More than 120 tonnes of fruit, vegetables and flowers were imported in the past week to help the Indian community celebrate Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala.
In addition, more than 20,000 banana leaves were also flown in for Onasadya, the traditional feast that marks the end of the 10-day-long festival.
LuLu Hypermarket brought in the lion’s share of the items – nearly 100 tonnes of flowers, fruits and vegetables – from Kerala and Mumbai, alongside traditional Onam wear which included the Kerala saris for women, dhotis, the men’s garments and ethnic children’s wear.
“Onam sales were very promising this year,” LuLu Group director Juzer Rupawala told the GDN.
“Onam is a festival that heralds new harvest and a new cycle of growth and renewal. Even in Bahrain, it has been a sign of a new season for Bahrain’s economy too because we are seeing more festive spending.
“It also coincides with a better control on Bahrain’s Covid-19 statistics and that is a sign of the rebounding of business in Bahrain for sure.”
The hypermarket chain also delivered thousands of specially prepared Onasadya.
Business was as usual for Al Fanar Vegetable Shop owner Ibrahimkutty Shahjahan who has been running his shop in Salmaniya for more than three decades. He said that he imported 10,000kg of vegetables in the last five days of Onam.
“Almost two tonnes were from my own farm back home,” said the man popular in Bahrain as “Shaji” who hails from Kollam, Kerala.
“All these years, the business was the same and people always want fresh vegetables for Onasadya.
“We also flew in 12,500 banana leaves and the stock was over by Friday.”
Meanwhile, floral decoration during the festival feature flowers such as marigold, jasmine, roses and globe amaranth. Occasionally basil leaves, hibiscus and flame of woods are also used.
Manama Oliander Flowers owner Sethu Raja said that he flew in 1,500kg of fresh flowers from India during the weekend.
“These were mainly from Madurai, Chennai and Kochi,” he told the GDN.
“Business was better this year by almost 60 per cent.”
Fellow businessman Naresh Jaiwani, owner of Babylon Flowers in Manama, said he brought in his “usual” 500kg of fresh flowers during the festival weekend.
“We also brought 500 pieces of banana leaves which were also sold off in no time.”
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