Why don’t we, the Tamils, ever take pride in our heritage the way other communities do?
Tagore and Rabindra sangeet is so much a part of the Bengali culture. No Bong home is complete without records of his music and volumes of his work. For good measure, they throw in the (unreadable) Apu Trilogy by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, and they rave about the (equally unwatchable) movie version by Satyajit Ray. Of course, my opinion is neither based on cultural jingoism or studied appreciation of the arts.
It’s just a personal comment, that probably goes against worldwide view of the works!
Bangra is a folk dance from Punjab, the dandia/gharba of Gujarat… yet, it has received branding and promotion on a monumental scale. How come, no street or rural art from Tamil Nadu has gained this kind of push?
Why aren’t ALL our children exposed to Bharatiyar’s songs – how many have even heard of him now? Why isn’t the incredibly intelligent Kurals on the bookshelves of every Tamil household? Why isn’t Kalki’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan (far, far more intriguing a narration than Apu3) touted by us?
Why do people think our movies are all about overweight heroines, heavily made-up heroes and garish dance numbers? What about KB (of the past), Sridhar, Bharati Raja (of the past), and the dozens of other fantastic film makers and actors? Why do they think our music is merely of the O Podu and Malle Malle genre? The Maestro and ARR are products of Tamil culture too…
Why don’t we celebrate Pongal with the same aplomb as the Keralites do Onam?
And seriously, have you noticed? The Tamils when they meet will try to impress each other with their English skills!!!!! They think it’s infra dig to converse in Tamil.
We stake claim to Idli and Dosais – but both the Malyalees and Udipi folks refute that. And we give in without a whimper!
Fortunately, there is still the Kanjeevarams and Rajnikant that we can cling to.