Tamils in Singapore to kick off Pongal celebrations in Little India
SINGAPORE — A heritage trail around Little India, a bevy of cultural performances and activities will be witnessed at the annual Pongal Open House as Tamils across Singapore mark the harvest festival this month.
Organised by the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC), the festivities will be held across two weekends — January 6-7 and January 13-14, The Straits Times newspaper reported on Friday.
On the heritage trail to Little India, visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the festivities and learn about various foods and decorations related to Pongal.
In addition, they can also look forward to seeing live cattle on display along the trail at the 2024 edition of the Pongal Open House.
The 1.1 sq km Little India district, comprising a large Tamil population, is the hub of ethnic shops, desi restaurants, temples and mosques.
There will also be a cooking demonstration on how to prepare pongal — a sweet dish which shares its name with the festival.
The cooking demonstration will be conducted by chef Annil Ravindran — owner of Chemmeen SG, a catering company — on January 14.
“It is my first year being involved in the celebrations, and I am super excited to be here. Pongal is a festival where we pay homage to the simplest of ingredients, and I am very happy to carry this tradition forward,” Ravindran told The Times.
The activities will be complemented by the pongal light-up, which will be on display until February 6 in Little India.
A slew of traditional performances and activities have been planned. While some activities are free, others are ticketed with prices ranging from $10 to $18.
The Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association will also hold its own events to mark the harvest festival throughout January, including cultural shows and pongal distribution.
Pongal, heralding the onset of spring, will be celebrated from January 15 to 18 in Singapore.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Indians make up around 9 per cent of the city-state’s six million population.
The approximate population of Indians in Singapore as of 2024 is 7 lakh, and at 54.18 per cent, Tamils from countries like India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia form the largest ethnic group.