This is a story of Onam celebration at YourDOST!
We thrive with diversity at YourDOST. With people from 15+ states and multiple backgrounds, we learn from each other’s culture and customs. From celebrating Holi, Diwali, and Christmas together, this is our first ever Onam celebration at the office. Due to a heavy workload, our dear Mallu friends decided not to go back home on this auspicious occasion, so we owed this Onam celebration to them. On September 12th, 2019, we brought the spirit of Onam into our workspace!
Originated from the state of Kerala, Onam is a harvest festival that is celebrated by people of all communities, usually Malayalies. People usually dress in traditional colors of white and gold saris for women and mundus for men. The day started with people walking in their beautiful saris, suits, mundus (Our dear Shraddha was an inspiration for all). In fact, Manoj (extreme right) even left the office as soon as he arrived, to change into his mundu and come back. Talk about team spirit! Kapil dunzo-ed one Mundu for his team-mate to ensure we live the day in full spirit and no one was left out.
Even our beloved CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Penny joined in on the dress-up fun!
Not to mention, some of our creative hands! A special call out to our dear Vidya who put together an authentic floral rangoli arrangement to spruce up the entrance, welcoming everyone to a fresh and colorful morning. Abdul Bhaiya helped us procure such beautiful flowers, that it became a favorite photo spot.
Our lunches are usually catered into the office for all employees and for this special occasion, one of our resident “Mallus” (Malayalis), coordinated with the cook to help prepare an authentic South Indian Kerala meal for all, served in the traditional style, on Plantain banana leaves. Items like banana chips (the known specialty of Kerala), payasam, sambar, and rasam were included. Some of us were not accustomed to this form of serving food on a leaf and enjoyed the new experience. While a native coworker described all the dishes present, another coworker, who just moved to Bangalore from Gurgaon recently, was perplexed and asked, “So the dessert is eaten at the beginning itself? That’s so crazy!” After a heavy round of lunch and plenty of pictures taken, we decided to get some work done before our evening session of fun activities. The work never stops for anything!
Once we were all done with our committed tasks for the day, we gathered around to play Taboo, a word guessing game where a player has to get their partners to guess the word on the player’s card without using the word itself or five related words listed on the card. Two captains were made and asked to pick teammates. As a content writer, someone who is supposed to be good with words, Shikha was picked right off the bat. Others were distributed evenly and the fun began.
During a round of laughs, taunting, and failed attempts at describing the clue correctly, time flew past. It was a memorable bonding experience for all, for sure! Especially for the newly joined members of the team along with the old-timers who have grown more comfortable with everyone. Team building activities like these are what bridge the gap between the two and form a more united team!
Here is our team wishing everyone a prosperous and happy year ahead!