Greater Houston Tamil School: Annual Day Celebrations

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HOUSTON: Greater Houston Tamil School(HTS) is a non-profit organization in Houston, with a primary objective of teaching the Tamil language and culture to the younger generations of the community. HTS has five branches in the Greater Houston area with more than 350 students enrolled. HTS celebrates the Annual Day event every year in the month of May with this year’s Annual Day celebrations held at Westside High School, Houston auditorium from 2.00pm to 9.00pm on May 30.

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Around 300 students participated in this year’s Annual Day celebrations and displayed their diverse  knowledge of Tamil culture and arts in the form of singing, drama, and dance. It was a wonderful feeling to watch the kids, from ages 4 to 14, perform these cultural programs on stage to an audience of around 500 parents and guests.

The Annual Day celebrations started with the ‘Tamil Prayer Song’ which was sung by all the students who participated in the cultural programs. Next, president of HTS, Dr. Gopalakrishnan, delivered the welcome address. During his speech, he shared the news about the accreditation achieved last year by HTS schools through ‘AdvanaceED’. He also mentioned that HTS’s next goal is to work with the Houston area independent school districts to establish a relationship where by the students that study Tamil and completes the requirements at HTS can be awarded language credit at their respective schools. This news was surprising to the parents but was also well received. Dr.Gopalakrishnan also reiterated that, “as we grow as an organization, it also requires patience and cooperation to meet the growth of the organization”.  Secretary Jagan Annamalai then released the annual report which was followed by the budget report presented by the treasurer Venkat.

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The Annual Day continued with multiple cultural programs by the students from all the five different schools which went on for several hours. Kids of all ages demonstrated their academic talent by reciting Thirukkural, Bharathiar songs, performing folk dances like “Kummi Aattam” all of which are integral parts of Tamil culture.

Founders of the “Sastha Foundation, Dallas” Visalakshi Velu and Velu Raman proceeded over the event as chief guests and they delivered a wonderful and moving motivational speech to the students outlining the importance of culture and how to take steps in preserving it. At this point, the Administrators, Teachers and volunteers were called on to the stage by the joint-secretary Bala Subramanian, and they were all individually honored by the chief guest with an appreciation medal. This was followed by the trophy distribution to the students for their accomplishments in academics and competitions. This year’s annual day celebration was organized by the Sugarland Tamil School and the efforts were led by Jeeva Velumani who delivered the vote of thanks. The celebration concluded with a wonderful traditional dinner.

HTS is a nonprofit organization run purely by dedicated volunteer members focusing on teaching Tamil language and culture to the younger generations in the community and to anyone who is interested in learning the Tamil language and culture.