Chennai, Jan 17: It was a moment to cherish for a group of foreigners as they celebrated 'Pongal,' the traditional harvest festival of Tamils, in its true spirit, here last evening.
At the 'Samathuva Pongal' (Community Pongal) organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department at the Island Grounds in which people from different castes and religions participated, the foreigners had a taste of Tamil culture and tradition along with sweet pongal, the favourite delicacy of Tamils.
About 30 tourists from the US, France, Germany, and Portugal, were garlanded as per Tamil tradition and brought in decorated bullock carts to the Island Grounds, where a large number of people, cutting across caste and creed, gathered to celebrate the festival.
Recreating a rural setting, women belonging to self-help groups prepared 'pongal' in earthen pots in an open ground amidst shouting of 'pongal-o-pongal.' A cultural programme showcasing the folk art kept the audience spellbound and provided a visual treat to the foreigners, who expressed their exuberance by joining the folk artistes in their performance.
''It's beautiful. I never had such an experience in my lifetime to dance with folk artists of Tamil Nadu,'' a foreigner lady said.