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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Blend of cultures witnessed at National Youth festival

Vandana Singh, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, January 14, 2014
First Published: 23:40 IST(14/1/2014) | Last Updated: 23:54 IST(14/1/2014)

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus has been converted into mini India at the 18th National Youth Festival. The campus is witnessing a wonderful blend of cultures across nation.

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On Monday night youth from all the states celebrated Lohri with full spirit and on Tuesday morning they celebrated Pongal, in its traditional style.

The cultural night on Monday was completely dedicated to Lohri. All the participants from 35 states and the union territories gathered at the Open Air Theatre. Malwai Giddha and Bhangra of Punjab enthralled the entire audience. Everybody seemed mesmerised with the foot-tapping performance of Giddha and Bhangra. But the high point of the celebration was the Lohri bonfire. The youth the across nation were witnessed for the first time a celebration so grand, peanuts and other eatables were also offered to the sacred bonfire.  

  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2014/1/Lohri%20celebration_05_compressed.jpg

"It was amazing; we danced around the fire, which is assumed sacred and prayed for world peace. The culture of Punjab is really vibrant and full of energy," said Sharda, a participant of Assam. She said that she had done a good bonding with participants of Punjab and learnt new things from them.

The morning was dedicated to south Indian traditions. Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in the south Indian states. Kerala participants presented their traditional dance. Sweet rice was being cooked under the sunlight with jaggery and ginger, which remained the centre of attraction.

KR Sheshadri from Puducherry explained that Pongal is the festival of good harvest. He said that all the ladies cooked sweet rice under the sunlight and distributed it to their family members, relatives and friends and pray for the good crop and prosperity.

Guajrat students said kites-flying session was reminiscent of Makar Sankranti celebrated at their homes. Dhruvi from Gurjrat said they celebrate Makar Sankranti by flying kites it's almost the same feeling here.

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