India is a land of festivals, but a lot of these are lesser-known to people. This weekend marks the beginning of a new year for a number of communities in India, including Tamilians and Malayalis. To help its Indian users commemorate what is called as ‘Pehala Baisakh‘ in Bengali, ‘Puthandu‘ in Tamil and ‘Vishu’ in Malayalam, Twitter announced the availability of dedicated emojis.
The special emojis will be active from April 14, 2018, at 9 am and will be available until April 15, 2018. The emoji show a couple holding a lighted diya in their hands, signifying prosperity and happiness.
We are happy to celebrate the Tamil and Malayalam new year with a special #HappyPuthandu and #HappyVishu emoji launching tomorrow! Tweet with the English, Tamil #புத்தாண்டுநல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் or Malayalam #വിഷുആശംസകൾ Hashtags this weekend to see the special emoji appear. pic.twitter.com/0SVLTNJDLB
— Twitter India (@TwitterIndia) April 13, 2018
How to use the special emoji
To use the dedicated emoji, all you need to do is tweet in English, Tamil or Malayalam using #HappyPuthandu and #HappyVishu, or its related #புத்தாண்டுநல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் or #വിഷുആശംസകൾ to see the special emoji appear alongside your tweet.
Commenting on the launch, Keya Madhvani-Singh, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter India, said, “People visit Twitter to see what’s happening around the world and what everyone is talking about. We want to encourage more people to know about the diverse cultures in India, join in the celebrations and celebrate in their own language. We’re excited to celebrate Puthandu and Vishu with a special Twitter emoji which will be activated through English, Tamil and Malayalam hashtags.”
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This is not the first time Twitter introduced a dedicated emoji to commemorate an Indian festival. In the past, there were similarly customized emojis for cultural festivals in India, including significant moments such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali.