Pongal is not only celebrated in India but is also a worldwide phenomenon. Indian people settled abroad, who are quite associated with their culture have made sure to share the celebrations with the foreigners as well. The non Indians are also seen enjoying these rituals. With the dispersion of Tamils all across the globe, the jubilations and festivities surrounding this prominent harvest festival of south India can now be witness throughout the world. For Tamils living abroad, far off their homeland, the festival of Pongal holds great significance as it keeps them tied in to their culture and traditions. Let’s go through the places outside India which celebrate Pongal fondly.
Pongal in African Countries
Pongal in African countries is celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. A huge population of Tamilians live there and they celebrate it as a holiday as well. All the rituals associated with festival are performed with immense sincerity and Indians from all over the region join the festivities. There are several cultural organizations which organize many cultural festivals in different cities in these regions.
Pongal in European countries
European countries like Britain, France, Germany and Spain celebrate Pongal on a large scale. There are many Hindu temples here who decorate themselves and arrange pujas and fests on this occasion. Many cultural festivals are also arranged on this eve.
Pongal in America
Around one third of a million Tamils reside in the USA and other American countries such as Canada. A great settlement of Tamils exists in countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other places in the Caribbean as well as Guyana and Suriname in South America. They make it a point to follow the culture and tradition and celebrate Pongal with great pomp and show.
Pongal in South East Asia
South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar also have a huge Tamilian population. They strictly follow the four day celebrations. Cleaning of houses and vehicles, arrangement of authentic Indian delicacies and group collaboration to enjoy festivities is a must here. Huge banquets are organized and the festivities are marked by singing, dancing and elaborate prayers.
Pongal in the Gulf countries
Gulf countries like Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait offer an opportunity for the Hindu community to spend some time together and celebrate the culture and the tradition. Indians gather on this day and elaborate meals are organized.
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