Ms. Charis Mullen MP addressing the publicThe Pongal Festival, jointly hosted by Queensland Tamil Mandram (QTM) and Thai Tamil School (TTS), was held at the Robelle Domain Parklands, in Greater Springfield on January 18.

On this warm and sunny evening on the January 19, 2019, hundreds of people flocked to the venue. The event began at 3 pm, and kids and adults started taking part in the various games and activities. This ‘free’, fun-filled event offered fun rides, musical-chairs game, magic shows, multicultural events, kolam (floor art), tug-of-war, traditional sports and painting competitions.

There were various multicultural food and drinks stalls, and the revelers enjoyed the various dishes displayed there. Comfortable tents and seating were arranged not only for the special guests but for everyone. Just so the public could enjoy watching the various activities and games from anywhere in the ground, those were live cast on the big screen atop the stage.

The event ambassador from the Queensland government, Ms. Charis Mullen MP, State Member for Jordan, Peter Russo MP Toohey, Milton Dick MP, Senator Paul Scarr, Cr Angela Owen, FICQ President Dr Ram Mohan, Mr Umesha Chandra, publisher, Brisbane Indian Times, Hon Consul (India) Mrs Archana Singh, local council members, ex-MPs, representatives of various charity organisations and supporting organisations were invited as special guests.

Pongal, the harvest festival, is celebrated by Tamils all over the world in as thanks-giving to the nature, agriculture, farmers and livestock animals. This annual celebration in South India exhibits ethnic food, art, competitions, fun rides, cultural events, country songs and dances.

In Queensland, this annual event has been organised in ‘open park area’ since 2014 by the Tamil community in Brisbane. The objective of this event is to create awareness and keep the rich Tamil culture amongst the multicultural Queensland community alive through cultural performances, art and music; encourage and support local and overseas country/folk musicians; and support Tamil school, which aims to teach conversational Tamil to enthusiastic learner from various age groups and backgrounds of Queensland. Moreover, this event adds colour and richness to Queensland’s growing diversity.

Such a big and fabulous event needs meticulous planning, and both the organising institutions did a pretty good job, going by the crowd pullout and the overall fun atmosphere during the event.