Tamil Heritage

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 4 23:46:25 UTC 1999

Sorry for the delayed reply. I'd already exhausted my quota of
posts for September and so couldn't reply in time.

Somayaji Rajagopala writes :

>Some examples are Kani(T) = Phalam(S)---- Moonru(T) =Treeni(S)---Treeni has
>commonality with English Three----
>Aezhu(T) =Sapta(S)--- has commonality with Septa--- These are all very
>common-day to day words-If they have any commonalities- even remotely-
>,please enlighten me. From literary Tamil more than 10,000 words can be

Even the common fruit vendor uses only "phalam" for fruit.
And since word by word comparisons between languages is
beyond my capabilities, I cannot in anyway contest this claim.

 >If an ethnic group has evolved a sophisticated means of
 >communication (language/letters/vocabulary/grammar/vast
 >literature covering a wide spectrum)quite independent of
 >another equally Elitist language over the same period of
 >time-the former ethnic group should have the backing of
 >a culture as old as that of the latter language?s
 >cultural milieu. It should be agreed that both are
 >independent cultural groups-developed a lot of
 >commonalties-over a period of time due to Historical

Let's take the case of English. Today's English has a
sophisticated grammer and incredible literature - in almost
all areas. Five hundred years back this same language
was a pretty crude tongue. But with knowledge acquired
from other more advanced languages - Greek, Latin, Sanskrit -
the language itself has been transformed into a pretty
sophisticated one. Plus almost all works of importance in
other languages have also been translated into English
thus enriching the literature of the language.

So let's suppose, there was a big war in which all the
ancient Greek, Latin and other European literature were
wiped out. And in another couple of hundred years, when
nobody remembers the Greek or Roman civilization, the
English suddenly claim that their civilization is 3000
years old! They would have the literature to prove that!

But does this mean that the evolution of their civilization
actually matches all the developments that is reflected
in their literature?

The BodhicaryAvatAra has been translated into English. So
does that mean that the Brits strived to be Bodhisattvas?

Every PTC bus in Madras used to carry a picture of Thiruvalluvar
with a kural on the side - "Dravidian" pride. But how many
Tamilians are vegetarians - which is the least one would
expect of a follower of the way of life expounded by
Thiruvalluvar. And the small percent of Tamils who're
vegetarian seem more influenced by brAhmanism than
by Valluvar.

 >Unity in Diversity.

Politically correct, I suppose. But true?

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