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NE Tamil Sangam Back After A Two Year Hiatus

Ranjani Saigal

After nearly two years of inactivity New England Tamil Sangam, an organization dedicated to the promotion of Tamil Culture in New England is making a comeback with a flurry of activity. The newly formed executive committee under the leadership of President Ilango Chinnasamy makes a new beginning with the celebration of “Pongal” on Saturday, Jan 31st at the David Mindess Middle School in Ashland.

“Pongal” which literally means “to overflow”, is the state festival of Tamilnadu. Traditionally Pongal is celebrated to mark the withdrawal of the Southeast monsoons as well as the reaping of the harvest. It is celebrated on Jan 15th which is the first day of the month of Thai. Prayers are offered to the Sun and Indra (God of Rain). Cattle are honoured for all the hard work done in the fields.

The New England Tamil Sangam celebrates Pongal with a program aimed at promoting local talent. “The primary goal of Tamil Sangam has always been to build a community of people who enjoy and appreciate Tamil culture” said Chinnasamy. Dr. Ramasamy Jesuraj, a former president of the Sangam decided to revive this organization which was inactive for the past two years. “The organization was very active for many years. I felt that if someone could take the lead we could build a team that could keep the Sangam alive. I sent an email to the community and was very pleased to see the response” said Jesuraj. "Committee members, Prem Kumar Natarajan, K. Arvind , Venki Sunderasan along with President Chinnasamy have put the first event together"

The event features dramas by children who are enrolled in the Tamil program at Shishu Bharati. Other youngsters will be presenting a variety show featuring music and dance. Admission is free.

“In addition to events like the Pongal celebration that are aimed at promoting local talent, we hope to have Tamil literary gatherings, shows by leading artists from Tamilnadu and invited talks by Tamil luminaries” said Chinnasamy. “At the Pongal event, we are going to solicit ideas from everyone and try to see how best to proceed”. The web site is being revamped. “Earlier Mr. Vijay Anand put a lot of effort into making a wonderful site. We have his code and I plan to reuse it to create a dynamic site ” says Chinnasamy.

For further information please check out their website at http://www.netamilsangam.org

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