Allen Shibu, Keighley
Homes of many Malayalees in Keighley is seen with a distinctive yellow and green tint as they prepare and carefully grow their sunflowers, as they compete in the first ever sunflower competition. Adults and children alike wait patiently and watch as he seeds that they had initially been provided with slowly germinate into the beautiful flora.
The sunflower competition, initiated on the first of May, 2016 and taken up by thirty two families, was introduced by Keighley Malayalee Association (KMA) as an opportunity for introduction to new skills, a way to bring people together, and most of all, for fun.
The concept is simple. Each competitor is to grow their sunflowers, from seeds provided by KMA, until the thirty first of August, the official deadline. The main objective is to grow the flower with the biggest diameter possible, through any means possible, with the exception of buying the flowers themselves. It is absolutely necessary that the participant grows the flower from start to finish. The participants are allowed to stop their growth at any time, if they feel that they have reached the optimum diameter for all their flowers, and an official judge, both from MalayalamUK and KMA, will be dispatched to their home, where they can measure the diameter of the flower.
Much like a normal competition, this one has prizes too. The first prize, awarded for the biggest diameter for the flower, with proof, is a trophy, given by MalayalamUK. The second prize, awarded for the tallest plant in the competition, is a marvellous cash prize provided by 5 star refrigeration, Keighley. The third prize is also a trophy provided by Babu Sebastian. The prizes will be awarded in the next KMA event.
The Participants all show great enthusiasm to the competition and most of the competitors have grown their plants to extreme lengths.
Tom Joseph, President of the Keighley Malayalee Association, explained to us that, “we have introduced this competition as a way to bring the Malayalee community in Keighley closer, and also to provide those in the younger generation some insight on responsibility, as shown when they grow their flowers. I predict that we will get some solid competitors in this event, and I am sure that our sunflowers in Keighley will be hard to beat.”