Posts Categorized: Arts & Culture

Broken Paradise

Presenter Lakshmi Holmström MBE is a widely acclaimed translator of Tamil fiction and poetry. A collection of her translations of Cheran’s poetry is to be published this summer, titled ‘In a Time of Burning.’

War Crimes and Curry Publishing a book about a highly charged ethnic conflict in which tens of thousands have died is no path to a peaceful life. You only need to look at the racial abuse and filthy language in the comments sections of online sites frequented by Sri Lankans to see how intense the emotions still are…. Read more »

Haunted by Her Yesterdays

“Haunted by her yesterdays” is a new film by The Social Architects. There will be selected screenings on Friday to mark International Women’s Day, after that we will be working to make sure as many people as possible can see it. Watch this space for details…..Haunted by her yesterdays This documentary tells a story of silent… Read more »

The Real MIA in Sri Lanka

by Jack Healey, ‘The Huffington Post,’ Los Angelos, February 19, 2013 (founder, Human Rights Action Center)  Bad Girls video It always starts with James Franco, doesn’t it? “Pineapple Express,” a Franco and Seth Rogen vehicle that came out in 2008, used “Paper Planes” in a red-band trailer for their film. Thus the artist M.I.A. became known outside… Read more »

Ini Avan: Hauntingly Beautiful But…

Ini Avan, Asoka Handagama’s latest film, in Tamil, has won international cinematic acclaim. And it is easy to see why. The film has interesting characters who within their confined destinies take some unpredictable turns and moves at a compelling and deliberate pace through carefully designed frames with strong aesthetic appeal that are also revisited, like recurring… Read more »

Jaffna Cooking from Very Far Away

Sambol in Jaffna is very important. There are a variety of sambols and I get to indulge in four types at Aliyaa — katta, seeni, pol and karupillay. Katta is similar to our sambal belacan but is prepared using spicy Maldavian fish while seeni is made of sweetened onions. My favourite is pol. Made with coconut, it has the right amount of spiciness and sourness. Karupillay, which is made with curry leaves, is moderately nice albeit a bit bitter.

Graphic Violence

As I sat in the small, sparsely furnished, concrete room, in a slum area of Chennai, with my old and dear friend, profusely apologising to me about the stench coming from the stagnant pond outside, and the now five-year-old girl sitting on my lap calling me Maama (uncle), still with her fat cheeks, I realised that this was the story I wanted to tell.

This family had survived eight months of vicious bombardment on a small stretch of beach, had seriously contemplated suicide together in the final weeks when they could not take the onslaught anymore, had lived through seven months of internment hell in the UN-built, government-run camps and then fled to India.

M.I.A.’s New Book

By contrast, M.I.A.’s self-titled book is a document of isolation and resistance, clearly the product of one person following an idiosyncratic path…
M.I.A.’s work speaks for the many people whose lives and stories are “missing in action,” which is partly the source of her pseudonym, M.I.A. ..
“If you wanted to hear the other story, you had to go find it,” Maya writes. She was aiming to bridge the gap. The art she made after that trip was a blueprint for the movement of her work in the years to come—it evolved from a documentary to film stills to photographs to stencils to prints to songs. She photographed and blew up the video stills of missing Tamils—some were “faces of girls her age, frozen in a moment of video, sometimes between life and death” and others had images of rockets, tanks, palm trees, and camouflage uniforms.

Prison Break

“I just had a call from an old school friend. His old Ayah’s son is a prison guard at Welikade. Apparently 35 Tamil political prisoners were killed by rioting inmates” he said. “These were mostly political prisoners awaiting trial”.

Tamil Poetry In Post-Colonial Sri Lanka

These are my last words
Equality, peace and freedom

Where there is no equality
There is no peace
Where there is no peace
There is no freedom

These are my last words
Equality, peace and freedom

You deny my equal rights?
You lose your own sense of peace
And your freedom

First Canadian Tamil Film Festival Jan. 2 & 3

published January 3, 2004 Film Arts Society of Toronto (FAST) invites you to a milestone event in the history of Canadian Tamils. Recent years has seen an enormous increase in our community’s involvement in various Film related Arts. To recognize, showcase and encourage these growing talents in our community, Film Arts Society of Toronto is… Read more »

Tamil Folktales in Oral Tradition

by Reet Hiiemäe; IUP Publications, India, originally posted January 3, 2004 Moral Fictions: Tamil Folktales in Oral Tradition Would readers send us a few of their favorite Sri Lankan Tamil folktales for publication? sangameditor /A_T/ hotmail /D_O_T/ com by Stuart Blackburn, edited by Lauri Honko Moral Fictions. Tamil Folktales in Oral Tradition. (FF Communications 278.)… Read more »

Celebration of a ‘Death’

by S. Rameswaran; published December 29, 2003 Celebration of a ‘Death’; a war-theme short story by S.Rameswaran Introduction by Sachi Sri Kantha War-theme fiction in Tamil language is a new genre which arose in Sri Lanka, since the Black July 1983 holocaust. This particular genre could not have been generated in other lands (Tamil Nadu, Malaysia… Read more »

Winter Tamil Classes

Vanakkam! Many of you have expressed your interest in attending the first ever Winter Holiday Tamil classes. The Tamil Students Association of the University of Toronto, with the help of a dedicated team of teachers from the United States, including Sendhil Cheran (founder of, are working hard to ensure that these classes be the… Read more »

New Tamil School in Cranbury, NJ

originally published November 28, 2003 We are pleased to announce a new Tamil school in Cranbury. This is a branch of the existing Bharathi Tamil School and will start classes in January 2004 in the Chimaya Mission classrooms in Cranbury. There will be an open house for enrollment on December 14th at 1.30 pm at the Mission…. Read more »

The Myth of Kannaki

The Concept of Chastity and Power by Mala Kadar; published October 13, 2003 Silapathikaram, the national epic, is hailed as the masterpiece of Indian literature – a showcase of the virtues of a Tamil society during the Sangam period. The woeful tale of Kannaki, the eternally suffering chaste wife who bore her husband’s unchasteful behavior, has… Read more »

The Tamil Roots of Bharatha Natyam (Sathir)

by Renuka Kumarasamy; originally published October 8, 2003 An art of any form must have roots in a language, a culture and a people. From those roots it must carry their thoughts, their joys and sorrows and tell the story of their civilization. The soul and roots of Bharatha Natyam can be found in the Tamil… Read more »