Tamil Nadu is a southern state of India which is supremely rich in culture and heritage. Known to be one of the oldest civilisations in the world, the people of Tamil Nadu belong to the prestigious Dravidian Family. Tamilians also, like other South Indians, take much pride in their rooted Tamil culture and make great efforts to protect their 2000 years old history. The state has been ruled by the Cholas, Pandyas and the Pallavas and has been flourishing since. The art and architecture have been their creations which are used and maintained even today.
Out of 74 million Tamil people in the world, around 62 million live in Tamil Nadu. Rest of the Tamilians are scattered in different parts of India and the world, mostly in the northeast of Sri Lanka. People who live in the state understand the ethnicity of their culture and how it marks their identity in the world. They are very adherent towards their rituals and traditions like following the caste system, religion and community traits, etc.
Tamil is the official language of the state. It is a derivative of Brahmi script, and the letters represent sounds, much like the Mandarin language. Not only most of the people in Tamil Nadu speak Tamil, but it is also spoken by many in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Singapore, and Malaysia.
A great amount of relevance is given to a person’s religion when it comes to personal identity. Although four-fifths of the population of the state are Hindus, rest of them are divided in Islam, Christianity, and Jainism. Their rituals include deity worship and animisms like tree worship, animal worship and stars and planets worship. Many Hindus are followers of different religious institutions called ‘Matha’ which are the centres of Monastic studies.
MUSIC AND DANCE –
Tamil Music has evolved over the years. The most important form of music was the Carnatic music which considered only for the elite who could understand the intricacy of music. For others, Telugu songs and a mix of traditional numbers from a source of entertainment.
Bharatnatyam is the official dance form of Tamil Nadu, recognized all over India and the world. It’s a complicated dance form with subtle moves of body parts and expressions. Some other folk dances like Parai, Villuputtu Karakaatam, and Kuthu are also performed by local people including tribal people.
TRADITION AND ARCHITECTURE –
Most traditional art are religious in some form and usually centres on Hinduism, although the religious element is often only a means to represent universal—and, occasionally, humanist—themes.
The most important form of Tamil painting is Tanjore painting, which originated in Thanjavur in the 9th century. The painting’s base is made of cloth and coated with zinc oxide, over which the image is painted using dyes; it is then decorated with semi-precious stones, as well as silver or gold thread. A style which is related in origin, but which exhibits significant differences in execution, is used for painting murals on temple walls; the most notable example are the murals on the Kutal Azhakar and Meenakshi temples of Madurai, the Brihadeeswarar temple of Tanjore.
Tamilnadu sculpture ranges from elegant stone sculptures in temples, to bronze icons with exquisite details. The medieval Chola bronzes are considered to be one of India’s greatest contributions to the world art. Unlike most Western art, the material in Tamil sculpture does not influence the form taken by the sculpture; instead, the artist imposes his/her vision of the form on the material. As a result, one often sees in stone sculptures flowing forms that are usually reserved for metal.