The annual Tamilar Thirunal (Tamils’ New Year), which has been celebrated in Malaysia for more than fifty years, was celebrated on a grand scale this year. Tamils regardless of their religion and political affiliation come together and participate in the activities. The event was organized by a coalition of more than thirty NGOs. The theme for this year was “Unite Under Tamil Language”.
The function started with a procession from Little India to the Town Hall. The procession was witnessed by representatives from different religions, political parties and NGOs. The procession consisted of five floats depicting the five great Tamil epics. Between the floats were groups of dancers performing traditional folk dances such as peacock dance, koolattam (dance with two sticks), poikkaal kuthiral (horse dance), karagaattam (dancing with pot on head) and silambattam, martial art using bamboo staff) all accompanied by music.
The main event in the Town Hall started with lighting of the kuthu vilakku (lamp) followed by barathanatyam dance. Members of the community who excelled in their profession were honoured. The highlight of the night was a literary talk given by K. Arivananthan, a Tamil scholar from India.