Archive for the ‘History & Culture’ Category

Remembering Black July

By Editor - July 20th, 2018

Remembering Black July

From July 24th to the 29th of 1983, more than 3,000 Tamils killed and over 150,000 become refugees, many fleeing the country to India and the West. Prison guards allow Sinhalese génocidaires into the wards holding Tamil political prisoners- 53 Tamil political prisoners are tortured and killed.

11th Anniversary of Sencholai Massacre

By Editor - August 14th, 2017

11th Anniversary of Sencholai Massacre

Imagine yourself in a classroom, in the midst of a civil war. You are fearing the worst, but continue your life as a normal day. You head to your all female school and are in the classroom. Around 7:30am, when you are barely awake you hear an aircraft flying above you. You have been taught to duck and seek shelter. However, it is too late. Everything goes dark, and you hear a huge blast. What is it? Am I alive? Can I open my eyes? These questions run through your mind. You open your eyes, and try to move. Your leg is pinned down by a piece of debris.

Thaalam 2017 Greetings from Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

By Editor - July 5th, 2017

Thaalam 2017 Greetings from Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

I am happy to offer support for Thaalam 2017 in their rousing artistic works. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the organizers who spent hours putting this together and wish all participants a wonderful time!

Thaalam 2017 Greetings from MP Gary Anandasangaree

By Editor - June 20th, 2017

Thaalam 2017 Greetings from MP Gary Anandasangaree

As we celebrate Canada 150, we reflect on our shared Canadian values. Paramount to our identity is the strength we draw from our varied cultural backgrounds. Through this event, the Arts & Culture Council of CTYA provides an opportunity for Tamil youth to display our rich Tamil heritage and culture.

Best wishes to all the competing teams and congratulations to all who dedicated their time and hard work to make this event a success.

Regenesis – Book Drive

By Editor - May 29th, 2015

Regenesis - Book Drive

Regenesis: new birth, renewal. A book drive will be held at Scarborough Civic Centre on June 1 starting at 3:00 p.m., in memory of the burning of the Jaffna Library on the nights of May 31st and June 1st, 1981. All books will be donated to the SickKids Hospital.

‘Veera Mangai’ Velu Nachiyar – The Joan of Arc of India

By Editor - February 26th, 2015

'Veera Mangai' Velu Nachiyar - The Joan of Arc of India

Rani Velu Nachiyar was the first ever female warrior to challenge the British Empire in the Indian War of Independence. As such, she redefined the role of women within the Indian freedom fighting revolution. With the majority of men at the time behind bars, she mobilized a women’s artillery. This army was named Udayaal in honour of the Rani’s adopted daughter, who died after detonating a British arsenal. Veluni Nachiyar is also credited to have created the first human suicide attack: Kuyili, a female soldier, doused herself in oil, entered a British-owned ammunitions storage, and destroyed the facility by self-immolation.

News Release: CTYA Welcomes NPC Resolution

By Editor - February 12th, 2015

News Release: CTYA Welcomes NPC Resolution

On February 10th, 2015, the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), with overwhelming support, passed a resolution calling for an international investigation into the ongoing genocide perpetrated by the Sri Lankan Government against Eelam Tamils. The Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA) welcomes this resolution as a meaningful move towards justice and the freedom of the Eelam Tamil Nation.

Our Thai Pongal

By Editor - January 14th, 2015

Our Thai Pongal

Written By: Tharnya Sivanithy I, Walk through pools of muddy water Within the green pleated fields. The sun radiates its warmth Encouraging me to carry on As I bend and pull plants That were seeds, months before My wife, Pours the small brown and white grains That mother earth and I toiled to make Into the…

Waiting For Dawn

By Admin - November 17th, 2014

Waiting For Dawn

Written By: Keera Ratnam
I was told at nightfall the days ends, and with the morning sun, comes a new day and new experience. But to me, a new day means much more than waking up to see the sun. It means freedom. It is a day where the children of tomorrow are able to speak their native tongue. A day where our lives are protected from harm and a day, where we truly are free.

That day has not yet come. My people, the Tamil people, and I have been suffering from physical and mental torture. We’ve been stripped our rights and privileges – and have become muted. Despite all the suffering, we are not able to speak our voices. Why, you may ask? Why we have not spoke out? But the truth is, we are not allowed to speak. And when we do try to let our voices be heard, it is silenced. From the tiniest quarrel from our youngest living to the last standing alive.

But do not worry, my brothers and sisters are not hopeless. We too believe that we will be free one day. We left our homes, family and dreams in search of a new day and to bring a day of light to our people. We are the children of today, we must work to give light to the ones that will rise tomorrow. We took oath. An oath to fight till the end, and we must vow to fight, from dawn till dusk, until a new horizon is risen. We walked many miles, up many hills, dug many bunkers, fled from forest to forest, and fled from house to house. We held on to every mother and father, and promised to protect them as our own. We watched our friends cry in pain, fall within our arms asking us to hold on tight, tighter. We carried the dead, to put them to rest, and took them home for their families to see. Mothers yelled, cried and fell down to their feet. Asking their child’s body if they can have the one last chance to meet, talk, hug.

Many of us lost arms and legs. Many lost their lives and some gave up their livelihood. They did not rest, they did not stop, they went on as each fighter fell. As death came closer, they said, beneath the ground we shall go, but will up-rise again as young springs and continue on with our journey until the rays of sunlight from tomorrow shines upon us with delight. From Dawn till Dusk we shall not sleep, beneath the ground we shall not rest, until the day has come for the birth of our nation.

The Great Raja Raja Cholan

By Admin - December 19th, 2013

The Great Raja Raja Cholan

This post is part of the Tamil Heritage Month Initiative. Tamil Heritage Month began in 2010 and seeks to celebrate Tamil heritage, culture, and history. Throughout this month and January, we will be providing you with educational material and poetry such as this that seeks to help us celebrate and understand our culture, roots and heritage.

Written By: Kayalvizhi J.

Rajaraja Cholan was one of the greatest kings of the Chola Empire who ruled between 985 CE and 1014 CE. Rajaraja Cholan and his son, Rajendra Cholan have been credited with the expansion of the Chola Empire by virtue of winning land through military battles against the Sinhala and Pandaya armies. His strength, valour and power has been celebrated in Tamil literature, movies and songs. Some of his greatest achievements, the building of the Raajarajeswaram in Thanjavur, still remain as one of the most amazing architectural achievements to date. The Raajarajeswaram in Thanjavur is now regarded by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The construction of the temple was completed on the 27th day of the 25th year of Rajaraja Cholan’s reign.

Rajaraja Cholan was named Arulmozhi Varman at birth. His name became Rajaraja Cholan (Great King) with the victories he won in battle. He was the third son of Parantaka Sundara Cholan and Vanavan Mahadevi. Rajaraja His elder brother, Aditya II was assassinated, although the circumstances surrounding that are unclear. According to inscriptions on the Thanjavur Temple, his only known son is Rajendra Cholan.

Brihadeeswara Temple built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 A.D.
Raajarajeswaram Temple built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 A.D.
Rajaraja Cholan was not one who desired the throne. The history of the Chola Empire has been recorded on gold and copper plate inscriptions. One inscription from Thiruvalangadu reads, “…Though his subjects…entreated Arulmozhi Varman, he…did not desire the kingdom for himself even inwardly as long as his paternal uncle coveted[it]…”.

A lot of what we know today, we have read or heard about – but many of it comes from records he left himself. Rajaraja Cholan was a King who understood the value of a recorded history and brought about standardized inscriptions. He recorded all of his military achievements and important events in gold, copper and stone inscriptions. He is credited as the first king of South Asia to do so. Even the past Pallava, Pandhya and Chola dynasties failed to leave a record of their military achievements in stone. His successors have all followed suit in leaving behind a recorded history of their military achievements.

Rajaraja Cholan was also instrumental in retaining past historical information and the records of his predecessors. An inscription found at Tirumalavadi notes that Raja Raja Cholan ordered the inscriptions from central shrine in the Vaidyanatha Temple should be recorded in a book and re-inscribed after it was being rebuilt. Rajaraja Cholan also issued that all donations and grants made to the Thanjavur Temple, a temple build during his reign, be engraved in the stone.

Rajaraja Cholan Status ManimandapamRajaraja Cholan was a King tolerant to the religious practices of others – although he was a follower of Lord Siva, he has constructed Vishu Temples, the Buddhisht Chaudamani Vihara. His sister, Kundavi, built a Jaina Temple, the Kundavi Devi Jinalaya. His sister Kundavi was regarded highly among him, and Rajaraja Cholan had much admiration for her. She was married to a Bana Price, Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan.

Rajaraja Cholan is also widely regarded for his administrative practices. He brought into a system of audit and control that was governed by village assemblies and public bodies. Through his policies, administration and accountability were brought about. His organization also carried on to creating one of the most powerful standing armies and navy. His son, Rajendra Cholan was named supreme commander of the northern and northwestern dominions of the Chola Empire.

Rajaraja Cholan engaged in many conquests, some of his last being his naval conquests in the sea, Maldives and neighbouring regions. The influence of Tamil dominance can still be seen in some of the islands today. For examples, some of the islands in Indonesia, which were once conquered by Rajaraja Cholan have Tamil names: Aru, Natuna=middle, Banda=Pandyan, Pahlawan=Pallavan, Zulu=Chola,

Rajaraja Cholan was a widely respected and regarded King by his subjects. His valour, power and expansion of the Chola Empire brought him much admiration. He has been referred to by other names including Abayakulasekarar (one who has a lot of groups who have surrendered before him), Azhagu Cholar (the most handsome Chola King), Ravikulamanikam (the King like a Ruby), Sanda Parakramar (The King with the power of Wind), Nigarili Cholar (The Chola King without comparable Kings), Panditha Cholar (the Chola King who is complete with knowledge) and Jayamkonda Cholar (The King who is always victorious).

Rajaraja Cholan continues to be a person of interest to Tamils, he has been the subject of many books and dramas. Including movie, Rajaraja Cholan by Shivaji Ganesan, Kalki’s literary masterpiece, Ponniyin Selvan with Arulmozhi Varman as the protagonist, Sujatha’s Kandalur Vasantha Kumaran Kathai, Seshadri’s Raja Kesari, and many more.