Tamil Harvest Festival celebrated with dance and traditional feast

A harvest festival celebration was hosted by the Maidenhead Tamils at Holyport War Memorial Hall last Saturday (January 18).

Tamil Pongal Vizha is celebrated by the Tamil-speaking community of Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India.

Kasthuri Subramanian, who lives in Maidenhead, is one of the organisers.

She said that every year the Tamil people, regardless of any religion they belong to, celebrate the Tamil Harvest Festival.

“It is a four-day government holiday in January every year, and schools and offices have to close, and people meet their families, and they do this ritual where the farmers are respected, because we all came from the farming background in Tamil Nadu,” said Kasthuri.

During the festivities from 11am-6pm, people enjoyed singing and dancing by children and traditional folk dance performed by the women.

The results of a poetry competition, judged by Reading Tamil School headteacher Thayabaran Thanikasalam, were also announced and there was a traditional Tamil feast – served on a banana leaf.

The event also served as the inaugural weekend of a Tamil school the group has started – a two-hour session where children can learn to read, write and speak the Tamil language.

A regular home for the school is to be confirmed. To find out more email maidenheadtamilschool@gmail.com

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