Thousands enjoy Tamil hospitality at Cuisine Festival

Curry Virunthu was a premier event that brought together communities

Rongotai and Wellington Mutamizh Sangam President Karuna (Karunanidhi) Muthu, Hon Consul for Nepal Dinesh Khadka, Labour List MP Anahila Kanongata’a Suisuiki (second, third and fourth from right), and others at the Curry Virunthu Festival in Auckland on April 22, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, April 23, 2023

The impeccable and inimitable hospitality of the Tamil-speaking people and the high quality of their culture and cuisine were evident at a unique event held in Auckland in the South Auckland suburb of Takanini yesterday (Saturday, April 22, 2023).

More than 1200 men and women of varied ethnicities attended the ‘Curry Virunthu’ organised by the Tamil Association of New Zealand Inc (TANZI) and Arasan New Zealand Trust at Bruce Pulman Park. Volunteers were seen continuously preparing and serving 20 items each In the Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian sections during the day-long Festival.

The weather played havoc in the morning but stopped later, although unable to match the enthusiasm of people who stood in the queue to enter the venue. We understand that in the end, more than 300 people were regrettably told that there was neither space nor food to accommodate them.

It pays to register in advance to participate in such events and TANZI and Arasan proved that good efforts will always be rewarded with success.

And it was a day to remember. It was an unheard-of crowd for a community event.

“Public response was gratifying and encouraging,” TANZI President Sowndar Rajan and Arasan New Zealand officials Kishore Kumar and Luxman Selvanesan said.

Rongotai and Wellington Mutamizh Sangam President Karuna (Karunanidhi) Muthu with TANZI President Sowndra Rajan at the Curry Virunthu Festival on April 22, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tamil Heritage

It was also one of the few events when Tamil-speaking people, with their origins in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and many other places, came together to showcase their heritage. There was entertainment, with the inevitable touch of the film Industry but everyone seemed to have enjoyed the proceedings.

That is what matters, as people would say.

National Party candidate for Rongotai and Wellington Mutamizh Sangam President Karuna (Karunanidhi) Muthu, Labour List MP Anahila Kanongata’a Suisuiki and Hon Consul for Nepal Dinesh Khadka were among the early guests at the event.

As he commenced the lunch sessions serving the first batch of diners, Mr Muthu recalled with nostalgia the Curry Virunthu events that he had organised and attended in Madurai, where he was born and raised.

A round of feast in progress at the Curry Virunthu Festival in Auckland on April 22, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Such festivals not only bring together people of varied cultural and social backgrounds but also enable them to appreciate and enjoy the traditional values and cuisines of different regions. Curry Virunthu Is a celebration of Tamil culture,” he said.

Curry Virunthu is popular even today in villages across Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and other Tamil-speaking regions around the world. People gather with families including children at a common place- often in open spaces or under the trees, converting them into suitable festival venues.

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