SOAS University of London

Tamil celebrations of Pongal before Thiruvalluvar

19 January 2018

Pongal at SOAS

This afternoon, representatives of SOAS and the Federation of Tamil Associations UK, as well as guests from the High Commission of India, including Minister A.S. Rajan, came together before the statue of Thiruvalluvar on the SOAS campus to mark the end of Pongal, the Tamil harvest festival.

The statue of Great Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, author of Tirukkural, was installed on 13th May, 1996 and has welcomed visitors to SOAS ever since.

The occasion was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the history of Tamil Studies at SOAS, remember the contribution of scholars such as Stuart Blackburn and John Marr to the development of regional studies and language teaching, and to renew our joint determination to bring back the teaching of Tamil to SOAS degree programmes.