Pongal is a multi-day harvest festival celebrated in South India in the month of Thai January when crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric etc. are harvested. The word ‘Pongal’ means to “to boil”, and this festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving ceremony for the year’s harvest. Pongal also happens to be the name of a dish consumed during this festive time, which is sweetened rice boiled with lentils. The festival is marked with the preparation of Pongal, first it’s offered to the gods and goddesses, and then shared within the family. The festive celebrations of Pongal include decorating cows and their horns, ritual bathing and processions. This festival is one of the major festivals observed by the Tamil diaspora across the world. SCMHRD staying true to its legacy of celebrating diversity had Pongal Celebrations on campus on the 6th of January, 2020.
The festivities at SCMHRD started off with aplomb. The Tamil community on campus welcomed the first day of the harvest festival with a Pooja to worship the Sun God and Goddess Lakshmi. The main dish of Pongal, ‘Sakkaripongal’- (a mixture of jaggery and rice) was prepared in the wee hours of morning. With everyone dressed in traditional attires, the campus looked colourful and vibrant. The celebration was also graced by our beloved Director, Dr. Pratima Sheorey, our Deputy Director, Dr. Netra Neelam, Dr. Rajagopal and other faculty members. After Sakkaripongal, the students of SCMHRD also got to taste authentic Tamil cuisine served on banana leaves. Various traditional dishes were served by the Tamil student community. The faculty and students of SCMHRD enjoyed the sumptuous meal and ate to their heart’s content.
The celebrations truly exemplified the spirit of SCMHRD and Symbiosis and stayed true to their motto of – “Vasudaiva Kudumbakkam”, the world is one family.