On January 17, the Pongal celebration was held at the Day Care Centre at Ulu Kinta, Ipoh, by the staff and members of the Perak Society for the Promotion of Mental Health. A total of 20 residents of this home, invited guests and others participated in this auspicious ceremony.
The ceremony started off with the boiling of the milk in an earthen pot over a small wooden fire-pot. This festival is also known as Farmers’ Day in India. The ceremony began with an opening address by Mrs Shielah Letchumanan. The guest of honour, Dato’ Dr M. Majumder, President of this association was unable to come due to ill-health and she was represented by Mr K. Letchimanan, a very senior EXCO member of this Society. In his opening speech, he thanked everyone present for their initiative taken to participate in this programme.
The highlight of the programme was the breaking of the clay-pot – participants had to be blind-folded to hit the clay-pot which was hung on a rope. After several attempts, R.A. Amuthavalli was successful in breaking the pot with a rattan stick. For her success, she was presented with a gift. Flower tying and kolam competition were also held by the members. While the hot milk boiled in the pot, everyone present shouted “Ponggalo Ponggal”.
Pongal is a cultural festival and Thanksgiving Day. Immediately after the ceremony, all present adjourned to the conference room and for the Pongal breakfast.
Pongal falls on the tenth month of the Tamil Calendar called “THAI”. It is celebrated in a grand way, especially by the farming community.
All in all, everyone present had an enjoyable and meaningful Pongal celebration this year.