YOUNG PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THEIR CULTURES AND TRADITIONS
(Srivathi Raman and Kantham Subramoney who participated in the Pongal festival at the Berkloo Temple in Johannesburg on Sunday, January 17 (2016)
BY SUBRY GOVENDERThe Pongal festival in South Africa on Sunday, January 17 (2016) attracted a large number of young people. These two girls, Srivathi Raman and Kantham Subramoney, took part in a festival at the Berkloo Temple in Johannesburg. Srivathi (6) is the daughter of Mr Aubrey Raman and Mrs Sandy Raman, and Kantham (8) is the daughter of Mr Kennedy Pregarsen Subramoney and Mrs Nelliandrie Subramoney.
The two little girls attend Bharatha Natyam classes at weekends.
Both families take a great deal of pride in promoting their cultures, traditions, languages and music in the Johannesburg region, which today is inhabited by a high concentration of young people who have migrated to the city from Durban and other cities in KwaZulu-Natal after the advent of our new democratic and non-racial order in 1994.
Both Aubrey Raman, Sandy, Kennedy and Nelliandrie hail from the town of Verulam, which at one time prior to 1994, boasted a large population of people of Indian-origin.
The Pongal festival in South Africa is an occasion for people of South Indian-origin to emphasise and promote their rich cultures, languages, values, music and traditions that they have inherited from their forefathers and mothers. Their ancestors were brought to the former British Natal Colony to work as indentured labourers (slaves) on sugar estates owned by white farmers. They toiled on the sugar plantations to build a new life for themselves and today number more than 55 percent of the 1,5-million people of Indian-origin in South Africa.
The descendants of indentured labourers have participated in the liberation struggles since the early 1890s in the Natal Indian Congress and later in the African National Congress and other organisations.
Today most of the people of Indian-origin have moved out of the sugar estates and have worked themselves out of poverty to become doctors, teachers, lawyers. clerks, and business people in all sectors of life.
A large percentage of young people have moved out of the KwaZulu-Natal province and moveD to the Johannesburg-Pretoria region, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and other parts of the country. A large number of doctors, teachers, accountants have also migrated to many countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States. England, and other countries in Europe. Some have also moved to India.
Most people of Indian-origin regard South Africa as their homeland and take great pride in promoting and observing their rich cultures, traditions, music and languages all over the country. South Africa boasts the culture of "unity in diversity". ENDS - SUBRY GOVENDER (JAN 18 2016)