Chennai | It’s happy birthday for ‘Namma Chennai’ (our Chennai). From one of the early settlements of the British East India Company to a vibrant metropolis retaining its cultural moorings, Madras (Chennai) has come a long way.
And today, the city celebrates its 376th birthday. On this day in 1639, British administrator Francis Day, along with his superior, Andrew Cogan, was said to have struck a deal with the Vijayanagar empire to acquire a stretch of noman’s land to build the city that came to be known as Madras.
Several schools, colleges, heritage groups, hotels and business houses have joined hands to make this day a part of Chennai’s Calendar. They have been organising week-long celebrations to spread the flavour of Chennai. The events included heritage rides, film screenings, vintage photo expos, walks, quizzes and sports.
Several restaurants and hotels too were offering ‘Madras Day’ menu and it has a variety of events catering to all sections and age groups in a bid to help them explore and appreciate the old city. Madras Day celebrations that mark the founding of the city began in Chennai 11 years ago.
Since then festivities have been organised with exponential fervour–what began as a day-long event in the Mylapore area has now grown into a month of festivities, spread across the city and its suburbs. ”Coimbatore is my native, but Chennai is my home for 15 years. It has given me everything I have now. I live this city a lot and I am a Chennaiite,’ says Suja C, a software professional.
”Let us pledge on this day to ensure that we keep the city clean and tidy. Today it has become a concrete jungle and the time has come to take efforts to Go Green”, says Dinesh, a social activist. The social media was not far behind, as Facebook and Twitter were busy carrying ‘Happy Madras Day’ wishes and greetings since the day dawned.
As one of the tweets says: ‘Chennai is a lovely name. But Madras has a RARE charm. Proud to be a Madrasi’.
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