September 06, 2022: To mark the auspicious occasion of Onam, Kerala’s annual harvest festival, a State Bank of India (SBI) employee decided to celebrate it in a unique way. A clip that was shared by a user on Twitter showed the employee dressed up as the legendary King Mahabali to celebrate Onam. The now-viral photo is from an SBI Branch in Thalassery, Kerala. The video is being re-shared hundreds of times on the micro-blogging site. The caption of the post lauded the employee at the SBI Thalassery branch and recognized his spirit and gumption.
The video, which has now crossed over three lakh views, showed the staffer confidently fulfilling duties in his King Mahabali garb. People are spotted conducting business as per usual around him. Netizens showered praise on him and appreciated his novel gesture of trying to blend work with his unique culture.
A staff of @TheOfficialSBI Tellicherry dispensing services at the counter dressed as the legendary King Mahabali whose yearly visits fall on the #Onam day. Kudos to his spirit and gumption 👏👏 @opmishra64 #Kerala pic.twitter.com/jELIGsKowl— Nixon Joseph (@NixonJoseph1708) September 4, 2022
Reacting to the clip, a user commented, “Novel way of blending the culture, service and marketing” while another wrote, “Applaud the Onam spirit! This staff is courageous indeed and I applaud that considering in college the guys who rarely attended classes were called Mahabali!” An ROFL comment read: “Great and appreciable. His Praja would be happy if he give payments without a cheque or debit account, as Aashirwad.”
However, there was also a section of Twitter users who criticised the employee for choosing to dress up for the festival and not wearing formal clothes, usually a rule for SBI employees. A few comments read, “Right sir. We are not opening a show. Maybe customer friendly but there is a rule of dress code, which should be followed” and “I think, SBI has a Dress Code guidelines. If this is appreciated and allowed, branches may have more theatrics than service.”
The festival of Onam usually falls during the Malayali month of Changham and it also marks the homecoming of King Mahabali. In Kerala, it is a week-long festival that is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm. People clean and decorate their houses, design rangolis with rice powder or fresh flowers, wear new clothes and visit friends and family. This year, Onam festivities began on August 30 and will continue till September 8.