20 villages, 800 Dancers, 42,000 People Dancing, One Day!
Isha Foundation revives the joy of Pongal on an unprecedented scale
On Tuesday January 15th, a mass action took place across the rural areas surrounding Coimbatore, through which 42,000 people took to the streets and danced, all in the name of reviving the spirit of Pongal!
In this highly coordinated effort, 5000 Isha Foundation volunteers joined folk dancers from the organization Chennai Sangamam, to ensure that everyone in the villages around Perur and Vadavalli tasted the exuberance and profundity of this traditional harvest festival.
Traditional folk dances of the region where systematically taught to the population, whilst festive foods were shared and games played. As the dancing spread across the districts, spirits lifted and people were visibly exhilarated and moved.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in our village before. We thank all the volunteers who made it happen. On normal Pongal days we would not be dancing or celebrating in this way, we would be indoors. Today we all danced together as one community. Everybody was dancing. I don’t know what to say…it has brought a new spirit to the village…” -Kanniamma, resident of Muttathuvayal village.
This phenomenal event is one of many efforts by Isha Foundation to revive rural communities in Tamil Nadu, where poverty and depravation have dampened the spirit of celebration of traditional festivals.
To get involved in reviving the spirit of rural India, please click here.