"It's a dream come true," said Mickey Chetty, president of the South African Tamil Federation.Chetty
had proposed the idea 12 years ago of a national event on the lines of the one hosted for decades by the Natal Tamil Vedic Society
said it was particularly significant that the inaugural song and dance festival was being hosted in the same year that South Africa was celebrating 10 years of democracy.Tamil federations came from KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape provinces to participate.
The KwaZulu-Natal province, where most of South Africa's 1.2 million Indians live, won the Eisteddfod against stiff competition from the host province.The Cape provinces, participating in an event like this for the first time, had entries in only a few of the more than 40 different categories.Chetty
proposed to make it into an international event soon.
"There are lots of people around the world who want to participate in an international Eisteddfod.Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius have already given an indication as also Chennai, India.I think the visit to South Africa by the Indian
president last month has given us the opportunity to interact directly with the role-players."
Addressing the participants, Chetty
thanked everyone for helping to make the show a success.