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Thread: Tamil Diaspora

  1. #11
    Senior Member Diamond Hubber PARAMASHIVAN's Avatar
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    Nov Anneh

    When you say "Tamil Diaspora" you are talking about Tamilians who were born in India / SL and Malasyia but living in Countries like USA/UK/Europe ??
    The whole of existence exists because of the Pancha Boothas known as Na(Earth), Ma(Water), Si(fire), Va(Air) and Ya(Space). This Panache Booths exist within every single living Organisms of the cosmos, which implies the “Cosmic energy(GOD)” which manifested the cosmos exist within us, so rather than looking for this Cosmic Energy/ GOD outside using 5 physical senses (which are meant for survival), if we turns inwards, we can live in harmony!

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  3. #12
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PARAMASHIVAN View Post
    When you say "Tamil Diaspora" you are talking about Tamilians who were born in India / SL and Malasyia but living in Countries like USA/UK/Europe ??
    malaysia is not the original homeland of the tamils.
    the word diaspora originated from jews, who were dispersed from their homeland after the death of jesus.

    tamil homeland can only point towards south india. even those living in SL for centuries were descendants of the tamils who were from india.
    so what it means is tamil diaspora are tamils who live all over the world except those living in tamilnadu...
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  4. #13
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    From: http://twocircles.net/2012feb27/musl...ar_border.html

    Almost all the South Indians settled here at Moreh town had their origin from Tamil Nadu. So they are better known as Tamils. There are few households from Kerala. At present there are around 400 Tamil households. There are Hindu, Christian and Muslim Tamils. There are around 90 Tamil Muslim families.

    P.N. Abdulla, a Tamil Muslim, who also happens to be the Secretary of the Madrasi Masjid, said, “Our forefathers entered Burma to work during the British colonial rule. In course of time they settled there. In 1962 General Ne Win formed the government in Burma through a military coup. He ordered expulsion of Indians from the country in large scale. The military junta attacked the Indians who had been living in Burma for generations. This was followed by the nationalization of private ventures in 1964. The developments led to the emigration of numerous Indians from Burma. Indo-Burmese relations deteriorated. The Indian government arranged ferries and aircraft and lifted Indians out of Burma. Many of the Tamils from Burma who lived in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu re-entered Burma through Moreh. However, the Burmese authorities did not allow them to enter Burma. They then decided to settle down here at Moreh.”

    Tamil population was earlier concentrated at Prem Nagar, which was the old Moreh town. However, the town was burnt down by fire in 1974. After the incident the Tamil population dispersed. Today Tamils are concentrated near the Gate No. 1, which leads to Myanmar. This Tamil village is called Dalpati. There are also Tamils at Madrasi colony and also near the Gate No. 2 which leads to Namphalong market on the Myanmar side where of the goods that comes from South-East Asian countries are sold. Few Tamil families are also seen near the Gate No. 4.

    “Earlier there were more 10 thousand Tamils. However, over the years many have returned to Tamil Nadu. Many of the Tamils left for their home state after the Kuki-Tamil clash that occurred in 1995-96. The clash occurred after Kuki militants imposed taxes on Tamil businesses. 6 Tamils were killed in the clash,” informed P.N. Abdullah.

    There is an old masjid built by the Tamils, called Tamir-e-Masjid Jame Masjid, near the Gate no. 2. It is popularly known as Madrasi masjid. A madrasa is also attached to this masjid. A member of the masjid committee, Syed Bukhari said, “The land for this masjid was bought in 1967. In 1969 a masjid was built by wood. The present masjid building was completed in 1984. A Manipuri Muslim has been the imam of this masjid for the last 20 years. He even speaks Tamil. Interestingly all the Tamils here speak Manipuri as well as Burmese.”

    The Manipuri Muslim population is concentrated in Muslim Nagar, which is near the Gate no. 3. The Nagar has around 400 Muslim households. There is a masjid. These Muslims also survive on business.

    There is a temple of the Tamil Hindus called Sri Angala Parameshwari at Dalpati. There is also a Tamil Catholic church.

    Tamil Sangam was formed in the early 60s to deal with the social issues of the Tamil community. At present the Sangam runs a Free School. Tamils also manage a school named Netaji Memorial English School at Dalpati. The Tamils do not take any financial assistance from the government or other communities to manage the schools. However, non-Tamils also study in these schools.

    All the Tamils irrespective of their religions survive on trade and business. They engage in export-import of all sorts of items. There are many well-to-do Tamil businessmen. The Tamils of Moreh have close relations and business contacts with those Tamils in Burma. There are around 15 lakh Tamils in Myanmar

  5. #14
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    From: http://www.littleindia.com/life/1204...n-reunion.html

    An Indian Reunion

    Unlike its more famous neighbor Mauritius, Reunion Island hasn’t made a global mark as a tourist destination, even though this small French island, is teeming with spectacular mountains, volcanoes and beaches. The island is home to nearly 250,000 people of Indian origin, nearly a quarter to a third of the total population.

    The Indians in Reunion Island claim a strong bond with India, even though the island is a part of France and they carry French passports. “Our nationality is French. But spiritually and culturally, we are Indians,” says Paul Canaguy, president of GOPIO (The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin) in Reunion.

    Most Indians in Reunion Island lost any tangible evidence of their Indian origins and ancestry centuries ago. Their ancestors were brought to the island as indentured labor by the French after the abolition of slavery. Under a convention signed with Britain, France was allowed to recruit 6,000 Indians indentured laborers annually.

    It is estimated that between 1848 to 1860, nearly 38,000 Indians arrived in Reunion Island as indentured laborers. The colonial masters wanted to ensure they could not find their way back home. So, not only were their documents destroyed, but conscious efforts were made by the French colonizers to cut off all ties with their homeland.

    “Our ancestors were not allowed to have their own schools. Since most of them could not read and write, they forgot their mother tongue. The women in Reunion Island today can recite hymns from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, but they don’t know what it means,” says Canaguy. He estimates that 90 percent of the Indians on the island are Hindus of Tamil origin. But many converted to Christianity. The French constitution bars the collection of ethnic, racial or religious data in an effort to create a “color blind” society, so precise data on the number of Indians, Hindus and Muslims on the island is unavailable.

    The island itself has a checkered history, not unlike its population. Called Mascarene initially after the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it changed its name to Ile Bourbon or Ila Bonaparte after it was colonized by the French. It was briefly overrun by Britain in 1810, but restored to France in 1815. In 1946, Reunion Island became an Overseas Department of France and French nationality was bestowed on all its citizens. But one cannot enter Reunion Island on a French visa alone. One requires a separate authorization from Paris to visit Reunion Island.

    “I am a French national on record. But I feel like I have two mothers, a biological one and an adoptive one. You know, you are always in want of something until you have found your roots,” says Serge Cestimaamatchy, who is vice president of the local administration committee and an active politician for over 30 years. Most Indians on the island recount a deep sense of belonging to India and struggle with an unnerving urge to track down their roots in India.

    The winds of change have transformed the Indian community on the island. Gilbert Canabady Moutien, descendant of South Indian indentured laborers, is among the island’s wealthiest men and owns an entire township in the south of Reunion Island known as Domain Mon Caprice, which houses showrooms and stores of leading European companies. Some of Canabady’s ancestors had toiled on sugar plantations as indentured laborers on the same land generations earlier.

    “I had to work very hard to own this land. It was an inner urge to show them what we are capable of, to teach them a lesson,” he says.

    Canabady says he discovered account books belonging to the French colonizers, which show that under the “lesser-evil” nomenclature of “indentured labor,” Indians were subjected to abject conditions of slavery. He recently produced a film titled The Indian from Mon Caprice Estate, which depicts the history of his ancestors and his prodigious rise through the social pyramid. He is working on another film on the daily life of indentured laborers on the island.

    Canabady takes a pilgrimage to southern India every year, visiting temples, reinforcing his faith in Indian culture. Canabady is a phonetic variation of Ganapathy, which might have been his original family name that was distorted as it passed from generation to generation orally. Most of the rituals and traditions that have trickled down to the community have been through word of mouth.

    One of them is Cavadee, which originated in Tamil Nadu to worship the Hindu god Murugan. It is celebrated in the city of St André in Reunion Island elaborately. Residents stream into the streets in a procession wearing pink, considered to be the color of God Murugan. They pull a chariot through the city with idols of Hindu gods. Several temples have been built on the island and priests brought from India. Canaguy says, “Schools and universities now offer courses in Tamil. So the younger generation can understand what the priests say.”

    The older generation, however, found work-arounds the impediment of language. Kamala Valeama, a homemaker, says: “I can’t speak Tamil but I can sing devotional songs in Tamil and Sanskrit. I like Hindi film songs too. I used to sing them for my friends in college…like those old Lata Mangeshkar songs.” She breaks into the famous song “Man dole mera tan dole” from the film Nagin. Valeama and her husband perform with a dance and theater group, Bal Tamoul, which is trying to keep the folk culture of Tamil Nadu alive in Reunion Island.

    The High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, led by L M Singhvi, noted in its report in 2000: “The Indian community is very active in promoting Indian culture…. Several PIO associations are enthusiastically engaged in sponsoring cultural programs of Indian dance and music, painting and literature.” It noted the “enthusiasm” with which Tamil New Year, Deepavali and Navratras are celebrated on the island.

    Raziah Locate is a manager in a hospitality school. Her grandfather Omarjee Ismael embarked on a voyage with his wife in 1870 from Kathor, near Surat, in Gujarat. He came to Reunion Island to seek better opportunities to further his trade in clothing.

    Locate was educated in Paris, but has preserved her India culture. “My daughter is now a 4th generation Indian in Reunion, but I try to teach her everything about the Indian culture,” she says. She speaks fluent Gujarati and gets three Indian channels at home. She visits her ancestral home in Surat frequently and carries no emotional baggage about her origin.

    Her grandfather was one of the 40,000 merchants, traders and artisans from Gujarat who are said to have voluntary migrated to Reunion Island starting in the 1850s. Her grandfather was one of the pioneers who paved the way for other Gujarati Muslims to settle in Reunion, who have built a mosque and a madrasa on the island.

    The cuisine of Reunion Island is a melting pot of the food of the diverse ethnic communities that inhabit it, including Africans, Chinese, French and Indians. Rice and curry are an integral part of the local cuisine. Curry is made using Indian spices like turmeric, cloves and ginger along with garlic, onion and tomatoes. Locate says she is fond of biryani and sweets like gulab jamun and barfi, which she makes at home.

    Locate, Valeama, Canabady, Camatchy and Canaguy were part of a 33-strong delegation at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur, lobbying for PIO status.

    “They ask us for evidence. Do we really need to prove that we are Indians? Our nationality is French, but our souls are Indian,” insists Canaguy.

    See this link:

    Also see old articles : http://www.dravidaperavai.org.in/top...art=21&xfile=1
    and http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/SSEAL/SouthAsia/tamil.html
    Last edited by Venki; 28th February 2012 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Add a youtube link

  6. #15
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    very enlightening Venki.
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  7. #16
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    Oh I remember, I studied a lession in tamil subject during my school days about Mauritius and tamils living there. Is Reunion Island separated from Mauritius?

  8. #17
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    You are welcome Nov

    San, Yes Reunion Island is separated from Mauritius geographically as well as politically. Just look at google maps.

  9. #18
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    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  10. #19
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    It is surprising that there could even be a few Hindu Tamils in Karachi, Pakistan, but looks like there may be a few of them there.

    From: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-New...se-around-them


    Karachi



    Their youngsters draw their inspiration from Rajnikanth - a cultural icon and the ‘god’ of South Indian movies. Rajnikanth is a symbol of their culture, their way of life, and expression of their roots. For them, Rajnikanth’s words have an authenticity that could never be gleaned through subtitles and translations.



    When it comes to dance, Prabhu Deva is the man that they look up to. When they talk among themselves, Tamil is what they speak — a language they are proud of.But the elders of this truly unique community, the Madrasi Hindus of Karachi, feel that owing to their small size, their younger generation is slowly drifting away from its rich cultural heritage. They attribute this phenomenon to a lack of cultural resources, such as literature and movies, being available in the city.



    The Madrasi Para, located behind the Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre’s (JPMC) staff quarters, in what seems like a forgotten corner of the hospital, is home to the biggest Madrasi Hindu community in the city.



    “We are trying to stop this drift away from our culture; we offer Tamil classes during summer vacations and provide an introductory course in Tamil literature,” said Kari Das, a senior of the community.



    “The Hindu Tamils in the city migrated from Madras (now Chennai) in groups, with the hope of better economic opportunities. They came to Karachi just months after partition,” explained Kasiligam, the Sarpanch of the Madras Hindu Panchyat and one of the oldest living members. “About 50 to 60 families came to Pakistan from Madras to find jobs.”



    Today, some 64 years later, the families remain closely-knit and live in three main settlements in the city. “In Drigh Road, Korangi and here”, he said, as he points to his home. “The Madrasi Para houses about 100 Tamil Hindu families,” he added.



    Although the young people in the community speak Tamil, most of them are unable to read the language. “We conduct all our prayers in Tamil and the occasions we celebrate are distinct from those celebrated by other Hindu communities.”



    Behind the JPMC staff quarters is a road that leads into a tiny, rundown lane. At the end of this lane stands the mouth of a maze—a cluster of narrow pathways that these people call home. The pathways are dotted with two-room apartments, outside of which sit women in their home-clothes — cooking, gossiping and fanning themselves with newspapers.



    Little children burn their restive energies by playing games in these poorly-lit alleys. Stray dogs roam around freely, being poked and kicked around from time to time by children and adults alike. The houses are decrepit, their doors, lacking knobs, remain open for most of the day. But, unlike how it is in the rest of the city, they don’t feel the need for security or privacy – they live like one huge family.



    One of the lanes takes you to the Maripata Temple, which is the biggest Tamil Hindu temple in Karachi, and a centre for religious and cultural education. Sixty-eight year-old Lalatanga is presently the overseer of the temple.



    She tells us proudly: “my husband built this temple. He was the caretaker till a few years ago, when he died of heart-attack.”



    Lalatanga said that the worst time that her community had to face was in 1992, during the Babri Mosque crisis in India. “This temple was destroyed by some people and we had to hide all our young girls in a missionary hospital. They are the most vulnerable segment of our community during such times.”



    The temple is the centre for all cultural activities that take place in this community. The most important of these is Pongal – the celebration of the new harvest which takes place around mid-January. “It’s like your Eid,” Lalatanga explained, trying to stress the importance of the event in the popular vocabulary.



    “During the Pongal festival, the whole Madrasi community comes together from across the city and gathers in this temple. It is the only Madrasi event we celebrate every year.”



    On Sundays, the families make Idli and Dossa, signature-south Indian dishes. “On holidays (Sunday), our women make South Indian dishes, because they require a lot hard work,” said Kari Das. These are just some of the cultural traditions that they have managed to hold on to.



    The Tamil Hindus, being a sub-group of a religious minority, are torn between the urge to blend into mainstream Pakistani culture and the need to keep a grip on their own rich cultural heritage.

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