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MIT Celebrates Pongal

With the Indian economy being an agrarian one, it is not surprising that agriculture holds an integral place in the Indian household. From worshiping the Goddess of food and nourishment to flying kites, and lighting bonfires, there are numerous ways in which India celebrates the season of harvest.

A four-day event, Pongal is one of the most important festivals of Tamilians across the globe. 14th January 2018 saw students from across the campus gather to celebrate the year’s first harvest festival.

The day kicked off with students flocking to Venugopal Temple to offer prayers to the holy deities. Following this, volunteers geared up to cook the festival’s namesake, Pongal – a preparation made of rice, milk, and jaggery. After the Pongal was ready, a plethora of cultural performances began. The honorable director, Dr. Srikanth Rao greeted the students and the teaching fraternity, raising everyone’s spirits.

Picture Courtesy: The Photography Club, Manipal

The highlight of the day was the performance of a Martial arts form, Silambam. Other cultural activities piqued the interest of the attendees too. The stage witnessed the famous Bharatnatyam dancing, which was a first-of-its-kind of an experience for many. These performances were followed by a game of Pot-Breaking. However, the game had its own challenges. Participants were blindfolded and spun around, post which they were supposed to break a pot. Enjoyed by many, this game received wide attention. The celebrations finally concluded with a Karumbu eating competition. Karumbu, in Tamil, translates to Sugarcane. While this activity was well received by everyone, it certainly was an uphill task for the dentally challenged.

As the hours passed, the attendees all moved to the MIT Cafeteria for lunch. The volunteers, ever gracefully, served ethnic Tamil delicacies to everyone. The lunch was in great demand, as people queued up outside the Cafeteria too, despite the unforgiving heat.

All in all, the celebrations were welcomed with open hearts by everyone, irrespective of who they were and where they came from. Such celebrations give a chance for the students who are uninitiated to this culture, to experience and integrate within it. The diversity, the colors, the culture, and the raw energy inculcates a sense of unity, making every festival an experience to cherish.

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