‘local to global’ a perfect blend at this year’s Trade Fair.

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