நளாயினி இந்திரன்│Nalayini Indran

சுருக்கம்│Summary

Nalayini Indran (before marriage Nalayini Kanapathippillai) worked at the National Archives of Sri Lanka from 1991-1995. She got married in 1995 and migrated to England. She worked as an assistant archivist at National Archives of Sri Lanka. She was the only Tamil who worked at the archive side at the National Archives of Sri Lanka. She shares her memories and experience about her life back home, National Archives of Sri Lanka, archive and library in North-East of Sri Lanka – the Tamil areas. Importance of documentation and archiving for Tamils, administrative records, historical documents. Community archives in Diaspora.
London, United Kingdom.
Episode 1 and 2: 20.08.2020.
Episode 3: 28.12.2020.

வாய்மொழி வரலாறு பதிவு│Oral History log (PDF)

1:3 (20.08.2020)

00:00:00Start part 1
00:00:06Introduction
00:00:12Personalia. Nalayini Indran. Born 1965. Studied Tamil special. Jaffna university. 1991-1995 assistant archivist. National Archives of Sri Lanka. Married and migrated to London. Studied MA information management. Works as senior librarian.
00:01:35Life back home. Before 1980s. Close-to-nature lifestyle. Born in Puloly, Vadamaradchi. Many books at home. Parents encouraged reading books. Didn´t go to library. Now started to writing stories about life back home.
00:02:54From 1980s ethic conflict. Valuable experience. Didn’t give up education. Developed.
00:03:30Education. Interested in reading. Had good marks. Interested in Tamil language. Parents encouraged. Did Arts. Tamil special at university. Wrote many articles and stories.
00:04:53Hobbies. Nature. Friends and family. Lots of time in reding and writing.
00:05:46Marriage. 1995.
00:06:03Job at National Archives of Sri Lanka. War environment. Difficulties and sufferings. Completed university 1989. Applied for the job assistant archivist.
00:07:15Applied for job. Father´s tradition to collect. “Pettakam” at home. Collect books, manuscript, documents. Interest and familiar with history and preservation. 
00:08:531990. Colombo. Attended interview. Return to Jaffna. Difficult transport.
00:09:45Appointment letter.
00:11:241991 started job at NA of Sri Lanka
00:12:03First experience at job. Different situation. First time at a big organisation. Enthusiastic. No other Tamils. Only Singhalese. Fitted in easily. New experience.
00:13:22As the only Tamil. Difficult situation. Couldn´t talk in Tamil. Learnt to read and write Singhalese. Included me friendly. Didn’t feel lonely. 
00:14:58Handling the documents. Visited all repositories. Workshops. Many Tamils approached. Research purposes. Helped as  possible. Approached Tamils were noted. Restrictions. Caution and observation.
00:18:36Tamils and archive. Unclear term for Tamils. Many unused documents. Not only books. Also administrative records. 
00:20:16No reach among Tamils. No publicity from government side. Government servants in Tamil areas. Didn´t emphasis importance. No functionality at Tamils areas.
00:21:23Before Jaffna library burn. Many manuscripts, palm leaf and documents. 
00:21:42Administrative records. Government agents – “Katcheri”. Records rooms. In charge lack of knowledge. No awareness and routines. No proper archive knowledge given or followed up.
00:21:58“Katcheri”. Like state secretory. Government agent at every district. GA office – Government agent office. Administrative records at “Katcheri”. Every “Katcheri with a records room.
00:23:54Visited records room in “Katcheri”. Not preserved properly.
00:24:19One of archivist tasks. Contact government departments. Train archive routines. No such contact with North-East provinces. No provide of follow up or training. War situation.
00:26:00Archival activities/ system in Tamil areas. Ancient time. A big gap. Manuscript and palm leaf. Private individual collection. Collections at temples and related organisations. Comparison with Greek and other cultures.  
00:28:02Period of Tamil kingdom. Before Portuguese time. administrative structures. Record-keeping system. Identified terms such as “athikari” (officers), “muthaliyar”, “kankari”, superintendent. Land registry and revenue systems. Gather information. 
00:30:52Colonial time. 1505 Portuguese. “Thompu” – land registry system. Public registry. Portuguese destroyed when Dutches captured.
00:32:241640s Dutches time. Re-implemented “Thompu” system and systemised it. Centralised in Kandy. Centralised administrative offices in Galle and Colombo.  Unsure about any centralisation in Jaffna or other places. For sure in Jaffna library.
00:33:531796 British period. Total record management and archive system with modification. Custodial of official records. 
00:34:291803 British period. “Keeper of Dutch records” position. 
00:34:381901 Archivist chief secretaries office in Colombo 
00:34:431947 “Department of Government archivists” position
00:34:57Current Sri Lankan archive system
00:35:21Daily routine at NA of Sri Lanka. Maintain documents. Indexing, guide, make available, give access, contact government departments, give training and workshop.
00:36:00Grief. No work could be done in Tamil area.
00:36:23Visited Vavuniya “Katcheri”. Training in a Tamil area.
00:37:40No categorised as Tamil documents at NA of Sri Lanka. But categorised as British records, Dutches records, published materials, confidential documents. Documents created in Tamil areas included. Many documents. But no working as “Tamil documents”.
00:38:56Foreign researchers.
00:39:38Access for foreigner. Declare purpose of approach. Guide foreigners.
00:40:52Printed publication. Government cassettes. Sessional papers. Handsets. Administrative records. Audience.  
00:42:46Library in NA of Sri Lanka.
00:43:13Vavuniya “Katcheri”. One visited “Katcheri”. Only one visit. Encouraged my wish. Travelled alone. Important records. Records of people, displacements, lifestyle.  Lack of importance. Lack of awareness. Lack of preservation. 
00:45:54Government training programs. Unsure to Tamil areas.
00:47:30Tamil women. Carrier. Involvement. After 1950 Eelam Tamil literature. Expressed in writing. Feminism. 
00:48:37Father a lawyer. Mother a teacher. Mother strong women. Expressed equality in writing. 
00:49:28Only Tamil women in NA of Sri Lanka. Interesting. Knowledge. Progressive thinking. Feminist workshop. TV and radio interviews. Article writing. Marriage proposals. Challenging time. Parents in Jaffna. War time. Emotional time. Critical time. Care from co-workers.
00:52:07Challenges. Difficult to work in Colombo. Tamils were monitored. Arrests. Half family in Jaffna. Worries and depression. Concentrated in work and carrier.
00:54:28Archive structure in Sri Lanka. Centralised in Colombo. Branch in Kandy. J.R Jeyawardena archive. Private collection. No other archives. 
00:55:35A pause. Emotional. Busy time. Writing and work. Suffering of Tamils. Sorrow memory. Fear. Bombing and shelling. Not normal time. Unfortunate time. But established myself. 
00:58:09Parents in Jaffna. A sister and a brother. Worries. Difficult communication. Letters. Moved to Colombo.
00:59:56Tamils and books. Reading. No full potential. Textbook-reading. Exam reading. No full reach of reading-for-pleasure.
01:01:48Tamils and library. Jaffna library. “Vasigasalai”. Village. Secondary school library. Public library – “vasigasalai”. No regular contact. No regular visit to library.
01:03:49Structure of public libraries. Public libraries. Cities. National library services board. Library administration. Secondary schools library. University libraries. Lack of promotion of reading. 
01:04:55Need organisations to promote reading. UK. Library every 10 min distance. Reading part of a life. Similar opportunity in Tamil areas. Need libraries in short distance. Part-of-a- family. Opportunities. Facilities. North-East.
01:06:56Before Jaffna library burn. Library facilities. “Sathavathani Noolnilaiyam”. Small libraries. Old books. Book donation. No reach to everyone. I did not visit any small libraries. Home library. Bought books. No attraction and connection. Jaffna library.
01:08:21“Vasigasalai” and “Pothu noolagam”. Description. “Sana samooge nilayam” and “Vasigesalai”. Town council. GA office responsibility. Newspapers. Small books. India. Periodicals. “Ampulimama”. No variety. No cooperation with schools. No promotion. No reach to public. 
01:09:30Private library. “Noolnilaiyam”. Private initiative. 
01:09:52Jaffna library burn. Shock. Tensed day. No memory. Child. Connect now. Library experience in London. Created collections. Book like baby. Job change. Nostalgic. Sad. Lost of Jaffna library. Strike. Historical importance. 
01:12:16Jaffna library. Jaffna town. Distance. 22-25 miles. Vadamaradchi. Other university students. Memory. Like funeral. 
01:13:28Impact. Big library. Loss. This is not the first. Didn´t give up. Share memory in London. Interviews. 
01:15:04Book interest. Chose archive and library. 
01:16:07Personal. Documentation activities. Back home. Father. Book collection. Grandfather. “Pettakam”. Hereditary history. “oolai chuvadi”. “Nalavan paa oolai chuvadi”. Donation to university  and lecturers. Migration. Left behind. Father re-writing. I collected books. Left behind. Brought my writings. 
01:18:25Current archival activities. London. No such activities. Keeping my articles. Collecting books. 
01:18:53Articles. More than 10 short stories. Published. Newspaper articles. Tamil articles. Importance of records. National Archives of Sri Lanka publications. “Tamil newspapers of 19th century Sri Lanka and chronological list of 20th century Tamil newspapers at the National Archives of Sri Lanka” article. Tamil affair. English article. “Circus Centinial rate the volume of the royal Asiatic society of Sri Lanka” book. Assistant director. Motivated. Periodical articles. Feminism articles. Tamil literature. Topics. 
01:22:201995 married. Migration. Stopped NA of Sri Lanka job. Determination.
01:22:53From archives to library. Masters degree. Three choice. Tamil. Archives. Library. Poor job opportunity. Volunteering work. Contacts. “Charted institution of Librarian and information professionals” library organisations. Guidance.
01:25:04Importance. Recording-keeping and archiving. Ethnicity history. Collect and save. Awards and knowledge. Transfer. 
01:25:40End part 1

2:3 (20.08.2020)

00:00:00Start part 2: additional
00:00:02Souvenir. 1995 November. After migration. September 1995. National Archives of Sri Lanka publication. “Disaster planning for libraries and archives in Sri Lanka” article. Worldwide library disasters. Italy. Los Angeles. Unfortunate. Sri Lanka incident. Jaffna library burn. Not mentioned. 
00:01:48Job opportunity. Friendly. Visited homes. Included. Probationary period system. Difficult. Normally after 3 years. Permanent. Exams. No permanent.  
00:03:02Emphasis. Two things. Search for documents. Gather and collect. Research work. Use document at NA of Sri Lanka. Bring to public. Sort manuscripts in Tamil areas. Systematic. Next generation. Own initiation. Responsibility. 
00:04:11End part 2: additional


3:3 (28.12.2020)

00:00:00Start part 3: additional
00:00:15Emphasis. Tamil documentation and archiving. Worldwide awareness and activities. Record management. Administrative records. Next generation. Structure. Infrastructure. Necessity. Collective initiation. Diaspora. Tamil archive. Tamil community archives. Tamil centralised archives. Branches in every country.  
00:03:18Mr. Navasothy. Death. Another Tamil lady. Administrative side. 
00:04:46Advice. Community Archives. Reading. Articles. Books. Interpretation. Small community. Ethnicity. Women’s group. Variety. Spread activities. Systematize the activities. Opportunities. Jews. UK. Jews museums and archives. 
00:06:44Tamil organisations. Administrative records. Much important. Next generation. Evidence. History. Preserve. Individual initiation. 
00:07:33End part 3: additional

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