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Pongal fest ‘Chennai Sangamam’ back after 10 yrs, Stalin to launch on Jan 13

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Chennai: ‘Chennai Sangamam’ – Namma Ooru Thiruvizha – a festival coinciding with the Pongal festivities showcasing the rich cultural heritage and various traditional folk arts of Tamil Nadu, is back after a gap of 10 years this year.

The event, considered a pet project of DMK Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi, returns this time as a full-fledged government event and it will be launched by Chief Minister M.K.Stalin on January 13 with a grand cultural show at the Island Grounds in the city. .

The Chennai Sangamam event was held regularly earlier whenever the DMK was in power.

After the DMK came to power in 2021 after a gap of a decade, the state government, in its first year, had organised similar events during the Pongal festival last year by christening it as ‘Namma Ooru Thiruvizha’ (‘Our town’s festival’) instead of ‘sangamam’ (which means ‘confluence’).

The event will feature several components including a book fair, literary festival and presentation of awards.

Later this year, the Sangamam, which is being coordinated by Kanimozhi, would be held in other regions of the State. “We have divided the State into seven regions, and the programmes would be held in these locations,” the Lok Sabha MP from Thoothukudi said in the presence of Minister for Industries, Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture Thangam Thennarasu.

Kanimozhi said in Chennai, the events would be held from January 14 to 17 at 16 locations, including parks and playgrounds.

Along with cultural programmes, including folk arts and music, classical performances, too, would be held. Youth bands would also be featured. A total of 170 groups would perform in Chennai and the entrance for all the events is free.

A total of 800 artists from various parts of the state will perform local art forms during the festival.

B.Chandra Mohan, Secretary, Tamil Art and Culture, said dancers from other States would also take part.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation would be coordinating with restaurants and food experts to offer traditional food items through 108 stalls in 16 locations.

Items like Iruttu Kadai halwa (famous sweet from southern Tirunelveli), Kovilpatti Kadala Mittai (sweet groundnut candy) and Srivilliputhur Palkova (milk ghova) would be made available in Chennai.

Games and painting and sculpture exhibitions have also been planned as part of the Chennai Sangamam – Namma Ooru Thiruvizha.

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