Tamil Heritage: What makes up Tamil Heritage?

Tamil Heritage Month began in 2010 and seeks to celebrate Tamil heritage, culture, and history. Throughout this month, we will be providing you with educational material such as this that seeks to help us understand our culture, roots and heritage.

ROOT is the Dravidian civilization that is still alive since pre Christian era.

LANGUAGE is Tamil, the mother of all modern Dravidian languages, vibrant, serving to this day as the medium of communication by which this heritage draws its sustenance to exist.

SEMINAL EVENT is the creation of the literary masterpiece and grammar called Tolkappium circa 1500 BC, that function as a blueprint for the Tamil way of life and grammar.

CULTURE is The Tamil concept of love and life known as Aham and Puram.

BOOK is Tirukkural, an incomparable ethical masterpiece written in first century BC for mankind.

RELIGION is experiencing Iraivan, otherwise known as the inner light as defined by Tirukkural, yet allowing the freedom and flexibility to conceptualize the Godhead to one’s ability in specific terms to experience and comprehend that inner reality.

MUSIC is the Tamil classical music as codified in the immortal epic Silappathikaram during second century AD.

DANCE is Nattiyam or koothu as documented by the epic Silappathikaram.

ART is symbolized by the statue Siva Nataraja, the best metaphor for the God principle as per Albert Einstein.

CREED is Yathum oorae yavarum kelir, meaning “every place is my place and everyone is my friend” proclaimed by a Tamil poet 2000 years ago.

TAMIL DIASPORA starts its story in the now extinct and submerged Lemuria continent south of Sri Lanka/Tamileelam several millennia before Christ. After the sea swept the land of Lemuris the Tamils moved north to Kapadapuram. During this period of Idai sangam or the second academy, circa 1500 BC, only one book, Tolkappium reached as safely. Sea erosions did not leave Kapadapuram either and Tamils again moved still northward to Madurai, the seat of the third academy or kadai sangam around 100 BC. Most of the currently available classical Tamil literature is of this period, breathtaking for its elegance and sophistication.

PEOPLE: Now more than 70 million Tamils live in 75 countries.

OBLIGATION: Willingness to adopt or inherit the value systems of Tamil heritage; discover Tamil heritage. It will lead you to excellence and respect will come to you. Excellence in any endeavour always brings attention to the uniqueness of that individual and elevates the heritage that induced it. Do not let the world label you as a Tamil after you excel. Be Tamil first so that it can induce and help you to excel. Let your actions speak and be anchored in the bedrock of Tamil heritage.


International Tamil Language Foundation (2000). Tirukkural; The handbook of Tamil culture and heritage; Guide to Tamils Future. Illinois, National Publishing Co.

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