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British Tamils celebrate Thai Pongal at Prime Minister’s residence

Marking Thai Pongal and Tamil Heritage Month, British Tamils were invited for the first time to enjoy the festivities at the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street.

Guests at the Prime Minister’s residence were treated to an assortment of hors d'oeuvre and a bowl of pongal.

Speaking at the event, Nadhim Zahawi, former British minister and Chairman of the Conservative Party, thanked British Tamils for the "tremendous contribution” and noted the vital role Tamils play in the NHS.

Tamil Heritage Month was introduced to London last year by the London Assembly, and is being marked by boroughs across the capital with significant Tamil communities.

Thai Pongal is a secular Tamil festival which gives thanks to the sun and for the harvest and dates back in its current form to at least as far back as the Medieval Chola empire. The occasion is marked by boiling milk and rice - the 'pongal' - in a clay pot, often accompanied by various other treats and seasonal fruit. 

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