SL cricket tour begins with genocide protest

Sri Lanka’s cricket team began their tour of England Saturday with a match against Middlesex that was accompanied by the din of a lively protest at the Uxbridge ground by Tamil expatriates and others. A changing group of several dozen protestors holding banners, placards, and Tamil Eelam flags chanted slogans through megaphones and played drums, as some passing cars blew their horns in support. The protest, organized by the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), was supported by other Tamil organisations and campaign group Act Now, representatives of which joined the protestors. The protestors took...

In Memoriam – Songs from Purananuru - Song 245

Tinai: Potuviyal (general heroism) Thurai: Kaiyarunilak Though it is so immense, does my grief nonetheless have its limits, since it is not fierce enough to finish with my life? On the salty earth all overgrown with sedge, on the burning ground, my wife has gone her way to the other world, her bed the shining fire of the pyre whose wood yields its glow of blazing fuel ! and I am still alive! What kind of place is this world ? - The song of Ceraman Kotampalattut Tunciya Maakottai when his wife Perunkoppentu had died Extracted from ‘An Anthology of Poems from classical Tamil: The Purananuru’...

TYO-Canada launches ‘G for genocide’ campaign

Tamil activists in Toronto marked the second anniversary of Sri Lanka’s mass killings of Tamil civilians by launching an awareness raising street campaign titled ‘G for Genocide’. Initiated by the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO-Canada) on Friday, the campaign included engaging with members of the public in symbolic locations across the Toronto downtown core, as well as collecting signatures for a petition to the International Criminal Court to investigate Sri Lanka. “We are encouraged that the international community has finally begun to open its eyes to [Sri Lanka’s] atrocities,” said Laxana...

In Memoriam - Songs from the Purananuru - Song 255

During May, we will publish selected English translations of poems from the Purananuru, one of the early Tamil anthologies of poetry generally dated between the first century B.C.E and the fifth century C.E. These 400 songs of war and wisdom, in our view, are representative of some of the feelings of the Tamil people as, two years later, they remember the events of 2009. Each poem in the Purnanuru is assigned a tinai which corresponds to a ‘tract of land, time of day, situation’ and a raga in which the poem is sung. Each tinai is further subdivided into a turai (a theme or subject). All these...

Tholvi Nilayena (Oomai Vizhigal)

Lyrics: Aabavaanam Composer: Manoj-Kiyan Singer: P.B. Srinivas Released in August 1986, 'Tholvi Nilayena', famously sung by P.B. Srinivas after a long gap in his career, is known as an inspirational and motivational song for those on the brink of defeat. The song came at a very crucial point in the history of Eelam; India had started to get involved after the Thimpu talks. Although the film 'Oomai Vizhigal' was not about the struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or any other Tamil militant group, many believe that this song was written with the Tamil Eelam freedom fighters and the...

Shreya Goshal in concert: language no bar to a good time

It is a distinctive of India with its many languages that talented entertainers here can easily captivate an audience which does not always speak their language. 27 year old singing sensation Shreya Goshal, for example, is an Indian playback singer who has sung in over seven languages in her career so far. At recent concert in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, enthusiastic fans, music critics and even local politicians were entranced by this beautiful and charming young woman’s performance – despite just two of her songs being in Tamil. Her set was almost entirely in English and Hindi. Not that Shreya isn...

KCL sports league celebrates first year

As the end of Britain's university academic year draws closer, the last week of March saw the finale of the newly-formed ‘Legacy Sports League’ hosted by King’s College London (KCL) Tamil Society. After an intense season in which football and netball teams from universities across London battled it out to be champions, their efforts were celebrated at an elegant awards ceremony. The event was held at Tuli, a popular Asian fusion restaurant located on the capitol's famous Tooley Street and extending into the arches of London Bridge. More than 80 people, many dressed to the nines, attended the...

Classic films: Aboorva Raagangal (1975)

K. Balachander directed this controversial film starring Kamal Hassan and Srividhya. It was controversial upon its release due to the themes of the film such as the relationship between a younger man and an older divorced woman, which is not part of the social norms in Tamil culture. Despite its controversy, the film became a huge success in Tamil cinema and even went on to win a National Film award in 1976. The film was then remade in Hindi for North-Indian audiences. Superstar Rajinikanth got his first small, but important acting role in this landmark movie. Watch the song ‘Athisaya Ragam’...

Chinnanchiru Vayathil (Meendum Kokila 1981)

‘Chinnanchiru Vayathil’ from the film ‘Meendum Kokila’ is a wonderful duet sung by Shailaja, S.P. Balasubramaniam’s sister, and K.J. Yesudas. The picturization of the song shows the hero’s family (Kamal Hassan) at Sridevi’s house in order to fix their marriage. In the olden days, potential brides would sing or dance for their potential husband and their families in order to attract them. ‘Chinnanchiru Vayathil’ portrays the awkwardness of the proposal due to Sridevi’s shyness but certain incidents, such as the young baby urinating on Kamal Hassan’s lap during the song, lighten the situation...

TYO careers fair praised on both sides of the table

As part of the its defining goal of ‘empowering the Tamil youth’, the TYO (Tamil Youth Organisation) organised a higher education and careers convention in West London on Saturday afternoon. The 4-hour event which hosted recruitment and careers stalls from employers and leading universities, as well as running workshops in interview skills, revision technique and CV writing, attracted over 200 eager school students and their parents from across London and the South-East. From those currently sitting their GCSEs, seeking advice over choosing the right A-levels, to those in sixth form, deciding...

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