GTA witnessed Thai Pongal / Sankranti, an Indian harvest festival (Thanksgiving) on January 19th

Tamil Sauga Kids Group, TSKG is a registered not-for-profit organization serving GTA for more than 5 years. TSKG is one of the popular and largest Tamil community comprising of local GTA residents. This welfare group was established to enable the Tamil community across the GTA come together and help each other while inculcating the Tamil culture within the children as they embrace and integrate with the broader community as next generation Canadians. A community that was formed with only 5 members back in 2015, today proudly has around 420 members who have migrated from India and made Canada their home.

On January 19, 2020, TSKG proudly celebrated Thai Pongal. TSKG’ s hope is to encourage learning about the different cultures that make up the wonderful assortment of backgrounds we have in Canada. More than 480 members participated in one of TSKG’s biggest celebrations ever. Sankranti / Pongal was celebrated by millions of people around the world on January 15, 2020.  The purpose of the Pongal is to mark the beginning of the Indian harvest season, it is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lodhi in Punjab and Makar Sankranti / Boghi in other parts of India.  Like Thanksgiving, it’s a significant occasion that brings families and communities together, as Indian communities across the world celebrate this auspicious day that marks the end of dark phases and the beginning of a new era of prosperity in everyone’s lives.  This festival is also celebrated to promote universal brotherhood and harmony among people.

The event had lot of fun filled activities, arts and games with focus on imparting the festive values of Pongal Thiruvizha. As our TSKG mainly focus is on kid’s engagements, the arts and games were uniquely designed to mimic the core values of our traditional Tamil cultural celebration. Starting with kid’s Arts display (Pongal themed paintings), Poo-kolam (decoration with flowers), Skit, kid’s games such as Kabaddi (contact team sport), Jallikattu (bull-taming sport) and Uriyadi (breaking pot), and Karakattam (‘water pot’ ancient folk dance) highlighting uniqueness of Tamil culture and heritage.

Our TSKG President, welcomed our chief guests Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Consul General of India Smt. Apoorva Srivastava, MPP Deepak Anand and Councillor Dipika Damerla who inaugurated the celebration by lighting the Kuthu vilakku (lamp). Her Worship Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga launched the TSKG website. The dignitaries gave welcome speech and highlighted the value we bring in as a community. MPP Deepak Anand presented the certificate of appreciation to TSKG and it was received by Vice President and Secretary on behalf of TSKG. MP Navdeep Bains, MP Anita Anand, MP Gagan Sikand and MP Sonia Sidhu were invited but they were out of town and expressed their support and gratitude by sharing letter of appreciation. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Consul General of India Smt. Apoorva Srivastava and Councillor Dipika Damerla celebrated by joining for welcome dance with team. MPP Deepak Anand and Consul General of India Smt. Apoorva Srivastava visited arts display and expressed appreciation. The dignitaries took picture with the volunteers and kids, and the celebration concluded by awarding a certificate of participation to all the kids.