Tamil Sangams in Arab Gulf states

Tamil Cultural Events in Arab Gulf States

Compiled by Tamil Tribune Staff

TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 2005 (ID. 2005-09-02)
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About 400,000 Tamils now live and work in Middle Eastern countries (Arab Gulf states). While many Tamil youth in Tamil Nadu ignore Tamil cultural events and go to dance clubs playing western music, these expatriate Tamils are interested in Tamil cultural events and are arranging such events in the foreign lands in which they live. Here are some examples. We applaud their enthusiasm for Tamil language and culture.

The Tamil Wing of the Indian Social Club of Oman  organized a semi-classical Tamil vocal concert by Dr Sirkali Siva Chidambaram in Muscat in December 2004. He sang such popular songs as "Agara Mudala" and "Devan Koil", as well as a special song composed for the event "Muscat Tangangale". He also sang an Arabic song composed in honor of the Arab hosts. [Dr. Siva Chidambaram is the son of Sirkali Govindarajan who was known to the Tamil public in the 1950s and 1960s as a popular playback singer in movies. In addition to playback singing he had also given classical music concerts.] In April 2004, the same club held a Tamil Musical Night. There was both music and dances. Oman Tamil Sangam held a cultural event to honour Tamil playwright Crazy Mohan as special guest in early 2005.

 In September 2004, Tamil expatriates in Oman participated in a Tamil debate in Manama city there. The debate was broadcast on Raj TV in Tamil Nadu and wherever the cable channel is seen. We applaud the Tamil expatriates in Oman for their love of Tamil and Raj TV for broadcasting it. 

Most important of all, Oman Tamil Sangam holds free Tamil classes every Friday for the Tamil children in Muscat. Currently about eighty children attend these classes. It is refreshing to see expatriate Tamils teach their children Tamil while some parents in Tamil Nadu proudly tell their neighbors and friends that their children do not know much Tamil (as if it were some type of a honor)!

Oman Tamils are not the only one to hold Tamil cultural events. In Bahrain, the Karnataka Social Club organized a Tamil concert in October 2004.

Tamils in Saudi Arabia formed their Tamil Sangam in February 2005. Poet Vairamithu from Tamil Nadu was the principal guest at the inaugural function. A poetry recital (paavarangam) was also held as part of the inaugural function.

Kudos to the Tamil expatriates who hold on to their cultural identity and pass it on to the next generation.

[Summary: Cultural activities of Tamil Sangams (associations) in Gulf Arab States.]

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