The South Asian Times

21 January 2019 03:05 AM

NJ Tamils celebrate Pongal

New Jersey: The New Jersey Tamil Sangam (NJTS) celebrated the cultural harvest festival Pongal on January 28th in a grand manner by treating the community members with traditional lunch served on banana leaf.

Unlike the buffet tradition personally serving guests a fulsome meal guided by elaborate rules of dos and don’ts is a major part of Tamil Viundombal culture.

Keeping up with this tradition, New Jersey Tamil Sangam (NJTS) for the first time treated about 400 guests a sumptuous lunch on Vaazai illai (banana leaf). From kids to adults every one was thrilled to be served by NJTS president and his team of volunteers.

While childhood memories made many emotional, the feeling of oneness in a faraway land took grip of everyone.

NJTS also conducted an elaborate art exhibition and competition of handicrafts depicting Tamil culture. Murals and paintings by local artists were at display for the contest.

Senior artist from India Kalaimamani Padmabushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sudha Ragunathan was the special invitee whose Carnatic music concert in Tamil stole the show with big thumps up. 

The function was made very special with West Windsor Township mayor Hemanth Marathe inaugurating the Pongal celebrations and handing over a proclamation declaring Pongal as an important cultural event of the community.

As a major breakthrough, this year many state officials across USA have acknowledged the Tamil harvest festival and took part in the celebrations organized by local community organizations.

January 14 every year starting 2018 has been declared to be the Pongal day in Virginia.  Frisco, Dallas Mayor declared January to be the Tamil Heritage month.

Time to rejoice for the US Tamil community.

Update: 08 Feb, 2018