FOR R. Kesavarthini, 18, wearing new clothes is her favourite part of celebrating the Tamil New Year.
“I actually enjoy every part of the new year celebrations but the best part would be getting to wear new clothes.
“This year as the new year fell on a school day, we could not go to the temple.
“Instead, we had prayers at home and I got to sing religious songs,” she said at a Tamil New Year celebration organised by the Malaysia Hindhudharma Mamandram Penang branch at Shan Children’s Home Penang.
Kesavarthini is one of the 27 residents of the home in Jalan Mount Erskine, Tanjung Tokong.
She said she helped her friends draw kolam at the home entrance as part of the celebration last Friday.
“It is always fun when there are many different activities organised for us,” she said.
R. Arun, 14, on the other hand was looking forward to the dinner spread.
“I love the food during the celebration. Though it is vegetarian, it is always extra tasty.
“We also get different types of traditional snacks which are really nice to munch on,” said Arun, who also had fun drawing the kolam.
The children also took part in other fun activities such as a game of musical chairs before they and the home’s staff and volunteers were treated to a scrumptious meal and desserts.
The group’s president V. Nanda Kumar said they selected the home to celebrate the occasion as they wanted to spend time with the children.
“We wanted them to learn about the Tamil New Year and its significance. So, we organised a talk to explain why we celebrate this festival,” he added.
Shan Home chairman and founder Datuk Dr S. Balakrishnan said it was thoughtful of the group to hold the celebration at the home.
He said the home, which functions on public donations, is planning to build another block in its compound to house the boys and girls separately.
“We are hoping to start construction on the new building soon but we’re still short of funds.
“We also needs volunteer teachers as we have six children sitting for the SPM examination this year,” he said.
Those who wish to donate towards the new building or sign up as a volunteer, can contact the home at 04-2292186.