AFS exchange student from Perlis Chapter shares her recent experience celebrating Thai Ponggal Festival.

Article written by Aurora hosted at Perlis Chapter

On 16 January, 2016, the students from Perlis Chapter went to celebrate the last day of the Pongal festival.

As everybody knows the Indian community in Perlis is quite small, they organized the Thai Pongal as well near the city of Arau together.

They were so proud when they saw us wearing the traditional Indian outfits like Saree and Punjabi.

Thai Pongal is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation to the Sun God for providing the energy for agriculture (in the Tamil language the word Pongal “overflowing,” signifies abundance and prosperity).

During the festival, milk is cooked in a vessel.  Everybody made a circle around the Pongal dish waiting for the milk to bubble. When it starts to bubble and overflows out of the vessel, freshly harvested rice grains are added to the pot. Usually at the same time other participants recite “Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum” (which means “the commencement of Thai paves the way for new opportunities”).

After joining the celebration and playing one of the traditional Indian games, we all ate together the delicious food such as Pongal, karipap and vadai.

This was the Thai Pongal festival in Perlis Chapter, next step; Thaipusam.

We can’t wait!