தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamils - a Trans State Nation

Myanmar (Burma) - மியன்மார் (பர்மா)

[see also Myanmar: A Neglected Area of Tamil Lexicography by Gregory James;
Indian Government & Burmese Tamils - Thanjai Nalankilli]


From Tamil Studies Abroad, A Symposium edited by Xavier S.Thaninayagam
published by the International Association of Tamil Research, 1968:

"A report dated March 1966 from Burma states:

Tamil population   200,000
Telegu population  50,000
Malayalee population  5,000

About 50 primary schools are conducted by Tamils. The Rasika Ranjani and Thondan, two Tamil dailies have been banned since January 1966. There are over 40 Hindu temples founded and administered by Tamils in Burma, and two Tamil Catholic parishes. The Nattukkotai Chettiars administer Thendayuthapani temples in 32 towns."

The report also states: " Our Tamilians along with other Indians are leaving Burma for good. Therefore our schools are being closed one by one. Most of our temples are functioning with the few people who have remained."


From: Ananthan @ siva.for.uidaho.edu  on: Fri Aug 23 03:24:50

I have met a few Tamils from Myanmar. Due to the close door policy, Myanmar is like in the 50s and 60s. However, food is plentiful and very cheap.

There are many South Indian Temples all over Rangoon or Yangoon, but like all buidings they are not well maintained.

One of the reason the Burmese govt nationalised banks businesses in the 60s was the practical grip the Chettiar Tamils had over the agricultural sector. Some say due the heavy debt by Burmese farmers the Chettiars, many of them not residents of Burma, owned practically all the rice fields. In a way you cannot blame the Burmese, since the Indians went there to make an inch but due to their over enterprising nature took a yard and at the end some got beaten by the Brmese foot. Probably the same thing happen to fiji Indians and the Indians in Uganda...I don't know.

Even today South Indian restaurants in Burma (there are many still operating) are called Chetty Restaurants. However. the older generation still resent the Indians/Tamils. Infact Burma is probably the only place in the world where Tamil writings and language is a kind of banned!

The remaining Tamils some say around 500,000 have adapted themselves, embraced Buddhist ways in addition to Hinduism, speak Burmese and dress in Burmese style. I guess Indians are also needed to adopt Burmese names, just like the Chinese in Indonesia. Anyway, without any compulsion, the Chinese and Indians in Thailand have adopted Thai names and language.
 
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