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Tamil Nadu Govt to Set Up Tamil Learning Centers in 16 Countries

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The government of Tamil Nadu will help in promoting Tamil learning in 16 foreign nations and 10 Indian cities for people of Tamil descent, the state’s Minister for Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan said in the Assembly on June 13.

The government will set up centers where the language can be learnt in countries like the United States, France, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mauritius, Reunion Islands, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa and Australia, among others, PTI reported.

These centers will also be set up in 10 Indian cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhopal and Port Blair.

A course on Tamil culture will be conducted in Myanmar and South Africa via the Tamil University based in Thanjavur, at a cost of Rs 22 lakh. This is aimed at benefiting young Tamil students, Pandiarajan said.

The minister added that these cities and countries have a large Tamil population, and the move aims to help them learn, read and write the language. Syllabus and books required for them to learn the language are ready, Pandiarajan said, as per the agency.

A high-level committee will also be set up to change the names of various places in Tamil Nadu to the way they are written and pronounced in Tamil. A sum of Rs 5 lakh will be allocated for this. The minister, citing the example of Thiruvallikkeni, an area in Chennai, which is called Triplicane, explained that this step will address such localities.

Pandiarajan added that the committee, with the help of the revenue department, will submit a report in three months. The names of places that need to be changed to Tamil would then be decided based on this report, the New Indian Express reported.

Pandiarajan also announced the creation of a contemporary dictionary of Tamil. This dictionary will contain words which are used in day-to-day life. A dictionary containing literary terms will also be released, the minister announced. This will help students understand the different literary works in Tamil, including the Sangam literature.

People hailing from Tamil Nadu have made the state’s culture get visibility all over the world.

Singapore’s Cabinet minister S Iswaran said in an interview published in a book that was released in May that the Singapore government is resolute in its commitment to using Tamil as an official language. Iswaran also proposed a Tamil Language Festival in the country to engage the younger generation in celebrating the Tamil language and culture.

The Tamil community in Canada, consisting of successful professionals and entrepreneurs, organized the Tamil street festival, said to be the largest street festival in the country, in Toronto in August last year. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the event, which saw participation from over 350,000 Tamil Canadians. Trudeau also celebrated Pongal with Canadian Tamils in Scarborough in January this year.