TYO Norway Motivation Seminar: worldwide Tamils need to come forward to study documentation management

தமிழ்

This post is based on the original post at DsporA Tamil Archive Facebook page on 22nd October 2020.

TYO Norway organised their annual motivation seminar for high school students on 21st October 2020 at Tamil Resource and Counseling Center (Tamilsk Ressurs og Veiledning Senter – TRVS) in Oslo. The aim of the seminar is to create a platform to introduce and get familiar with a diversity of opportunities at higher studies in Norway.

It was amazing to see how widespread, resourceful and knowledgeable people Tamil Diaspora has by looking at the diversity of representation of education at the seminar.
They were medicine (medisin), intelligent systems/ digital investigation (intelligente systemer/ digital etterforskning), industrial engineering (byggingeniør), archive science (arkivvitenskap), socionom/ child welfare (Sosionom/ Barnevernspedagog), nutritionist (ernæringsfysiolog), informatics (informatikk), teacher (lærer), industrial economy (industriell økonomi), nursing (sykepleier), jurisprudence (rettsvitenskap).

Photos: TYO Norway (Tamil Youth Organisation Norway) Facebook post (22.10.2020)


Unfortunately, archive after Tamil diaspora in Norway is frozen at the 1980s, which tells the story of Tamils as refugees. There is a huge necessity to document and make that documentation available for public access to reflect the 40 and more years of journey of Tamil Diaspora in Norway. As well as worldwide Tamil Diaspora.

More Tamil students at worldwide level need to come forward to study documentation management to maintain administrative control and democracy. As well as to protect rights and preserve the sources of cultural-history of their nation. Last but not least, preserve and make available archival sources for research work. That includes the Diaspora Tamil society in all possible ways.

You can find more about the higher study of archive science, and the Norwegian universities that offer them by searching the keyword «Arkiv» at https://sok.samordnaopptak.no/#/admission/6/studies.

Thank you TYO Norway for creating the platform to introduce the higher study of archive science to the Tamil youths.

TYO Norge (Tamil Youth Organization Norway) Facebook post (22.10.2020)

All the very best to all high school students in the journey of higher studies.

இலங்கை தேசிய சுவடிக்கூடத் திணைக்களம்

English

நளாயினி இந்திரன் (திருமணத்திற்கு முன் நளாயினி கணபதிப்பிள்ளை) 1991-1995 வரை இலங்கை தேசிய சுவடிக்கூடத் திணைக்களத்தில் பணியாற்றினார். அவர் 1995 இல் திருமணம் செய்துகொண்டு இங்கிலாந்திற்கு புலம்பெயர்ந்தார்.

படம்: நளாயினி இந்திரன் (தனிநபர் ஆவணம், சுமார் 2016)

நளாயினி கணபதிப்பிள்ளை பெண்ணியம், ஆவணப்படுத்தல் மற்றும் தமிழ் இலக்கியம் சார்ந்து கட்டுரைகளை எழுதியுள்ளார். அவர் இலங்கை தேசிய சுவடிக்கூடத் திணைக்களத்தில் சேவையாற்றிய போது எழுதிய மூன்று கட்டுரைகள் இங்கு வளங்குகின்றோம். இவர் தனது சேவைக் காலத்தில் ஆவணகத்தில் பணிபுரிந்த ஒரே தமிழர் ஆவார். நளாயினி தனது சேவையைத் தொடங்குவதற்கு முன்பு ஆவணகத்தில் மற்றொரு தமிழர் பணியாற்றினார் என்பது அறியப்படுகிறது. துரதிர்ஷ்டவசமாக, நளாயினி கொழும்பில் உள்ள தேசிய சுவடிக்கூடத் திணைக்களத்தில் தனது சேவையைத் தொடங்குவதற்கு முன்பு அவர் இறந்துவிட்டார்.

பதிவேடுகள் பேணப்படுவதன் அவசியம் என்ன?
நளாயினி கணபதிப்பிள்ளை பதிவுகளைப் பாதுகாப்பதன் முக்கியத்துவம் குறித்து எழுதிய ஒரு செய்தித்தாள் கட்டுரை. வீரகேசரி வார இதளில் (23-10-1992) வெளியிடப்பட்டது. நளாயினி இந்திரன் (நளாயினி கனபதிப்பிள்ளை) இச்செய்தித்தாள் கட்டுரையை மின் வருடி (scan), 23-09-2020 அன்று மின்னஞ்சல் மூலம் அனுப்பி வைத்தார். பகுதி 1/2.

பதிவேடுகள் பேணப்படுவதன் அவசியம் என்ன?
பகுதி 2/2.

சுவடிகளும் சுவடிகள் கூடத்தின் செயற்பாடுகளும்
1992 ஆம் ஆண்டு நிகழ்ந்த சுவடிகள் வாரத்தில் வெளியான நினைவுப் பிரசுரம் (Souvenir). இலங்கை தேசிய சுவடிக்கூடத் திணைக்கழத்தால் வெளியானது. நளாயினி இந்திரன் (நளாயினி கனபதிப்பிள்ளை) இதனை மின் வருடி 23-09-2020 அன்று மின்னஞ்சல் மூலம் அனுப்பி வைத்தார்.

குறிக்கோள்களை நிறைவேற்றும் நிர்வாகக் கருவி பதிவேடுகள்
நளாயினி கணபதிப்பிள்ளை (நளாயினி இந்திரன்) பதிவு செய்தல் பற்றி எழுதி வெளியான செய்தித்தாள் கட்டுரை. 12-12-1993 அன்று வீரகேசரி வார இதழில் வெளியிடப்பட்டது. நளாயினி இந்திரன் (நளாயினி கனபதிப்பிள்ளை) இதனை மின் வருடி 02-10-2020 அன்று மின்னஞ்சல் மூலம் அனுப்பி வைத்தார்.


– சரவணன் கோமதி நடராசா (DsporA Tamil Archive முகநூல் பதிவுப் பின்னூட்டம், 15.10.2020)

தமிழர் சுவட்டை அழிப்பதில் சமகால முஸ்தீபு – என்.சரவணன்


நன்றி

நளாயினி இந்திரன். (2020). வாய்மொழி வரலாறு. இலண்டன், ஐக்கிய இராச்சியம்.


பொறுப்புத் துறப்பு:
தமிழ்ச் சமூகத்தில் ஆவணங்களின் பற்றாக்குறை, சிதறடிக்கப்பட்ட ஆவணங்கள் அல்லது மட்டுப்படுத்தப்பட்ட அணுக்கத்தைக் கொண்ட ஆவணங்கள் உள்ளன. இதனால் வாய்மொழி வரலாற்று நேர்காணல்களில் வெளிவரும் வரலாற்றுத் தகவல்களை சரிபார்க்கக்கூடிய ஆவணங்களைப் பெற்றுக் கொள்வதில் சவால் உள்ளது.
இச்சூழ்நிலையில், புலம்பெயர் தமிழரின் வரலாற்றை எழுதுவது ஒரு மாற்றம் பெறும் செயல்முறையாக (dynamic process) இருக்கலாம். இச்செயல்முறை காலப்போக்கில் ஒரு வரலாற்று எழுத்து வடிவத்தைப் புதுப்பித்து வளர்த்தெடுக்க உந்துகோலாக அமையும். எனவே, இவ்விணையத் தளத்தில் உள்ள தகவல்களில் திருத்தம் தேவைப்பட்டால், சரிபார்க்கக்கூடிய ஆதாரங்களுடன் கருத்துக்களை வழங்கமாறு பொதுமக்களை வரவேற்கின்றோம்.


உள்ளடக்கங்களில் எந்த மாற்றமும் செய்யாமல் பயன்படுத்தும்போதும் மற்றும் மூலமான DsporA Tamil Archive வை குறிப்பிடும் போதும் இந்த கட்டுரையின் மறு உருவாக்கம் அனுமதிக்கப்படுகிறது.

புதுப்பிக்கப்பட்டது: 22.10.2020

National Archives of Sri Lanka

தமிழ்

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.

Photo: Nalayini Indran (personal archive, around 2016)

Nalayini Kanapathippillai has written articles in the field of feminism, documentation and archives, and Tamil literature. Here are three articles that she wrote during her service at the National Archives of Sri Lanka. She was the only Tamil who worked at the archives at her period. It is known that there worked another Tamil man, Mr Navasothy, at the National Archives before Nalayini. Sadly, he dies before Nalayini started her service at the National Archives in Colombo.

பதிவேடுகள் பேணப்படுவதன் அவசியம் என்ன?
Newspaper article about the importance of preserving records by Nalaini Kanapathippillai. Published on Virakesari Illustrated Weekly (23-10-1992). Scanned and sent by email by Nalayini Indran (Nalaini Kanapathippillai) on 23-09-2020. Part 1/2.

பதிவேடுகள் பேணப்படுவதன் அவசியம் என்ன?
Part 2/2.

சுவடிகளும் சுவடிகள் கூடத்தின் செயற்பாடுகளும்
Souvenir to mark the Archives week in 1992. An article about the functions of records and archives by Nalaini Kanapathippillai. Published by Department of National Archives Sri Lanka (1992). Scanned and sent by email by Nalayini Indran (Nalaini Kanapathippillai) on 23-09-2020.

குறிக்கோள்களை நிறைவேற்றும் நிர்வாகக் கருவி பதிவேடுகள்
Newspaper article about record-keeping by Nalayini Kanapathippillai (Nalayini Indran). Published on Virakesari Illustrated Weekly (12-12-1993). Scanned and sent by email by Nalayini Indran on 02-10-2020.


– Sarawanan Koomati Nadarasa (DsporA Tamil Archive Facebook post comment, 15.10.2020)

தமிழர் சுவட்டை அழிப்பதில் சமகால முஸ்தீபு – என்.சரவணன்


Thank you

Nalayini Indran. (2020). Oral history. London, United Kingdom.


Disclaimer:
Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews.
In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process which may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information in this website.


Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

Updated: 22.10.2020

Preservation: Protects our rights

தமிழ்

On 22nd September 2020, DsporA Tamil Archive received a request on Messenger by a Tamil living in Eelam (Sri Lanka). The person, “Nilavan”, sent this photo to us and asked how they could make this document readable.

This is a digital photo of the land title deed document (காணி உரிமை நிலப் பத்திரம்) from 1897. Based on “Nilavan´s” grandfather he is the fourth generation, who inherit this land. Now he is facing the situation of seized rights to their inherited land, said “Nilavan” to DsporA Tamil Archive on a Messenger call.

This document has been in a tube for 123 years without preservation for generations. After trying all available opportunities in Sri Lanka, “Nilavan” is struggling to protect their rights and seeks expertise in document preservation in the diaspora. “Nilavan” wants also to share his story with everyone to create an awareness of documentation that is the only source to protect the rights of generations.

Preservation is to keep a document readable, understandable, accessible and usable in present and future. Preservation means to protect an analogue document, such as a paper document, from any kind of man-made or natural destruction. Preservation means, in another word, to convert a document to another medium according to the development of technology. For instance, VHS video cassette converted to a digital file format. This conversion is called digitalisation.

DsporA Tamil Archive gathered information from various Norwegian archival resources. But this is a challenging process since this document contains non-roman letters. However, we have been suggested to scan the document in high resolution and photo process it to a readable document. Or consult a paper conservator for the restoration of the paper. In addition, DsporA Tamil Archive welcomes advice and guidance from other archival institutions or specialists in other parts of the world, who can handle the Tamil language.


Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

SPB in Eelam songs

தமிழ்

The renown South Indian playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) passed away after fighting against COVID-19 diagnosis on Friday 25th September 2020 at the age of 74. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam has sung more than 40 000 songs in various genres, spanning over 16 languages including Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, and Malayalam. This makes him a Guinness World Record holder for recording the highest number of songs.
India is a multi-language and multi-ethnical country that consists of around 120 languages and many other dialects. In the career of 50 years of SPB, music became his mother tongue that contributed to brake many barriers and create bridges beyond region, religion, language and ethnicity. That includes SPB in Eelam songs. It is noteworthy to mention that his first musical performance in Jaffna (northern Sri Lanka) took place in 2016.

IBC Tamil. (2016). Media briefing with SPB at Yadwin Star Hotel, Jaffna.
“He was hailed as a singing sensation. Photograph: SP Charan.” (BBC News. 25th September 2020. “SP Balasubrahmanyam: Legendary Indian singer dies“)

TamilNet.com, a non-profit Tamil news agency, recorded an audio memoir of the Tamil Nadu (India) based artist, Pugazhenthi, that remembers SPB´s Eelam songs. Artist Pugazhenthi tells about the assignment he received from the de facto-state of Tamil Eelam. It was an assignment to produce Eelam songs in the genre of Tamil freedom struggle, in collaboration with Tamil Eelam lyricists and Tamil Nadu cinema industry lyricists and playback singers, including SPB. Pugazhenthi was assigned to produce three audio CDs in 2007. He took contact with SPB through poet Pulamaipittan. This collaboration assignment is a historical expression of humble involvement and respect to the talent and personalities in Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, it also shows the historical understanding, involvement, care and empathy of SPB and his humble personality and respect to the de facto-state of Tamil Eelam.

This audio memoir is also telling about children musical television show, “என்னோடு பாட்டுப் பாடுங்கள்” (sing song with me) by SPB on Jeya Television in Tamil Nadu. The recording of these shows was used as a mentor for singers and musicians in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This is another example of how the de facto-state of Tamil Eelam consciously worked for the development of Tamil art and culture, and not only warfare, regardless of a limited resource, inside and outside Eelam.

Soundtrack: TamilNet. 25th September 2020. “Artist Pugazhenthi remembers SPB’s Eelam songs” from SoundCloud.

The audio recording was published in a news article, “South Asia mourns SPB’s demise“, at TamilNet on 25th September 2020. This is a record in both text and audio format created in the editorial activities of the TamilNet organisation. This record will be a historical archival material of this particular organisation about remembering the historical event of musical collaboration between Tamil Eelam and Tamil Nadu in 2007. The original historical evidence for retelling and remembering the collaboration activity will be the materials produced at the time of this activity that took place in Tamil Nadu in 2007.

“S P Balasubrahmanyam jots down lyrics while practising for Ulaga Manitham Thalaikal – 21st June 2007. Photograph: Oviar Pugazhenthi.” (Tamil Guardian. 25th September 2020. “SPB and songs of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle“)
SPB´s Eelam songs:

Title: “உலக மனிதம் தலைகள் நிமிரும்” (ulaga manitham thalaikal nimirum, meaning humanity of the world will raise)
CD: எங்களின் கடல் (meaning our sea)
Lyricist: K. Veera
Music composer: Theivendiran
Year: 2007
Place of production of the song: Tamil Nadu, India

Title: “அனுராத புறத்திற்கு நடக்கிறோம்” (walking to Anurathapuram)
Movie: எல்லாளன் (Ellalan is a Tamil Eelam movie production in the genre of war films. The name Ellalan is after the Tamil king who ruled Anuradhapura Kingdom in the ancient time)
Lyricist:
Music composer: Theivendiran
Year: 2007
Place of production of the song: Tamil Nadu, India
Place of production of Ellalan movie: Tamil Eelam
Watch the Ellalan movie

Title: “வானத்தில் ஏறிய” (climbing to the sky)
Movie: எல்லாளன் (Ellalan)
Lyricist: Puthuvai Ratinathurai
Music composer: Theivendiran
Year: 2007
Place of production of the song: Tamil Nadu, India
Place of production of Ellalan movie: Tamil Eelam

Title: “தாயக மண்ணே” (soil of mother land)
Movie: எல்லாளன் (Ellalan)
Lyricist:
Music composer: Theivendiran
Place of production of the song: Tamil Nadu, India
Place of production of Ellalan movie: Tamil Eelam
Year: 2007

Title:
CD: களத்தில் கேட்கும் கானங்கள்
Lyricist:
Music composer: Theivendiran
Year: 2007
Place of production of the song: Tamil Nadu, India

Request

Eelam production does not necessarily need to indicate production related to the liberation struggle of Eelam Tamils. Eelam based text, audio / visual and screen production or the diaspora Eelam Tamil based production can be classified as Eelam Tamil production. This article focuses on Eelam production that is audio songs, music videos, short films, feature films, television series/ shows, and other entertainment media productions. This kind of Eelam production can then be categorised according to its media. For example Eelam songs (audio songs/music video). It can then be divided into various under categories such as warfare/ heroism and love. Such divisions are called “genre” in English.

Eelam songs in the form of sound and video are scattered all over the internet on many websites and social media. For this article, DsporA Tamil Archive searched the internet for Eelam songs sung by SPB. They are available for public access on the internet, but they are without information that tells its origin, purpose and context. We, therefore, request to all Tamil music, screen and other media platforms to collect, categorise, index, preserve and give the public access to Eelam production.

For example, categorize and list Eelam songs with the following information:
Song genre/ media
Song title
Songwriter
Singers
Music composer
Released on any CD / Movie
The name of the CD / Movie
Year of production
Place of production
The context in which this product was originated
digital picture of front cover and back cover of the released CD / DVD

It is essential to preserve the original physical document even if it is digitalised. Giving access to the digital version of a media production at social media is the activity of dissemination and not preservation!

The purpose is to preserve, classify, index, and make public access to the origin, purpose, and context of Eelam productions (under the various genres). Thus the basic function is to transmit the Tamil language, art, culture and historical heritage to the contemporary and future generations of Tamils and other ethnic groups. This is what documentation and archiving is all about!

Preservation

This article cites IBC Tamil, Tamil Guardian, TamilNet and the website of the Ilankai Tamil Sangam (Sri Lankan Tamil association). It is essential that these digital media platforms be preserved. For example, the article and the soundtrack about SPB produced by TamilNet are at the moment for public access at their website. This record reflects the historical event of musical collaboration between the two Tamil regions in 2007 and the impact it has had on diaspora Tamils. It is necessary to create a preservation plan for this website which contains historical records that reflect the distant relationship and contact across worldwide Tamils. Tamil media based in each country should develop a plan to preserve their media productions in their country of residence. The purpose of preservation is to make it accessible to the public. That is how history will pass on to the next generation.

In Norway, websites can be preserved for eternity by the Nettarkivet in National Library of Norway.
Read more about preserving “Digital materials: Websites” in the article “The National Library of Norway: Legal Deposit (Pliktavlevering)


Diaspora Tamil websites

TamilNet.com is a non-profit news agency. It started as an email mailing list in September 1995 that evolved as a website, launched in June 1997. As far is known, based on the work of searching for the history of diaspora Tamils, this is the second website launched by Tamils in the diaspora. The first diaspora Tamil website was launched in the USA on 18th December 1996. That was the original website of Ilankai Tamil Sangam, which is a Tamil association in the USA. No earlier attempts have yet been identified.

The current editor of Ilankai Tamil Sangam website told the start purpose of the website as followed in the email communication: “At the time the website was founded, it was the only Eelam Tamil diaspora website, so the original editor felt an obligation to make public historical material otherwise unavailable.  This is the basis of the Factbook on the original version of the website – https://www.sangam.org/Factbook.htm” 
On the other hand, TamilNet.com was launched as a news agency in the English language to bring Tamil affairs in Eelam to the International Community, that otherwise was restricted, filtered, abandoned and hidden by the Sri Lankan government, said the founder of TamilNet.


Disclaimer:
Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews.
In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process which may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information in this website.


Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

Updated: 04.10.2020

Documentation: Governance

தமிழ்

The first video interview of DsporA Tamil Archive by Andam Media, Oslo was published on 16th September 2020 on YouTube. The interview, “தமிழர் தம்மை ஆவணப்படுத்த முன் வரவேண்டும்“(Tamils need to come forward to document themselves), by Andam Media, covered two different topics. Documentation and archiving on one side and Tamil language in the diaspora on the other side. This article would like to look at the public responses to the interview.

Documenting and archiving (ஆவணப்படுத்தல்) is a process. The primary value of this process is to maintain administration. The purpose of record-keeping for administration is to keep control, democracy and transparency in an organisational structure as well as in society. The secondary value of this process is preserving the documents that can represent historical and cultural heritage. These can be gained by creating authentic documents that become evidence for our rights and history. However, this process is something distant and new for Tamils.

If we look back to the history of Tamils. The documentation practice among Tamil ethnicity has its races from the Sangam era, which is calculated to be from 6th century BC to 3rd century AD. This is the period where Chera, Chola and Pandiya dynasties ruled the ancient Tamil country (பண்டய தமிழகம்) in Southern India that includes nowadays Kerala. The Chola is a Tamil dynasty that is one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the world´s history. It has also ruled Eelam (the indigenous name for the whole island, nowadays Sri Lanka)1.

The Chola dynasty was based on sea trades and business2. Documents such as, “The Periplus of the Erythrean sea” (1912)3 by Wilfred H. Schoff explains the business practice in the sea trade between the Roman Empire and Tamils in South India. It also includes laws to be followed at the ports (customs), details about the traders that came from Roman, Arabia, and various places in nowadays India to the ancient Tamil country in South India. As well as the business events and details about major trade items. Archaeological artefacts of Chola coins and the use of sea turtle seals and symbols are other evidence of their sea trade based on sea turtle migration. Wherever there is business there will be documents for administration and control. So, Tamils at this time built their governance through sea trade business that would have generated documents. Unfortunately, documents showing transactions of governance are not preserved to contemporary society. That could have caused by the invasion, various colonisation, war and migration. The remaining available written documents are created by foreigners and limited archaeological artefacts from South India and Eelam.

The last Tamil kingdom in Eelam was the Jaffna Kingdom that fell in the 15th century by Portuguese invasion. It continued by Dutches and then British. The British ended their colonial period by giving the whole governance to the Singaleese in 1948. Governance generates public documents. So, since the 15th century, there has not been any Tamil governance representing the Tamil people in the island. This results that the Tamils in Eelam have not had their own governance for around 400 years. And it continues among Eelam Tamil diaspora. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that during the period from the late 1980s, when the formation of Tamil Eelam Civil Administration4 started, till 2009, Tamil public documentation was created in Eelam by the governance of Tamil “de facto-state”.

DsporA Tamil Archive has received a good response where people are showing curiosity and interest to know about the field of documentation and archiving. On the other hand, we also acknowledge that we face scepticism among Tamils. Despite the challenges and scepticism, it is appreciated that Tamil organisations in Norway and other countries are now taking this topic into a social discourse at an organisational level. Hence, this discourse is much appreciated and needed for the present and future generation of Tamils.

According to Eelam Tamil history, this society is a “fighter society”/ “போராட்ட சமூகம்”. It means that the social development of Eelam Tamils has triggered by various struggles. That has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is overprotectiveness and scepticism to new things. Nevertheless, history gives a unique characteristic for Eelam Tamil who is a self-educated society. This society has developed through sharing knowledge and educating each other.

The social discourse of bringing back documentation and archiving practices among Tamil society after more than 400 years will be a social process of different phases. The first phases of this process might include activities such as:

  • gaining awareness and knowledge about “documentation and archiving”.
  • maintaining social skills when undertaking discussions about this field at both the organisational level and society level.
  • handling social issues that can raise under discoursing this field of matter.

    Please do not forget that this is a social process. So it may take many years. But it is imperative that this social process begins now when the first generations of migrated Tamils are still with us. Do not forget that this is essential for the existence of present and future generations.

Endnote and reference:
1 Chandrakumar, Mathi. (n.a). The History of the Tamils in Ealam and
The Jaffna Kingdom
. From https://www.sangam.org/ANALYSIS/ChKumar12_00.htm

2 Ramakrishna Rao, K.V. (2007) The Shipping Technology of Cholas. From https://sangam.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/The-Shipping-Technology-of-Cholas-2007.pdf

3 Department of Tamil in Annamalai University and Thiruvannamalai Government Arts College Postgraduate Department of Tamil Studies (திருவண்ணாமலை அரசு கலைக் கல்லூரி முதுகலை தமிழ் ஆய்வுத் துறை) together organised a one-week International seminar under the title “வரலாற்றியல் நோக்கில் தமிழர் பண்பாட்டு அடையாளங்கள்” (Tamil Cultural Identities in Historical Perspective). The 6th day of the conference was conducted on 08th August 2020 under the topic “ரோமானியப் பேரரசு கால ஆவணங்கள் கூறும் சங்ககால வணிகச் செய்திகள்” (Roman Empire period documents telling about the trades from the Sangam era). The topic was presented by K. Subashini. She is a multinational cultural researcher and president of the Tamil Heritage Foundation, Germany.

4 Tamil Welfare Organisation, Trondheim. (14.03.1987). “புலிகளில் கலைமாலை சிறப்பு மலர்” (meaning arts garland of Tigers special publication”. Trondheim, Norway.


Disclaimer:
Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews.
In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process which may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information in this website.


Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

Updated: 18.10.2020

Activities at public platforms vs. private platforms

தமிழ்

Records of today´s activities will become historical archives for the future. Here are few examples of Tamil activities captured at Norwegian public platforms. Even though there are limited Tamil activities performed at Norwegian public platforms, it has a system that automatically captures records and generates historical archive. In contrast, there are overwhelming Tamil activities at private platforms. Unfortunately, because of the lack of an archive system, these activities get lost from any documentation or archive. And therefore no archive to preserve.

The records mentioned here convey another historical value. That is the activities of migrated Tamil women at Norwegian public platforms. These are both first and second-generation migrated Tamil women who have made Tamil art, music, culture and history known for the general public of Norway. The activities have broken the barriers and built bridges between cultures in a migrated country.

In the activities, these women have taken various roles in different kinds of projects. These projects have contributed to creating a collaborated Norwegian-Tamil society by preserving Tamil culture and respecting Norwegian culture.

Tamil women have coordinated projects, taken a lead role, been a co-star, supported and developed others as a coach or instructor. In parallel, some of them are having a private organisation to provide the society with art, culture and wellbeing. It is noteworthy to mention that these activities are in addition to their full-time job.

These activities are examples of Tamil activities at public platforms that are being captured for preservation. At the same time, activities at private platforms that get lost from preservation for the future.

This does not mean that the overwhelming activities of Tamils at private platforms are any less important than the activities at public platforms. For instance, in this coronavirus pandemic, the activities and importance of organisations that provide social platforms for physical and mental activities, development and wellbeing become even more visible. Their voluntary service regardless of limited time, resource and capacity is remarkable and has a historical value.

So, the existence of record-keeping and archive system makes the major difference in survival of historical and cultural heritage for the future. The organisation archive is the one that can protect the continuity of the history of it´s surrounded society.

“The process of gathering the archival materials of an organisation is a job for the current committee. But giving the appropriate cooperation in the collection process is the responsibility of all former and contemporary members who hold the archival documents. Hence, those archival materials are properties of the organisation and the historical and cultural heritage of a society. It can be a consolation that this situation is also common for Norwegian voluntary organisations. Please do not forget that isolated archives at homes with no public access and use are equivalent to lost archive.”

Origin, purpose and context: historical continuity

Utrop (2010)

“Koothu” is a traditional Tamil drama form. In 2010, it was performed for the first time at the Oslo Opera House in Norway. This was also the first time a Tamil performance was staged at the Oslo Opera House. The performance about “Global warming” was put together by musicians and dancers from Sri Lanka, students from Nordic Black Theater and students and teachers from Oslo Music and Culture school. Koothu was one of the elements in the one-week Tamil Opera Festival in Oslo.

According to Utrop, Vasuki Jayapalan, one of the initiators says that the cultural performance worked also on integration and developing understanding between Norway and Sri Lanka, as well as between Singhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Vasuki Jeyapalan has also her own organisation called Oslo Fine Arts Academy


Norwegian-Tamil girls from the dance institution Kala Saadhana participating at the TV2 television “Norske Talenter” (Norwegian Talents) competition. This is a fusion of Norwegian and Tamil culture conveying a message about equality. Choreographed by Kavitha Laxmi.

Likewise, other Tamil boys and girls, both representing an organisation and as individuals, have participated in this television competition.

Below is a screenshot of Aksaya performing at semi-finals of TV2 “Norske Talenter” competition in 2019. Choreographed by Thushya Amarasinkam who has the dance school NatyaVaruna – Dance Creations, Oslo.


“Aktive Kvinner på tur – fra hele verden” by Sathiaruby Sivaganesh. This article is from the book “Leve Lillomarka” (2019). It was published by Friends of Lillomarka to mark their 50th anniversary. Lillomarka is a part of the forest in Oslo. It is in the northeast from central Oslo. And Friends of Lillomarka is an association that works to protect, develop and take care of Lillomarka.

Sathiaruby Sivaganesh has the organisation, “Aktive kvinner” (active women), where she gives physical training for women with a migrated background in Oslo with cooperation with the Bjerke city district in Oslo.

In parallel, she gives aerobic classes at Tamil Resource and Counselling Centre in Oslo and at Noreel sports club (Tamil sports club). Under the coronavirus lockdown, she volunteered and initiated online aerobic classes from March to June, as well as training and walking tours in the Norwegian forest that continued in the summer holidays. And it still goes on. Even though the lockdown activity was started with women participants with a multi-cultural background, men became also active participants.


“Tyfonens Øye” (The typhoon’s eye)

“Tyfonens Øye” by Kjell Kristensen
Direction: Cliff A. Moustache
Premiered on 5th April at Cafeteatret

«In “The Typhoon’s Eye”, a Tamil village leader and a deserted Sinhalese soldier experience a strange common destiny – they have to share a cell at a remote police station. Their perception of reality is very different – but still a larger, mutual understanding gradually emerges.

But around them, the irreconcilability and brutality are as strong as before, and the acts of war catch up with the two prisoners in a way they had not dreamed of…»

The performance is supported by playwright support from the Norwegian Art Council (Norsk Kulturråd).

Starring:
Biniam Yhidego
Khawar “Gomi” Sadiq
Ali Djabbary
Ahmed Tobasi
Dance: Tamilini Sivalingam
Music: Thiru Ganeshu & Aladin Abbas
Set design: Karen Schønemann
Lighting: Paulucci Araujo


Disclaimer:
Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews.
In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process which may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information in this website.


Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

Updated: 18.10.2020

Origin, purpose and context: historical continuity

தமிழ்

Please note that this graphical artwork is taken as an example to create archival awareness. The situation mentioned below is rather common for almost all Tamil organisation.

“Phoenix of Tamil Eelam” (this title is given by DsporA Tamil Archive) is a graphic artwork published by Tamil Youth Organisation, Norway (TYO Norway) in November 2009. The organisation has many branches all over the world. And has been managed by the second generation diaspora Tamils. Now also includes third-generation Tamils. The designer, Kri Thirunavukkarasu, created this graphical artwork based on a concept of a phoenix bird rising from Tamil Eelam(1). Based on communication with the designer, this artwork can convey various dimensions or interpretation of the history of Tamils from Eelam.

“Phoenix of Tamil Eelam” (Nov. 2009)

Here is the phoenix graphic with the label of TYO, specifically the local branch, Trondheim in Norway. This graphic artwork is found on the Facebook page of Kri Thirunavukkarasu. However, the graphical artwork needs to be preserved in the organisational archive of TYO Norway. This graphic of a phoenix bird rising from Tamil Eelam has been re-used by other Tamils in the past 11 years.

How many of us know that this graphic artwork was originally published by TYO Norway? How many of us know that this graphic artwork was originally designed by Kri Thirunavukkarasu for TYO Norway?

This is a common characteristic of Tamil creators and Tamil organisations. We are unaware of the future need and purpose of creating an organisational archive. Once a product is created, we are not concerned with giving it a title and ownership. This is a common tendency as a result of our charitable work and generosity to contribute to Tamil society. We think that the focus then will be on the product and the message rather than the person or organisation. We want to keep the profile down. And unconsciously or consciously avoid mentioning the origin of a product, activity or process. Another aspect of this is based on our mindset that the product is meant for every diaspora Tamil and not only for certain organisation or Tamils in a specific country. This practice can apply to any Tamil creator or organisation in the charitable workspace. Another major factor for lack of creating an organisational archive is no judicial demand to create an archive in private organisations. However, organisations usually create monthly reports. But the purpose of those reports has a short lifetime. When the report was sent to the overall management to let them know the activity of the completing month, the report might not be taken care at the local organisational level. Unless the overall management preserves these kinds of documents, the records of local activity are lost.

Based on the communication with Kri Thirunavukkarasu, DsporA Tamil Archive identified the difference between “Phoenix of Tamil Eelam” and “Keep the flame alive” (this title is given by DsporA Tamil Archive). Last mentioned is a re-creation of the original design by someone in Canada. Month and year unknown, as well as the creator and publisher unknown. However, this design is vastly used as profile picture on social media, especially, during the Tamil genocide month, May, every year after 2009. The public use of this graphic artwork creates a historical value and context around “Keep the flame alive”.

Disadvantage:

The three elements, that was mentioned in the series “What is ஆவணம்?-5”, “origin, purpose and context”, being unconsciously destroyed. It is especially important to keep track of these three elements on digital productions. That is to prevent manipulation of “origin, purpose and context” of a product, activity and process. Hence, it is easy to copy, transfer and manipulate origin at the digital workspace. If such documents continuously lack these three elements over decades, the continuity of the history of an organisation and its functionality can be twisted, dissolved, seized and lost. Another common characteristic among Tamils and Tamil organisations are hunting after history when they start to lose or even after the loss of history. The organisations are the only one who can protect the continuity of history and rights of an organisation and the society around an organisation through their organisational archive.

The process of gathering the archival materials of an organisation is a job for the current committee. But giving the appropriate cooperation in the collection process is the responsibility of all former and contemporary members who hold the archival documents. Hence, those archival materials are properties of the organisation and the historical and cultural heritage of a society. It can be a consolation that this situation is also common for Norwegian voluntary organisations. Please don´t forget that isolated archives at homes with no public access and use are equivalent to lost archive.

References:

(1) TamilNet. (2008). Eezham Thamizh and Tamil Eelam: Understanding the terminologies of identity. Hentet fra https://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=99&artid=27012


Disclaimer:
Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews.
In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process which may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information in this website.


Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

Updated: 18.10.2020

Archival Awareness

This post is based on the original post at facebook page, “Archive of Tamils in Norway”, on 05th June 2020.

Tamils in Norway, as well as around other diaspora countries, are taking their own and private initiative to document and preserve their language, culture, history, migration, social structures, their life back home and their life in diaspora.

Their documentation and preservation activities are carried out by private individuals and Tamil organisations in Norway. Those activities are much appreciated and has a huge role in the society for present and future generations.

The purpose of documenting and preserving archival materials is to make them available for public access. When the archival materials are accessible and available for public use, the history will be remembered and will continue to live. Otherwise the documentation will remain unknown and hidden, and lost for ever. The history will then be forgotten.

To prevent this, we have to preserve with public access.
Public access can be given through digital access or physical access.
An example for public access in digital form is Noolaham Foundation.
http://noolahamfoundation.org/web/

Otherwise public access can be secured by preserving our archival materials at Norwegian archival institutions. Sadly, there are no archival materials to tell about Norwegian-Tamil cultural heritage at Norwegian archival institutions.

I observed that Tamils have a variety of questions, doubts regarding how to document or preserve, and giving away their archival materials for long term preservation at archival institutions. Most of the time they are over protected which can lead to hidden and lost history.

Please do not forget that you are keeping a piece of Tamil cultural and historical heritage at your home. Please give public access to that heritage.

Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.