Abu Dhabi: While around 10,000 people were enjoying traditional Indian food and music at the 36th annual harvest festival at St George Orthodox Cathedral in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening, M.V. Koshi, 65, was recounting his first attendance of the festival 32 years ago.
“Then, more than 5,000 people used to be there. Although a traditional festival, fast-food stalls, that made an entry in 2008, and the presence of youngsters with earphones of smartphones plugged to their ears are the changes I have noticed,” said Koshi, who is the secretary of the managing committee of the Indian church.
Yacob Mar Elias Metropolitan of the Brahmavar diocese in India was a special guest at the festival.
Around 1,600 church members and their 4,000 family members start their preparations for the festival two months before, Koshy said. “They contribute money and efforts to prepare traditional food whose sales proceeds go to the church.”
Talking about the togetherness, unity and enthusiasm of joint efforts, he said: “I feel our generation was more dedicated and involved in religious and social activities than this generation because we were not distracted by smartphones and social media. Youngsters are sincere and active but the new devices have limited them in their own world. When they plug their earphones of smart devices, they look disconnected from us, making them more of introverts than our sociable generation,” said Koshy, who is a manager of a private firm.