Saurashtra Tamil sangamam road show in Tirunelveli

Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam” roadshow organized in the city saw interactive participation from locals. The program organized jointly by the Gujarat state and central government will culminate in a 15-day festival called the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam which is similar on the lines of the Kashi Sangamam held last year. The cultural program will help discover, affirm and celebrate the cultural affinity between Saurashtra in Gujarat with cities such as Madurai, Chennai, Tirunelveli, Thanjavur, and other prominent cities in Tamil Nadu.

During the roadshow in the city, officials explained the significance of the program which is expected to commence from 17th April 2023. Through the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam, 3,000 participants will be offered a once-in-a-life glimpse into the history of Saurashtrian Tamils, the life of the artists, economic activities and cultural practices of Saurashtrian. The program highlights the oneness of India’s culture by narrating untold histories of how a community emigrated to Tamil Nadu and their contributions to the country.

Addressing the press conference, Rushikeshbhai Patel, Minister for Health, and Family Welfare, Higher and Technical Education and Law. said, “Tirunelveli is known for its unique culture and cuisine like pidi kozhukattai (rice dumplings) and halwa made with wheat and lentil flour. The city is also famous for its traditional music and dance forms, including folk dances like Karagattam and Kavadi attam. A similar culture can be seen in Saurashtra. Tirunelveli is home to 60,000 Saurashtra Tamils.”

At the press conference, Patel further said, "Saurashtra community in Tamil Nadu has a rich history and culture unique to the region. There is a need to recognize and appreciate their contributions. This cultural program honours their contributions and preserves the rich heritage of Saurashtrians who share so much in common with both Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. This is an excellent initiative by the Modi government that enables a once-in-a-life reunion. This program will offer students and academicians to learn the history of Saurashtrians."

The program has received the support of the culture and education ministry as well as Indian railways. Universities across the two states such as Thanjavur, Saurashtra, and Junagadh too have contributed in curating the learning experience for visitors. The program will blend the myriad linkages between Tamil Nadu and Saurashtra in various fields, including art, sculpture, cuisine, heritage, commerce, culture, and education. According to officials, exhibitions to showcase textiles and handlooms, artisans' meetings, business events, debates, and sporting events are also a part of the program schedule.

The foundation for the idea of a Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam was laid a decade ago by PM Narendra Modi. Under his leadership, a delegation from Tamil Nadu visited Saurashtra University in 2006, when he was the state CM for Gujarat. A joint program organised in Madurai by the Saurashtra University and the Saurashtra Chamber of Commerce was also conceptualized. And there was the historic and monumental Saurashtra Samuha Sangamam organised in Madurai in the presence of Shri Narendra Modi - an event that had witnessed nearly 50,000 Saurashtrians come together.

PM  Narendra Modiji has identified oneness as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam which means one family, one earth and one future. To instil the feeling of oneness across the world, India as a member of G20 is promoting the goals of international economic cooperation and decision-making. The Gujarat state government has organized roadshows across Chennai and Madurai to create awareness about Saurashtra Tamils. In addition to Tirunelveli, a series of roadshows are organized in Dindigul, Paramakudi, Salem, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, and Trichy.

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