Monday, March 22, 2010


The Straits Times on line
New Year wishes to Telugu folk

By Evangeline Majawat


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wished the Telugu community in Malaysia an auspicious start to their new year today.

The Telugu community, the second largest Indian ethnic group in the country after the Tamils, celebrates Ugadi today, which is the first day of the year according to the lunar calendar.

Najib said he hoped this year's celebration will strengthen ties not only among the Telugus but also among all races.

"As a caring government, we'll continue to support efforts to improve the welfare of the Telugu community so that they, too, will be able to enjoy the prosperity."

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, in a Bernama report, also wished the Telugu community a Happy New Year. He hoped that the community would remain united to face the many challenges.

"We have to strengthen unity to ensure the Indian community's survival and future.

"Together as 1Malaysian Indians, we can achieve our dreams and prosper economically and socially," he said.

Samy Vellu said Malaysia was blessed to have a multireligious and multicultural society, adding that the people had learned to respect the practice of all religions.

In a similar message, Human Resource Minister and MIC vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said tolerance and acceptance must be made part of life in multiracial Malaysia.

"A new year means new goals. As we move towards a new economic model, we must equip ourselves with the right attitude and education to embrace the changes that will take place."

Similar to traditions practised during Deepavali by the Indians in general, the Telugus will wake up early to take oil baths before seeking blessings from elders in their families. Later in the evening, they will go to the nearest temple to offer prayers.

Telugu Association of Malaysia Vice-President S. Venkatesh said one of the most important traditions which was still widely practised was the consumption of Ugadi Pachadi, a concoction of six spices and ingredients. The ingredients -- jaggery, salt, neem flowers, tamarind, young mango and green chilli -- represent the ups and downs of life. "Life is considered to be balanced only when it's a mixture of joy, sadness, anger and peace

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