Madurai

Foreigners get a whiff of the countryside

One among us: Foreign tourists joined the folk artistes in the Pongal celebration at Mettuneerethan near Vadipatti on Monday.

One among us: Foreign tourists joined the folk artistes in the Pongal celebration at Mettuneerethan near Vadipatti on Monday.   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

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Pongal was celebrated with traditional gaiety in Madurai

Pongal was enthusiastically celebrated by residents across the district on Monday. The residents prepared sweet pongal at home and many also offered prayers at temples.

The Tourism Department had arranged for the visit of 350 foreigners to Mettuneerethan village near Vadipatti where they participated in Pongal preparation the traditional way.

A slew of folk dance performances, including Oyil aattam, poi kaal kudhirai, thappattam and karagattam, were performed by professionals to give the foreigners a taste of the performing arts of the countryside. District Tourism Officer P. Balamurugan said many visitors from United States of America and Japan participated in the event.

“They were encouraged to play the traditional music instruments and dance with the troupe members and the visitors enjoyed themselves. A traditional Pongal lunch was served later,” he said.

Organisations such as Heritage Foundation organised a State-level silambam (a martial art form of the State) contest which saw the participation of about 250 players from 15 districts across the State. Prizes worth ₹50,000 were distributed to the winners.

Tata-Dhan Academy celebrated Tiruvalluvar Day after Pongal celebration on their campus. As many as 110 students from 11 government schools in the Melakkal area participated in various competitions organised on the occasion. Students were encouraged to form Tiruvalluvar Clubs in school to understand and internalise the couplets.

Young men and women participated in uriyadi (pot breaking) and other contests in many villages, organised as part of the harvest festival.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 5:53:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/foreigners-get-a-whiff-of-the-countryside/article22447025.ece

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