English, Fake News

Video of Pongal celebrations from Canada falsely shared as G20 guests in India having lunch with bare hands


India is going to host the G20 Summit in September 2023. As the summit is approaching, various events with the delegates of the G20 nations as guests are being held. Amidst the news (here and here) related to these events, a video showing foreigners eating a traditional Indian meal with bare hands is being shared on social media, claiming that the people in the video are G20 guests. Let’s verify this claim through this article.

Claim: Visuals of G20 guests in India having a traditional meal with bare hands.

Fact: This video is from Canada and was filmed when the Tamil Culture Waterloo Region organised a traditional meal for the officials of Waterloo during an event they organised celebrating the Pongal festival in January 2023. Hence the claim made in the post is False.

A reverse image search on a few keyframes of the video obtained using the InVid tool led us to a similar video uploaded on Facebook in January 2023. The Tamil Culture Waterloo Region page uploaded this video with a caption that reads ‘ TCA Tamil Thai Pongal Celebration (Tamil Thanksgiving) region of Waterloo politicians, Regional Chair City Mayors, councillors and Police Chief and staff.’

The Tamil Cultural Association of Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada, organised this event during this year’s Pongal festival. Their website contains images of this event in which we can see the same officials as in the viral video.

After attending the event, the mayor of Waterloo, Dorothy McCabe, posted a tweet thanking the local Tamil community for organising this event.

Earlier this year, this video went viral with a false claim that British PM Rishi Sunak arranged a Pongal meal for the officials of the UK Govt. We had debunked that claim, the fact-check of which can be read here.

To sum up, a video of a few officials of Waterloo City in Canada having Pongal dinner is passed off as G20 guests in India eating food with bare hands.


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