In a joyous celebration of unity and cultural diversity, Caritas Sri Lanka marked the bright occasion of Thaipongal on 19th January 2024, at the SEDEC premises. The event began with a Holy Mass conducted by Rev. Fr. ManoKumar, accompanied by the presence of Rev. Fr. Eugene Francis and Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson.

The unique aspect of the Mass was its bilingual nature, resonating with both Sinhala and Tamil languages. This inclusive approach reflected the organization’s commitment to embracing diversity. As the Mass unfolded, the harmonious blend of languages echoed the spirit of unity that Thaipongal represents. To add a touch of cultural authenticity, all staff members with traditional attires present respectfully to Tamil traditions by sitting on the floor during the Mass. The SEDEC premises itself were enriched with vibrant decorations mirroring the Tamil culture. The atmosphere was not only spiritual but also visually captivating, creating a feeling of cultural immersion.

Following the Mass, the festivities continued with the preparation and sharing of the delicious Pongal rice—a customary dish during Thai Pongal celebrations. The aroma of the freshly cooked rice wafted through the air, inviting everyone to partake in this occasion. The celebration extended beyond Pongal rice, with a spread of other delectable dishes that showcased the diversity of Sri Lankan cuisine. Attendees, representing various backgrounds and roles within Caritas Sri Lanka, gathered around tables to share these flavoursome delights. The sense of unity was visible, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to a harmonious work environment.

In addition to that, the event served as a platform for cultural exchange and understanding. Through shared meals and festivities, Caritas Sri Lanka exemplified the power of cultural inclusivity and the strength derived from respecting and embracing each other’s traditions.

As the 2024 Thaipongal celebration at Caritas Sri Lanka unfolded, it was not merely a moment in time but evidence of the organization’s dedication to fostering unity, respect, and cultural appreciation. Through bilingual Mass, traditional decor, and a delightful feast, Caritas Sri Lanka demonstrated that diversity is not only celebrated but also cherished as an integral part of building up a multi-religious harmony and collective identity.