Rejoicing over the festivities

Rejoicing over the festivities

Traditional: Pongal celebrations.

Says Neela, a marketing professional, “When I was little and used to live in Tamil Nadu, I used to celebrate it differently.” She says, “Now that I live in the City, it’s more simple. We prepare pongal and as it’s boiling, children gather and shout Pongal O Pongal.” She adds, “The next morning, we feed the crows with seven types of rice preparations.”

Geetha Ravichandran, a home-maker says, “We celebrate Bogi, one day before Pongal, where we clean the house and throw out all the old things. We have a farm in Bidadi, where we harvest rice every year, and this rice is used to prepare all the dishes.” She adds, “We prepare the pongal in vengalam (bronze pot). We also make two or three different kuttus (stews), pallyas (curries), payasam and vada over the course of the festival.”

She says, “On the second day of the festival, my mother prepares a stew by mixing the leftover sambar, rasam, pallyas and adds tamarind juice to it and lets it boil.” She adds, “On the third day of the festival, we eat only chitrana (coloured rice). We prepare different types of chitranas.”

Shruthi, a radio jockey celebrates the festival both the Tamilian and Kannadiga way. “One day before Pongal, we celebrate Bogi, and prepare a bit of Pongal. One the day of Pongal, a few young girls are called and Yellu Bella is poured on their heads.”  She adds, “The third day is Kannu when married girls go to their mothers’ house. That’s also the day when mothers prepare a special dosa for their daughters and give them a gift.”

Says Deepti, a home-maker from Bangalore, who resides in the USA, “Pongal is one festival which me and my husband Ganesh wait to celebrate. Every year the Tamil Association has a grand celebration and this year too, the Minneapolis Tamil Sangam is organising a celebration of the harvest festival, where we sing Gramathu Paatu, the traditional folk songs about Pongal, traditional dances, food. More than anything, it’s about Tamilians getting together and celebrating one of our important festivals.”

MeenaI associate Pongal with sugarcane. The best of my films have released on Pongal and have proved to be great hits. Apart from new clothes and gorging on loads of sweets, I make it a point to spend time with my family. My tight shooting schedules never give me the luxury of time with my loved ones.”

Meena, Tamil actress

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