MAHE celebrates Pongal for first time: small crowd, unfulfilled expectations.
Pongal is a four day long harvest festival dedicated to the sun god, hugely celebrated in Tamil Nadu. This is on the day when the sun starts to move towards the north, which is also called Makar Shankranti. The festival is observed with the preparation of Pongal, which is done under the sunlight by boiling the rice till it overflows.
As we all know, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) has a blend of different cultures and it believes in celebrating the very essence of it. On January 14, 2018, Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) had organised an event to celebrate Pongal for the very first time at the quadrangle. The event started with the ritual of cooking rice in an earthen pot under the sun by the students, followed by a speech of the newly appointed director of MIT, D Srikanth Rao. He made a very enthusiastic speech where he talked about how this very harvest festival is celebrated all over India with different names but the same purpose.
There seemed to be a pretty good crowd of people who seemed to enjoy the event, said by Tarangini from MIT who is one of the organisers. Later she added, “We’re happy with the number of people who showed up and they seemed to be very lively about the event.” But, the people who were there gave a contradictory reaction about the event, its decoration, and the organisation. “I find the decor very plain for a festival like this, it isn’t as per my expectations but yes I love the performances by the students,” said a student of Faculty of Architecture (FOA). More people were invited but around 200 showed up, maybe because of the heat. This seemed to be a drawback for the event to be more compelling.
Nevertheless, there was a series of performances by the students which included a folk dance, Silambattan by Joseph and Ajay, two students of MIT. In the end, a lunch was organised for the people followed by few games like ‘pot breaking’ and ‘tug-of-war’ which left the people with happy faces.