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Sankranthi Festival at Portcullis House
Participants of a function held at Portcullis House in connection with Sankranthi festival have called for promoting multi cultural activities and attending one another’s festivals to end religious alienation.
The function was organized by UK Telugu Association (UKTA). President of the Association Parbhakar Kaza said that Makar Sankranti is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar and celebrates the sun's journey into the northern hemisphere, a period which is considered to be highly auspicious.
“In Southern India it's the harvest festival Pongal and lasts for 3 days. On the first day, rice boiled with milk is offered to the Rain God. On the second day, it is offered to the the Sun God and on the third day, the family cattle are given a bath and dressed with flowers, bells and colours, to honour them for their hard work in the fields”, he added.
Virendra Sharma MP said last year for the first time Sankranthi festival was celebrated in the Parliament House. One billion people around the globe celebrate the festival in the middle of January he added. In olden days all family members used to gather together at one place to celebrate the festival and know about one another’s welfare. This time is of transmutation of autumn into spring and harvesting.
He said no one could even imagine of celebrating this festival in the Parliament House 15 years back but today all festivals including Baisakhi, Eid, Diwali and all other community events are being held on regular basis with the purpose to bring about communal harmony. “We should introduce our good values to others and remove misunderstandings about our culture and religion.”
Mr. C Rajasekhar, Minister (Political, Press & Information) said the communities living away from home are the ambassadors of their countries. Such events provide opportunities to sit together and share one another’s grief and happy moments and help forget the feelings of nostalgia.
Lord Dholakia said some 20-30 years back the world knew India for its poverty, maladies and unemployment but today it has emerged as a growing economic power where 60 per cent of the population is below 25 years. Stressing on the education of children he said they should also be educated about their culture and customs as these are the wealth which no one could snatch from them. He also conveyed the message of greetings from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Lord Loomba said this is an important festival of Hindu calendar which in Punjab is called Lohri in which people sing happy songs and make special dishes.
Earlier, Madhava Turumella traced the history of this festival. Shravan and Jay Kumar welcomed the guests. Later Balu Raghu Raman, Bala Chander and Mrs Subhadrq presented musical Jugalbandi, Yasoda Sruti, Natalya Joseph, Natasha Joseph and Sumanesh Ranjani presented Bharatanatyam and Shriya Sistla sung Bhajan. The function began with lighting of lamps. Later, Narendra Munnaluri thanked the guests.