Posted by: cochinblogger | December 20, 2013

The Kerala Bamboo Fest 2013

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I had visited the annually held Kerala Bamboo Fest in 2011 (see Kerala Bamboo Fest 2011) and would not have attended this year’s edition (not because I hadn’t like it in 2011, but because I thought it’d be a repetition, and time was short) but for a photo of a bamboo bicycle in the newspaper. The event was spread over just five days, and I managed to make time on the last day. I’m glad I went. The exhibition was very well organized, and the energy and passion emanating from the stalls was palpable. Every visitor emerges with some purchase or the other, even if only a humble key chain. There were stalls with products from places as distant as Nagaland. There was also an excellent food stall serving a mouth-watering multi-course lunch and delicious, freshly made uniyappams made of bamboo grass and piping hot payasam. An added attraction was a stage where visitors were entertained by singers and dancers (the photo above).

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The entrance from the road.

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This is the bamboo bicycle at the National Institute of Design (NID) stall.

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And this is the Bhavm stall. Sujith, the famed bamboo mural artist (see Going al fesco with Murals), is the dude with the beard.

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And these are musical instruments fashioned from bamboo.

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A bamboo house.

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Bamboo music! Yes, music composed with instruments made of bamboo wood. The man at the stall, who I think is one of the musicians on the CD on sale at the stall, spoke passionately about the music. The theme of the CD is rain in all it’s myriad manifestations. I bought the CD.

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These chairs could be adjusted at three inclination levels and were foldable. Their price was just Rs. 650. I decided to return in the evening and pick up one, thinking it would make an ideal chair for reading. But in the evening, sitting in the chair, I had second thoughts. There were no arm rests, so how comfortable would it be for reading? Reluctantly, I decided not to buy, only to regret my decision later that night, when my son said, “But Appa, you could’ve just relaxed in it.” Yes, my son is the grandmaster of the art of relaxation.

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My first shot of the evening when I returned to pick up the bamboo easy chair. This lady’s husband and I stood shoulder to shoulder and clicked.

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I asked this stall attendant what the sticks in the pic are used for. He replied that he didn’t have the foggiest idea, but they were selling like hot cakes. 🙂

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I’m glad I went, though I missed the lovely ladies from Nagaland who sold bamboo shoots pickle the last time I visited. Pork is a great delicacy in the North East, and so I’d asked them to come with pork and bamboo shoot pickle next year. A futile wish, given the general taboo against pork in this country.

Before leaving, I sat down for a pencil sketch by an artist from Trichur. The last time I sat for a portrait at an exhibition like this, the artist was a Russian girl who appears to visualize far ahead into the future when she draws — my portrait was what I would look like twenty years hence. So, it was with some trepidation that I sat for this artist. But I needn’t have worried — it was an excellent portrait. See below.

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Will I visit next year? I’d be mad not to. Besides, I have that easy chair to buy. 🙂


  1. God ! this wud have been something i wud have lived to visit. Each time i came down, or when husband went down..did try to get hold of some bamboo “putt-makers”…they make great BIRIYANI…which looks like puttu. But sadly, couldnt .

    Kindly let me know if we have any outlet in Kochi where we get these exclusive bamboo artifacts. Will def. visit next vacation.

    Thanks , Sona

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