Monday, January 7, 2013

Tamil community SOPCA celebrates New Year

Tamil community celebrates New Year
Staff photo by Jason Spencer


Members of Peel's Tamil community (SOPCA) held a cross-cultural holiday party last night at the Square One Older Adult Centre.

Some 250 people gathered in the City Centre mall for the Diwali, Christmas, New Year and Thai Pongal celebration. The latter of which is the Tamil New Year, celebrated on Jan. 14.


Kuru Aravinthan, vice president of the Screen Community of Peel (SOPCA) — a Tamil cultural group, which hosted the event — said the purpose of the party was to encourage people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to celebrate together and to help the Tamil community, which he estimates to be 350,000 strong in Canada, to retain their culture.

"The whole community is enjoying the celebration," he said. "We want to encourage our community to get involved in these cultural events because we want to keep our culture in Canada and our language."

Mississauga East-Cooksville MPP Dipika Damerla and Ward 10 Councillor Sue McFadden were in attendance to take in the dancing, music — both traditional Tamil songs and Christmas carols — dramatic performances and a dinner, which included many multicultural dishes.

"You do such a great job keeping the culture alive," Damerla told the audience. "It's so important that young Tamils are proud of their culture."

SOPCA also presented volunteer awards to two of its senior members, Chinnathurai Balasubramaniam and Suppiramaniam Makenthiran, for their exceptional contribution to the Tamil community.

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