|Sculptures of Thiruvalluvar,Bharathiar and Avaiyar|
The people of Tamil Nadu are mainly Dravidian. The Dravidians were the original inhabitants of the subcontinent in the Indus Valley region. For many reasons, not yet completely clear, they were forced to push southwards and came to live in the region of present day Tamil Nadu. 80% of the population now is Dravidian but there are communities of indigenous tribes. Other communities are those of the Irula, Badaga, Kota and Kurumba. Tamilians today are trying to balance the old with the new. While the orthodox old guard still oversees matters of the family and elders must be respected for their age, the younger lot is coming into its own in keeping with modern times. There is more to Tamil culture than its trove of temple richness. This is a land of poetry, song and dance. The classical dance form of Bharatnatyam (natya=dance, Bharat=India) is like a coming to life of the temple sculptures. Decked out in shimmering silk, the dancer relies on hand movements, dramatic poses and a range of facial expressions to communicate age old tales of love, longing and rage. The Sangam period around 2AD was the high point in Tamilian literature. The poet Thiruvalluvar wrote thousands of poetic pieces in his work ‘Thirukkal’, and inspired the ‘Sangam Academy’ for poets and other writers. They tested the worth of any work in a unique way: manuscripts would be thrown into the tank in Madurai and only the ones that floated were rescued! The south has its own classical music system. Quite different from the north Indian Hindustani style is south Indian Carnatic music. It is amazing that the kids had erected stand sculpture of Mahakavi Bharathiyar, Athisoodi Avaiyar, Ayyan Thiruvalluvar on the occasion of World Tamil Conference of 2011. Children of Tamilnadu develop patriotism and also spiritual values in interreligious faith.