The State of Virginia has declared that January 14 will be observed as ‘Pongal Day,’ a Festival of significance to Tamilians all over the world.
Virginia has about 40,000 Tamilians.
However, Pongal Day is not a public holiday, but children can take day off from school.
The following is a Statement issued by the ‘Valluvan Tamil Academy’ based in Richmond, State of Virginia.
The Virginia General Assembly approved a Resolution introduced by Delegate David Bulova (D-Fairfax) on February 14, 2017.
With the passage of the Resolution, the Commonwealth of Virginia has designated January 14 in 2018 and in each succeeding year as ‘Pongal Day’ in Virginia.
In his testimony to the General Assembly, Delegate Bulova explained to his fellow members that ‘Pongal Day’ is similar to Thanksgiving Day.
He then described the importance of the celebration to millions of Tamils.
Committee members in both the House and Senate were deeply moved and inspired by Tamil Heritage and the Resolution was approved unanimously.
By proclaiming January 14th as Pongal Day, both Virginia and our great nation will have the opportunity to recognise the myriad contributions that Tamil Americans provide to this great nation’s social, economic, political and cultural fabric.
Pongal Day will be an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the inspirational role that Tamil Americans have played and continue to play in communities across America.
The Academy thanked its Legal Advisor Sriskandarajah for his efforts to get Pongal Day recognised by the State.