Tamil Day 2015
After Sanskrit, Tamil is the oldest literary language of the Indian subcontinent (Source: Encarta) Therefore it is justifiable that a special day be set aside in the college calendar to celebrate Tamil Day and to venerate our mother tongue. It needs to be mentioned that our College has been celebrating Tamil Day since 1956!
In 2015, the Tamil Day of St. John’s College was celebrated on 26th February. Our retired Teacher of Tamil, Mr.B.Kasinathan stepped in as the Chief Guest along with his wife into the Peto Hall on the dot at 11.30 a.m.
The first event was the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the Chief Guest, Mrs.Kasinathan, Principal, Vice Patron and President of the Tamil Union.
The next items on the agenda were two special songs, ‘Thamil Moli Vaalthu’ and ‘Thamil Thina Paadal’ in praise of our mother tongue, Tamil. The ‘Carnatic’ music was really pleasing to the ears.
The Welcome Address by the President of the Tamil Union, T.Kiritharan, was followed by a dance recital depicting the culture, traditions, values and the ways of life of the Tamils.
C.Gowribalan, who became second in Tamil Oratory, delivered his speech. He talked about how the Tamils were losing their identity slowly. Tamils now wear western clothes, dine at fast food outlets and stay glued in front of the television unlike in the past. Another disturbing trend, he noted, was the reluctance of some Tamils to talk in Tamil.
The next items in the agenda was a traditional ‘Kooththu’ dance (folk style), a solo song,the Vice Patron of the Tamil Union, Mr. S.Senthuran’s address and a ‘Fishermen’s Dance.’ The sentiments the Vice Patron expressed in his speech expressed were similar to the ones expressed by the orator who delivered the Tamil Speech. The Vice Patron said that the signatures of people speak volumes of their ways of thought – most of the Sinhalese sign in Sinhala but most of the Tamils, if not all, sign in English. This, he said, clearly proves that most Tamils are not proud to call themselves Tamils – and this is regrettable indeed!
Subsequently, the spouse of our Chief Guest distributed the prizes. Following this was Villuppaattu, based on Ramayanam, the great Tamil epic. The importance of having an attitude of gratitude was beautifully portrayed.
The Chief Guest was then honoured in recognition of his contribution to Tamil Language. He was draped with a Golden Shawl ( ‘Ponnaadai’ ) by the Principal of our College.
The Chief Guest’s speech followed. In his speech, the Chief Guest spoke of the importance and glory of our language and asked us to keep the Tamil culture alive.
Finally, the Secretary of the Tamil Union delivered the Vote of Thanks. This marked the end of an entertaining morning.