Overflowing blessings and joy

Women cooking the ponggal during the Ponggal festival celebration at the Sri Veera Kaliamman Temple at Sg Dua on 17/01/15.

FIFTY women wearing colourful sarees and cooking ponggal (sweetened rice) in 50 clay pots simultaneously was the highlight of the Ponggal celebration at the Sri Veera Kaliamman Temple in Batu Uban, Penang.

The women were joined by about 100 people who turned up to revel in the celebration and witness the cooking of the delicacy.

The event organised by the Penang Indian Wellbeing Association also raised funds for the temple’s activities.

“We decided to have 50 clay pots to cook the rice as there was overwhelming response from the devotees to join in the celebration,” said association chairman P. Arvind during the celebration at the temple on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Penang Hindu Association (PHA) celebrated the Ponggal festival at the SRJK (T) in Jalan Sungai with various activities including the cooking of ponggal, a ‘kolam’ arrangement, a pot-breaking competition and cultural fashion show.

PHA Education Bureau chairman Dr S. Balasubramaniam said the overflowing of the milk in the pots signified the abundance and prosperity associated with the agricultural harvest which would continue throughout the year.

More than 100 people who joined in the celebration were treated to a vegetarian breakfast and lunch at the school.

Over at the B. Mathavon Store in King Street, its owner K. Kanagaratnam invited family members, friends and customers for the celebration which saw them cooking 10 pots of ponggal.

He said it was the first time that the celebration was held at his store and he planned to make it an annual event.

There were also traditional dance performances and a silambam demonstration.

“We’re trying to bring back our old traditions and culture to ensure that it does not die off,” Kanagaratnam said.

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