Tamils - a Nation
without a State
Around 700,000 Tamils live in Delhi
Delhi Tamil Education Association Senior Secondary
Delhi's Tamil population gears up to celebrate Pongal
- PTI, 13 January 2008
NEW DELHI: The city's seven lakh strong Tamil population
is gearing up to celebrate the harvest festival of Pongal
with literary programmes, mass prayers and music
The week-long celebrations will also include preparing
ethnic delicacies and drawing the 'kolam' in the
'Thai Pongal', as it is popularly called in Tamil Nadu,
is a thanksgiving ceremony celebrated by Tamil farmers to
thank the spirits of nature, the sun and farm animals for
their assistance in providing a successful harvest all
through the year.
The festival is spread over four days, from the last day
of 'Margazhi' to the third day of following month 'Thai'
as 'Bhogi', 'Thai Pongal', 'Mattu Pongal' and 'Kannum
"We may have settled here, but we haven't forgotten our
traditions. Almost all Tamils in Delhi celebrate Pongal
the same way it is celebrated in Tamil Nadu," Natesan,
secretary of Tamil Youth Cultural Association, told.
Pongal celebrations on January 15 start with the women
drawing 'Kolam' in their houses and preparing 'pongal
prasadam', a mix of rice, jaggery and milk, in 'pongal
pannai', a ritual in which new earthen pots are painted
and decorated with turmeric, flowers and mango
"We still celebrate the festival by cooking the Pongal in
an earthen pot with water on the hearth, draw 'kolam' in
the house and offer sugarcane to the Sun God," Priya, a
The market in Karol Bagh in Central Delhi, where a
sizable chunk of the capital's Tamil population resides,
is bustling with activities with revellers purchasing
earthen pots, sugarcane and other items that is offered
to the sun god as a tribute.
Soumya, a software engineer said, "I don't have the time
and patience to cook the `prasadam' in an earthen pot. I
cook the dish on stove and we share it with our
neighbours. That's how we celebrate Pongal."
Special prayers will be conducted on the day of Pongal at
the Malai Mandir Temple in R K Puram in South Delhi and
also at many churches in the city.
"Pongal is a festival of Tamils and every Tamil should
celebrate it. There is no religious barrier and we
usually conduct special masses on this day," Anton, a
priest at a church in South Delhi said.
Tamil Catholic Ministry of the Archdiocese of Delhi would
conduct a special mass on January 20 at the Sagodaya
School in Hauz Khas in South Delhi.
"After the special mass, we will organise a cultural
festival where students of various schools will perform
the traditional arts of Tamil Nadu and we will distribute
the Pongal prasadam," Julis of the TMC said.
Also, the Delhi Tamil Sangam has planned to celebrate the
festival as a week-long event by organising a music
concert on January 18, Bharatanatyam performance by
Anusha Ramachandran on January 19 and a literary speech
by Tamil Nadu Public Works Department Minister Durai
Murugan on January 20.