Somasundaram and Tamil Sangam [Tamil Version | தமிழ் வடிவம்]

Tallahassee Tamil Sangam's beginning can be traced to 2000 when Dr. Muthuswamy & Mrs. Karpagam and Bhanu & I began organizing Tamil cultural programs that brought together Tamil (Tamizh) families (from India, Malaysia, Singapore and Srilanka) that lived in and around Tallahassee for an evening of activities and exchanges. The activities were scheduled around Tamil New Year's Day (middle of April) and sow the seeds for the Tallahassee Tamil Sangam. During that time Drs Swamy floated the idea of starting a formal Tamil sangam and as per his suggestion his family and Bhanu and I started to think about organizing cultural activities.

During the first two years the activities consisted mostly of inviting people to Dr. Swamy's residence for food and chat. Then Drs. Usha and Namas Chandra started to teach Tallahassee Tamil children how to read and write Tamil language. Starting in 2004 Drs Usha Chandran taught weekly lessons in Tamil. The lessons consisted of speaking, pronounciation, reading, and writing. The kids were given weekly homeworks. They along with their parents were expected to finish the lessons. Soon the kids were speaking and learning Tamil language. In 2006 Chandra family had to move to a new town and the Tamil class ended, however, the kids never forgot what they learned. This gave impetus to celebrate Tamil New Year Day with programs in Tamil performed by children and adults.

During the last several years we have had several children and adults preform many itmes including singing of songs (classical and contemporary), reciting poems and poetry, story narration, and perform skits and drama. The children and adults also gave performances in India Association of Tallahassee's (IATLH) Glimpses of India, ranging from recital of Aathichudi, Tamil story telling, skit of Maha Kavi Bharathiyar's Olipadaitha Kanninai song, Tamil drama "Punishing the Fraud", Tamil Tenali Raman drama, Tamil Ramayanam drama, etc.

With increase in popularity and number of people attending the programs, we have moved it to a public location starting from 2006 Tamil New Year celebrations. Then in 2007 onwards we started to have Pongal festival and in 2009 we started Tallahassee Tamil Sangam's Summer Picnic.

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© 2008-12 Thayumanasamy Somasundaram.