|The Tamil people, also known as Tamilar, Thamizhar (Tamil: தமிழர், tamiẓhar (singular) ? [t̪amiɻaɾ], or Tamil: தமிழர்கள், tamiẓarkaḷ (plural) ? [t̪amiɻaɾxaɭ]), or simply Tamils (), are a Dravidian ethnic group who speak the Tamil language as their mother tongue and trace their ancestry to Tamil Nadu and northern regions of Sri Lanka. Tamils constitute 5.9% of the population in India (concentrated mainly in Tamil Nadu), 15% in Sri Lanka, 6% in Mauritius, 7% in Malaysia and 5% in Singapore. Tamils, with a population of around 76 million and with a documented history stretching back over 2,000 years, are one of the largest and oldest extant ethnolinguistic groups in the modern world.
From the 4th century BC onwards, urbanisation and mercantile activity along the western and eastern coasts of what is today Kerala and Tamil Nadu led to the development of four large Tamil political states, the Cheras, Cholas, Pandyas and Pallavas and a number of smaller states, all of whom were warring amongst themselves for dominance. The Jaffna Kingdom, inhabited by Sri Lankan Tamils, was once one of the strongest kingdoms of Sri Lanka, and controlled much of the north of the island.
Selected article -
pronounced by Thamizh
is a Thamizham [தமிழம்] language spoken predominantly by Tamil people
of the Indian subcontinent
. It has official status
in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
and in the Indian union territory of Puducherry
. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka
. It is one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of India
and the first Indian language to be declared as a classical language
by the government of India
in 2004. Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in Malaysia
as well as emigrant communities around the world.
Tamil literature has existed for over two thousand years. The earliest epigraphic records found date from around the third century BCE. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from the 300 BCE – 300 CE. More than 55% of the epigraphical inscriptions – about 55,000 – found by the Archaeological Survey of India are in the Tamil language. According to a 2001 survey, there were 1,863 newspapers published in Tamil, of which 353 were dailies.
Tamil belongs to southern branch of the Dravidian languages, a family of around twenty-six languages native to the Indian subcontinent. It is also classified as being part of a Tamil language family, which alongside Tamil proper, also includes the languages of about 35 ethno-linguistic groups such as the Irula, and Yerukula languages (see SIL Ethnologue). The closest major relative of Tamil is Malayalam. Until about the ninth century, Malayalam was a dialect of Tamil. Although many of the differences between Tamil and Malayalam evidence a pre-historic split of the western dialect, the process of separation into a distinct language, Malayalam was not completed until sometime in the 13th or 14th century.
Selected biography -
Krishnakumar Dinesh Karthik
(born 1 June 1985 in Madras
, Tamil Nadu
, India) is a wicketkeeper
who has made his debut for the Indian cricket team
in 2004 and has been a regular member of the team for varying periods since then, including a stint in 2007 as a specialist opening batsman and non-wicket-keeper. Karthik was a batsman in his junior career, but turned to wicket-keeping in order to improve his future prospects. Throughout his career, Karthik has been criticised for unreliable glovework symptomatic of a non-specialist wicket-keeper.
Rising through the junior ranks, Karthik made his first-class debut in late-2002 for Tamil Nadu as a 17-year-old, and was dropped in his first season despite his healthy run-scoring because of his problematic glovework. He fought his way back into the team and after playing for India at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, made his ODI and Test cricket debut in late-2004. This came after India had struggled to find a reliable gloveman in the past few years. Karthik was the regular wicket-keeper in Tests, making rare appearances in ODIs. During this period, Karthik struggled and averaged less than 20 with the bat, and he was replaced as Test wicketkeeper by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had been prolific and destructive with the bat in ODIs, in late-2005. After donning the mantle of an opener for Tamil Nadu and raising himself to the standard of a specialist batsman at domestic level, he was recalled to the national squad as a batsman in late-2006 after injuries and form slumps hit other batsmen, playing occasional matches in both forms of cricket on the tour to South Africa, and scoring a half-century in a Test as an opener. Following India's elimination from the first round of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the selectors made multiple changes, and Karthik became a non-wicket-keeping opening batsman in the Test team and regularly played ODIs, batting in the middle order. He made his maiden Test century against Bangladesh and then was India's leading scorer in the Test tour of England, helping India to win their first series in England in 21 years. However, Karthik suffered a form slump in late-2007 and was dropped from the Test team, and since then has only made sporadic international appearances, although he continues to score heavily in domestic cricket. These have come in occasional appearances as a specialist batsman when other players were rested or injured, or as a wicket-keeper when Dhoni was sidelined. Karthik's glovework for India continues to be criticised.
In the news
Virampatnam jewelry from funerary burial, 2nd century BCE, Tamil Nadu
Batu Caves temple built by Tamil Malaysians in c. 1880s
Tamil woman in traditional attire, c. 1880
Map of ancient oceanic trade, and ports of Tamilakam
Sage Agathiyar, one of the contributors of old Tamil literature
Aiyanar (Tamil: ஐயனார், சாஸ்தா), guardian folk deity of Tamil Nadu
Megalithic burial urns or jar found in Pomparippu, North Western, Sri Lanka dated to at least five to two centuries before the Common Era. These are similar to Megalithic burial jars found in South India and the Deccan during a similar time frame.
The Om symbol in Tamil script
Katar, Tamil dagger which was popular throughout South Asia
Tiruvannamalai city and Annamalaiyar temple, Tamil architecture and culture influenced much of Southeast Asia between the 8th to 13th century CE.
Meenakshi Amman temple, dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, tutelary deity of Madurai city
Grey pottery with engravings, Arikamedu, 1st century CE
Erwadi durgah in Ramanathapuram district is the major pilgrimage shrine of the Tamil Muslims.
Distribution of Tamil speakers in South India and Sri Lanka (1961)
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