Pongal celebrations a great chance for multiracial interaction

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's meaningful interaction with residents at the Pongal celebrations speaks volumes about the Government's aspiration ("Celebrating first harvest of the season"; Jan 18).

While Cheng San Community Club celebrated Pongal with Mr Lee and MP Ang Hin Kee, we, in Bukit Panjang, had a gala time at the Pongal celebrations with Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District and MP for Bukit Panjang constituency.

It was great that the festivities in the common space provided an opportunity for us to mingle with different ethnic groups.

It truly enhanced understanding and mutual respect for one another - for example, listening to a Chinese person singing a popular Tamil song at the festival was quite refreshing.

While Pongal is a non-religious festival and Deepavali is linked to Hinduism, I agree that Pongal is not as well known among other communities as Deepavali is.

Perhaps, we should look into promoting the significance of Pongal in other languages besides Tamil.

S. Ratnakumar