Kolam, Pallankuzhi, Kabaddi et al at Pongal Festival in Auckland

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Tamil Association of New Zealand event on January 25

Venkat Raman

Traditions of Tamil Nadu will come alive with the participation of men, women and children at a major event scheduled to be held later this month in Auckland.

Kolam, Pallankuzhi, Kabaddi, various other sporting events, music, dance and cuisine of Tamil Nadu will be among the features of the ‘Tamil Festival,’ being organised by Tamil Association of New Zealand Inc (TANSI) on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

The events, incorporating ‘Pongal Festival,’ will be held at Mount Roskill War Memorial Hall, 13 May Road, Mount Roskill, the same venue at which the Association was inaugurated a year ago almost to the day.

Outdoor activities including sports will commence at 10 am at the adjacent sports grounds, while the competitions for women will start at 3 pm and evening programme at 6 pm, concluding with dinner.

Further details can be obtained from Event Coordinator Aaron Samuel Joseph on 021-02588847.

Information regarding sports events can be had from Pradeep on 021-346067 and regarding Kolam from Laxmi on 021-2579869.

About Kolam

Kolam, which used to decorate the threshold of every home in Tamil Nadu is, unfortunately, a fading practice even in its home State with gated communities and apartment living becoming the norm.

A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots using rice flour, chalk, chalk powder or rock powder.

Kolam used to be popular in other Southern States of Andhra, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and in Goa and Maharashtra in the West. It was also in vogue Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Mostly practised by Hindu women, it is known as Rangoli in North India.

About Pallankuzhi

‘Pallankuzhi’ (‘Alaguli Mane’ in Kannada, ‘Picchala Peeta’ in Telugu), is a traditional ancient Tamil mancala game played in South India especially Tamil Nadu.

It is played by two persons with a wooden board that has fourteen pits in all (hence the name from the words fourteen pits or ‘Pathinaalam Kuzhi.’

There have been several variations in the layout of the pits, one among them being seven pits on each player’s side. The pits contain cowry shells, seeds or small pebbles used as counters.

About Kabaddi

Kabaddi is a contact  sport, played between two teams of seven players each.

The objective of the game is for a single player on offence, referred to as a “raider,” to run into the opposing team’s half of a court, tag out as many of their defenders as possible, and return to their own half of the court, all without being tackled by the defenders, and in a single breath.

Points are scored tagged by the raider, while the opposing team earns a point for stopping the raider. Players are taken out of the game if they are tagged or tackled, but are brought back in for each point scored by their team from a tag or tackle.

The origin of this game is obscure but it is generally believed to have started in Tamil Nadu, where the game is known as ‘Chadu Gudu’ (In Andhra and Telangana, it is ‘Chedu Gudu’).

Although accounts of Kabaddi appear in the histories of ancient India, the game was popularised as a competitive sport in the 20th century. It is the national sport of Bangladesh, the State game of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Two major disciplines of Kabaddi exist- the Punjabi Kabaddi, also referred as ‘Circle Style,’ played on a circular field outdoors, and the ‘Standard Style,’ played on a rectangular indoor court.

Kabaddi is played in many other countries including Nepal and Maldives.

Kabaddi is played by both men and women but not in the mixed format.


TANZI President Sowndra Rajan Palanisamy said that TANZI is a group of people who have come together with an objective to help people from all over the world and in particular from Tamilnadu to settle down smoothly in New Zealand.

Among the activities of TANZI are Pongal Vizha, Employ Ability Workshops and helping new migrants from Tamil Nadu settle in New Zealand.

Further information can be obtained from Sowndra Rajan Palanisamy on 021-1804908


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