Ponggal Festival Held at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Buntong
by KT Leong
While Chinese New Year (CNY) dominated much of January, it wasn’t the only festivity being celebrated. The Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC) had organised a Unity Ponggal Festival at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Buntong.
Thanks to the efforts of MIYC Perak and MIYC Buntong, on top of some fine weather, on the whole, the Ponggal celebration went smoothly. Families cooked ponggal on wood fires while children did colouring books under a canopy. Kolam were also drawn on the grounds next to the temple’s entrance. On top of that, traditional dances were later performed for the guests of honour.
While not a highly visible festival like CNY, Ponggal is still an attractive celebration.
Among the participants were members from the Kinta Branch of the Malaysian Telugu Association, Tamil schools such as St. Philomena Convent and SJKT Menglembu, as well as their Parent-Teacher Associations.
Also present were National MIYC President, Dhanesh Basil, Perak State Youth Council President, Puhaz Saleh, Perak MIYC Chairman Arvend Applasamy and Perak Creative Indian Women Entrepreneurs Association Chairwoman, Vijaya Thaamarrai Kanthakumar. As well as the head of MIYC Buntong branch, Khuswindera Singh A/L Tara Singh.
Also present was Buntong Assemblyperson, YB Thulsi Manogaran. Who spoke on the importance of having an identity for Tamil schools.
“For example, when people think of Chinese schools, they think they are very good in all categories. Very ‘rajin’ (hardworking). So when people think of someone from a Tamil school, they should think ‘Oh, this person is sure to be good in English’
“If we want Tamil schools to remain relevant, they must have a relevant identity, and I think that should be language. Because (with globalisation) you can take that anywhere.” she said.
Head of MIYC Buntong, Mr. Khuswindera stressed that they will continue to do their best to help the youth and their community as a whole.