Embracing Tradition: A Vibrant Celebration at SRM Institute of Science & Technology
Devadarshan Nirmal, INN/Chennai, @Ddnbujji
“Celebrating festivals keeps youth close to
their roots to culture, tradition”
– Dr. T. R. Paarivendhar
The spirit of tradition came alive at SRM Institute of Science and Technology as students and staff gathered for the 2nd Annual SRM Pongal Festival Celebrations. Dr T.R. Paarivendhar, the Honourable MP, Founder & Chancellor, emphasized the significance of participating in traditional festivals to maintain a connection to one’s roots. His Special Address highlighted how these events go beyond the essentials of life, providing a window into the rich legacy and heritage, particularly crucial for the diverse student community at SRM IST.
The celebrations unfolded on a grand scale, with students from across India and 60 foreign nations converging at SRM IST. Dr Paarivendhar expressed that these festivities would create enduring memories for international students, fostering a sense of closeness to Indian culture.
In comparison to the previous year, this edition of the Pongal Festival was organized on a larger scale, showcasing greater student participation. Dr Paarivendhar commended the organizers for their innovative cultural presentations and the creation of a spectacular stage adorned with plantain trees and traditional decor.
Dr. Ravi Pachamuthu, Pro-Chancellor (Administration), emphasized that such events are not just for entertainment but also contribute to instilling virtues among students. The festivities serve as a platform for learning teamwork, relationship-building, and the importance of sacrifice in their lives.
Dr. Manimangai Sathyanarayanan played a crucial role, distributing prizes to event winners and presenting the overall trophy to the faculty of SRM Arts and Science College for their outstanding achievements in cultural competitions.
Dignitaries including Dr. C. Muthamizhchelvan, Vice Chancellor, Lt. Col. (Dr) A. Ravikumar, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academics), and Prof. A. Vinay Kumar, Pro Vice-Chancellor (CHS, Management & Law), graced the occasion alongside faculty and management. The celebrations drew the participation of over 15,000 students.
The day commenced with the traditional preparation of Sweet Pongal in earthen pots by both students and staff. A vibrant procession followed, starting from the Raja Raja Chozhan statue near the main entrance and leading to the celebration venue opposite the Dr. T. P. Ganesan Auditorium.
The cultural extravaganza that unfolded included mesmerizing performances by students and traditional folk arts such as Oyilattam, Karagaatam, Kolaatam, Poi Kaal Kuthirai, and more. The rhythmic tunes of traditional instruments like Nagaswaram (also known as Nadaswaram) and Parai accompanied the traditional dances, elevating the excitement to a crescendo.
Engaging activities like Uriyadi, the blindfolded breaking of a hanging pot, and tug of water added a touch of uniqueness to the celebration. The festivities concluded on a delightful note with a sumptuous traditional lunch served to both students and visitors.
In essence, the 2nd Annual SRM Pongal Festival Celebrations proved to be a harmonious blend of tradition, culture, and camaraderie, reflecting the university’s commitment to fostering a holistic learning environment.