The state of Minnesota has declared January Tamil language and heritage month following a signed proclamation by the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz.
The proclamation which coincided with Thai Pongal, notes
"Whereas: Tamil is the longest surviving classical language in the world, with a traceable history exceeding 2,600 years and
Whereas: Tamil is an official language in India, Sri Lanka, and Singapore, as well as a minority language in Malaysia, South Africa, Mauritius, and Canada. The Tamil community is widespread, with about 90 million native speakers across the globe; and
Whereas: The Tamil Community of Minnesota contributes to bilingual literacy, with Minnesota being the first state to achieve the Seal of Biliteracy for the Tamil language; and
Whereas: Minnesota Tamils have established a self-sustaining literacy model for the Tamil language through scholarship endowment and national level standards for Tamil education; and
Whereas: Minnesota Tamils have made contributions to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of Minnesota, including promoting Tamil language, arts, culture and heritage and
Whereas: The Tamil community across the globe every year celebrates a four-day long Pongal festival starting on the first day of the first Tamil calendar month Thai; and
Whereas: Minnesota Tamils are committed to sharing their vibrant culture, richest traditions and longstanding history with the people of Minnesota by celebrating January as Tamil Heritage Month; and
Whereas; The Tamil community of Minnesota welcomes and encourages all people across Minnesota to participate in this celebration and experience their rich and inclusive heritage"
Last month the London assembly called for January to be declared Tamil heritage month, following a unanimous vote which called of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to ensure that January will be marked as Tamil heritage month.
The decision follows a similar declaration in Canada in 2016 and has been welcomed by London's Tamil Community.