Harvest festival, ‘Pongal’, is celebrated with enthusiasm by all Indians living all over the World. Tamils living abroad practise their cultural values throughout significant festivals. Interestingly, younger generation of Tamils who live abroad come forward to contribute to harvest festival. Although there are various contributions in ‘Pongal’, Tamil Diasporas maintain and nurture cultural distinctiveness.
‘Pongal’ for Tamils Abroad:
In modern era, ‘Pongal’ has become a vibrant festival with global presence. The spreading of Tamils globally did not occur recently. There are seventy million Tamil dispersed in over fifty countries of the World. Hence, people residing in countries outside India give significance to ‘Pongal’ festivities. The festival allows them to come out with vibrant colours, perform rituals and religious ceremonies. Festival gives them a feeling towards motherland and its culture. Togetherness is felt in Tamil Diaspora by celebrating ‘Pongal’ festival at the same common place. Everyone performs ‘Pongal’ rituals and share their sweet memories of India.
Early settlement of Tamils can be traced to sugarcane plantations. These are Mauritius, Reunion in Indian Ocean, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago in Caribbean, Guyana and Suriname in South America, South Africa, Malaysia and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Coal mines in New Caledonia off Australia. Tamils also, settled in Indonesia, Thailand and developed countries like Britain (over 300,000), USA (over 300,000), Canada (over 300,000) and Australia (over 30,000). Tamil Diasporas are in these mentioned countries. Many Tamils have also voluntarily migrated from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
‘Pongal’ in South East Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and others.
‘Pongal’ in Africa: Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles and South Africa.
‘Pongal’ in Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.
‘Pongal’ in the Gulf: Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
‘Pongal’ in Europe: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark
Tamils in Americas: USA and Canada.