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The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C celebrated Thai Pongal on Friday, 14 January 2022 connecting virtually with the Tamil community in the USA.  The event was conducted at the Embassy premises along with the Thai Pongal Pooja. Thai Pongal is a traditional festival observed by all Hindu Tamils in Sri Lanka and all over the world coinciding with the agricultural cycle of a new harvest paying homage to the Sun God “Suriya”. Celebrating Thai Pongal emphasizes the significance of our diverse culture, religion and beliefs.

The ceremony commenced with traditional Kolam, lighting the lamp and offering of Pongal rice to the deities. The Hindu religious observance (Pooja) was conducted by Swamy Ragupathi Kurukkal, and invoked blessings on the Sri Lankan Community in the USA, the government and the people of Sri Lanka for peace, happiness and prosperity.  He appreciated the efforts of the Embassy in bringing the community together to celebrate Thai Pongal during these difficult times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe highlighted the importance of organizing Sri Lankan traditional festivals celebrated by all ethnic and religious denominations in Sri Lanka and underlined that the celebration of Thai Pongal with the participation of Tamil community residing in the USA will contribute towards a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Sri Lanka. In this context, Ambassador Samarasinghe mentioned that Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-linguistic society and the protection and nurturing of that diversity will lead to national unity. He conveyed his best wishes to the Sri Lankan-US Tamil community, for a happy and prosperous Thai Pongal and very best for the year ahead. 

Children of the community also performed cultural items and added lustre to the event which was attended by the diplomats and staff of the Embassy.

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Embassy of Sri Lanka

Washington D.C

14.01.2022