KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — The Ponggal Festival can strengthen unity among the various races in the country, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy.
Waytha Moorthy, who is in charge of national unity and social well-being, said everyone should embrace the spirit of the festival as people of one nation.
“The unity enjoyed over the last 60 years must be further strengthened through cultural exchanges and Ponggal is an excellent avenue to achieve this,” he said when officiating the 1 World Ponggal Festival 2019 at Asia Pacific University (APU) here, today.
He praised the effort by APU which made its own version of the festival, with students from 70 countries participating in the festivities.
“They got students from many parts of the world to come together with fellow Malaysian to celebrate Ponggal Festival and I think it is a fantastic job,” he said.
Some 80 pots were laid out in front of the university for the mass cookout, and the students had an experience to cook Ponggal rice which is the sweetened rice, under the guidance from the Indian students.
Waytha Moorthy also had the opportunity to observe and cook the Ponggal rice together with the students.
Ponggal is a four-day festival celebrated annually from Jan 14th and in the 10th month of the Tamil calendar, which is called Thai Matham, in conjunction with the harvest month in India.
It is the second most widely celebrated festival after Deepavali by the Indian community worldwide and is to give thanks to the Sun God for a bountiful harvest. — Bernama