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Massachusetts Tamil Sangam - Tamizhar Thiruvizha

Dr. Saritha Venkatesh

Massachusetts Tamil Sangam - Tamizhar Thiruvizha


Massachusetts Tamil Sangam (MTS) proudly celebrated the Tamizhar Thiruvizha on Saturday, January 21st, 2023. This Pongal festival flourished as the name implies with a wide spectrum of members of MTS, adult and youth volunteers and participants of competitions including Bharatanatyam, Carnatic Vocal, Drawing, Chess, Tamil Spelling Bee, Tamil Speech and Thirukural recital, all embraced in a traditional Tamil culture at Sutton High School, MA.


The festive mood was in place since morning with the decorations team adorning the stage with backdrops and the podium. A huge shout out to our founding members Mr. Jothiprasad Selvaraj, Mrs. Ramapriya Bala, Mr. Veerendiran Nachimuthu, Mr. Sureshkumar Periyasamy, Mr Vijai Croos, Mr. Thanigaivel Venkatesan and Mr. Prabhuram who completed the grandiose stage and the creative “Pongal Panai” made by Mr. Manoharan Ganapathy and  Mrs.Ramapriya Bala, our beloved founding members.


The reception were adorned with a warm MTS welcome committee that included Mr. Sureshkumar Periyasamy, Mr. Sankar Sundaram, Mrs. Chitra Manoharan, Mrs. Suba Sankar, Mr. Premkumar, Mrs. Hemapriya, Mr. Muthu Kumar and Mrs. Ramya.


The program commenced with Tamil Thai Vazhthu with the audio that is usually played in all the state functions in Tamil Nadu. I have loved the vibe of that particular audio since my childhood days when I attended the functions in Valluvar Kottam in Chennai every year on Uzhavar Dhinam where some great Tamil Scholars in the state were honored. 


The stage programs started with Carnatic Solo and group performances. It is a usual trend to name the various participants as junior,sub junior and senior as seen in most of the competitions. For the first time in the history of New England Competitions held so far, MTS is proud to remember the great trinity singers of Carnatic Music and named the groups after Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi Amma, Smt. ML Vasanthakumari Amma, and Smt. D.K. Pattamal Amma. Thank you to our vibrant youth volunteer Tharegha Manoharan to have emceed this segment in her sweet voice. My pranams to our bellowed judges Smt. Aparna Chambarvalli and Sri. Aditya Venkatesh to have gracefully distributed the prizes.


This was followed by solo and group Bharatanatyam dances. These groups were named after Smt. Rukmani Arundale, the founder of Kalakshetra, Smt. Padmini Ramachandran,Natiya Peroli and Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan, Queen of abhinaya.  Varshini Arumugam, enjoyed her role as an emcee for this segment with her well versed knowledge of Bharatanatyam. Heartfelt thanks to our beautiful judges, Hema Iyengar, Anuradha Surendhar and Manasa Jeyanthi in giving away the prizes. MTS extends our sincere thanks to all the teachers who sent their students to take part in our competitions amidst their busy schedules.


A huge team of dedicated MTS founding members Mr. Krish Venkat, Mrs. Tanya Desigan, Mr. Praburam Shanmugam, Mrs.Ramapriya Bala, Mr. Rameshkumar Palanisamy, Mr. Navinkumar Loganathan and Mr. Jothiprasad Selvaraj conducted the Chess, Drawing, Tamil Bee, Tamil Speech and Thirukural competitions to a huge crowd of well prepared kids. 


Congratulations to all the winners of all the competitions and thank you to all the participants. 


Our heartfelt thanks to our judges Mrs. Deepa Prabhu and Mrs. Dhivya Mohan for their patience in judging the beautiful art work done by the children depicting Pongal, Mattu Pongal, Bhogi, Jalli Kattu and about the farmers.I loved the creativity of the Tamil competitions naming their groups as Arumbhu, Mottu, Mugai and Malar. MTS thanks all the judges, Mr. Manikandan Parthasarathy, Mr. Sankaran Natarajan,Mr. Gandhi Vellasamy and Mr. Suresh Srinivasan who were so patient with all these competitions and distributed the trophies to the winners.


The crown of the event was the Tamil Annai dance drama performed by 53 adorable and talented students of Amudashri Dance School, under the guidance of  Smt. Kalaimangai Anbhazhagan. In temples I have seen that more and more prayers done on one God, the God will manifest on one of the devotees, Similarly, MTS had so much of energy in every corner of the auditorium in promoting Tamil culture, literature and arts, that the Tamil Annai (Goddess of Tamil Language) in the form of Mrs. Sujatha Varadarajan was present on stage. She was stunning in her costume with the veena in hand and seated amidst all the Tamil Alphabets and boards with Tamil literacy arts of Purananooru and Tholkappiyam.


The second half of our program was filled with dances from top hit Tamil movie high impact songs. All the programs in this category were performed after weeks of practice by children and busy house mothers. On behalf of MTS I was happy to honor three dedicated choreographers that included Ramya Prabhuram, Lincy and Shankari. The skit done by children on farmers and not to waste food was meaningful and conveyed the best message to the crowd.


The cultural programs that happened on stage consisting of 200 plus participants would not have been possible without the help of Mr.Prabhu Kalaimani, Mr. Vijai Croos, Mr. Thanigavel Venkatesan, Mrs. Anu Giri, Mrs. Bharathy, Mrs. Raji Sankaran, Mrs. Jeevitha Tilak, Mrs. Chitra Ramesh and Mrs. Tanya Desigan in the lineup of programs, trophy and certificate distributions. A kind gesture of Mr. Manoharan Ganapathy, Mr. Jothiprasad Selvaraj and Mr. Karthi Arunachalam has spent their valuable time in organizing and ordering the trophies and certificates.  The strenuous efforts of all the dedicated volunteers were well rewarded when we saw the adults and children receive the trophies with a bright smile and happy cheering and whistling from the awesome audience. The audio track was well managed by Mr. Venkat Arumugam and light effects by Mr. Tilak Kannan. Thank you Mr. Jonathan Robinson for his support with the audio system through the evening.


The audience supported all the programs regardless of whether their children or spouses were performing. A very commendable gesture and I want to use this platform to communicate to  people to stay and see other programs as a learning curve for children to appreciate.  


The snacks and food was provided by Kumar’s cafe, Northboro. A huge round of applause to our food volunteers: Mr. Suresh Periyasamy, Mr.Rameshkumar Palanisamy, Mr.Veerendiran Nachimuthu, Mr.Navin Kumar Loganathan, Mr.Karthi Arunachalam, Mr.Senthilraja, Mr.Jothiprasad Selvaraj, Mr.Tilak Kannan, Mr.Giritharan and Mr. Fredrick.


We would also like to thank our Silver Sponsors Lekha Damodharan, Media Sponsor Krisp Photos and Decoration Sponsorship by “Passion2Ethnicdeco” Usha Ramachandran,  Thank you to our dedicated team of photographers Mr. Krish Velmurugan, Mr. Vijayakumar Ramdoss, Mr.Karthik Rajasekar and Videographer Mr. Navaneedhan.


Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakum. On behalf of MTS I would like to thank all our members, volunteers, sponsors and audience and wish them a great 2023. Please stay tuned for our next upcoming program in Spring 2023.


(Dr. Saritha Venkatesh is a Founding member, Massachusetts Tamil Sangam. )

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