Greater Houston Tamil Community Celebrates New Year in Style


By Jagan Annamalai

HOUSTON: The Greater Houston Tamil Community celebrated New Year with a splendid event on Saturday, Jan 4 at the Seven Lakes High School in Katy. The response was overwhelming and more than 600 people from Katy, Houston, Pearland, Sugarland and Cypress joined the celebrations.

The guests arrived in beautiful ethnic wear and were all invited at the entrance by kids with the traditional santhanam (sandalwood), kalkandu (sugar candy), kunkumam (vermilion) and panneer (rose water).  The event started off with Tamil Thai Vazhthu and was followed by a dazzling array of programs by the kids and adults. The songs, dances and music delighted the audience. A video of Katy Tamil School kids wishing everyone a happy new year was well appreciated.

There was also a valuable message by Dr. Gopal Krishnan, President of Greater Houston Tamil School. He explained how language adds civility to humans and how learning Tamil is important to preserve our culture, values and history. He also announced, to great applause, the opening of a new Tamil school branch in the Westheimer / Wilcrest area and requested the continuing support of parents for Tamil school.

The highlight of the evening was the music performance by the popular Houston Ragas band. Led by their lead singers Ragavan Vaidyanathan, Ganesh Rajamani and Karthika Mahadevan, the band performed a medley of popular songs, both old and new. Upcoming young talents were also given opportunities to perform. Inspired by the music, several people were seen dancing on the floors!

The comperes, Raman Chockalingam, Roopa Thiagarajan and Priya Muralidharan, kept the audience engaged throughout the programs. The technical team, led by Balaji Lakshmanan, Peri Periyasamy and Senthil Varadappan, expertly handled the audio and video systems.

Long buffet lines were seen for the delicious dinner catered by Bombay to Beijing. The event provided a great opportunity for everyone to socialize with their friends and also to make new friends.

The event was graciously sponsored by Vishala Grocery, Prudential Insurance, Colony Builders, Camelotis, Sari Sapne, Bombay Bazaar, BKM and more. Some of the sponsors had setup booths and provided an opportunity to shop. Women, in particular, were seen milling around the garment booth!

A vote of thanks was given by Chandrasekar Dev and Kuppu Ramasamy. Volunteers who had worked tirelessly for several weeks were called on to the stage. The sponsors, Houston Ragas, KISD, Bombay to Beijing, volunteers and participants were all thanked for their efforts in making the event a great success. The event was brought to a close with the band belting out some more popular songs.

In the end, everyone was left happy and yearning to come back for more.

To be invited for future events, please send request to Katy Tamil Friends facebook group.

For further details on Greater Houston Tamil School, visit