All under one roof to celebrate Pongal

Pongal was marked with joy by three generations of retired postal officer Somasundaram Ramalingam's family.

They wore traditional clothes and gathered at the home of Mr Ramalingam's son Prakasam, 41, to forget about the dark Covid-19 times and indulge in the festivities, which included colouring the floor with kolam (a form of drawing using rice flour or chalk powder) and making pongal, the sweet rice dish boiled in milk.

Pongal is derived from the Tamil word that means "to boil over", signifying a bountiful harvest and an abundance of blessings.

Mr Prakasam's wife, Madam Ushananthini, 35, a part-time translator, said gratitude was the focus of the family's celebrations at their Toa Payoh home.

"When Thai (Tamil month) is born, a solution is born," she said. "People have been resilient but we will need positivity to face the challenges ahead.

"The past year has brought my family closer and we are confident this year will be good - having started it with this Pongal celebration."

Said Mr Prakasam, a robotics manager in a Japanese company: "We want to make every Pongal memorable for our children so that the values behind this festival stay with them."

K. JANARTHANAN

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