In this part of the world, language is everything. Language is communication, language is commerce, language is politics, language is recreation and pretty much everything else.
The language is Tamil. You would be surprised to see the passion that the people here have for their native language. They also share a strong sense of brotherhood for all the Tamil speaking people around the country/ world.
To reflect their love for the language, a World Classical Tamil Conference (Ulaga Thamizh Semmozhi Manadu) is being conducted, this time in Coimbatore, TN, India from June 23rd to 27th, 2010. It is an opportunity for one and all to learn and exhibit their knowledge of the language and see for themselves the various forms that the language has taken from time immemorial.
The seating capacity in the main hall is around 50,000 and there is also a provision for additional 30,000 people to stand/sit down on the ground to watch.
The total allocated budget for the 5 day conference is around 300 Crores. Arrangements for commutation has been made via 400 special buses and three special trains for people around TN and neighboring states to attend the meet. Forty one marriage halls with food arrangements have been readied for the stay of people coming from other places.
In the venue itself (CODISSIA Grounds, Coimbatore), apart from the main hall, there is a museum hosting more than 700 artifacts detailing the history and forms the language has taken. There is also a book fair with around 130 publishers having their stalls and displaying their books. There is also a handicrafts exhibition cum fair organized by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Huge complexes (temporary ones) are being constructed for serving food – the complex is expected to cater to 4000 people in five minutes. The meals would cost Rs. 30/- per plate in the afternoon. There is also an audio-visual arena with twelve plasma TV’s for multimedia presentations / screening movies related to the language. Around 70 portable toilets have also been organized, since the place is an open air venue and huge crowds are expected to attend this meet.
As to what is going to happen in this conference – Around 1500 language experts would be presenting papers/ essays related to various aspects of the language. Numerous Patti Manrams/ Karuttarangugal would be organized (Debate sessions) to discuss the richness of the language and also the challenges facing the development of the language in this modern era. Cultural programs like dramas, songs, folk arts, dances etc would also be organized. All the programs are expected to be covered extensively by the media.
The theme song for this World Classical Tamil Meet has been composed by A R Rehman and directed by Goutham Menon. This has been written by the Chief Minister of TN, Mr. Karunanidhi and sung by a lot of well known singers. The video of the song can be viewed in this link (Click to view).
There was an oorvalam - procession (rally) titled ‘Iniyavai Narpadhu’ as a part of the Semmozhi Manadu event in Coimbatore through Avinashi Road. The two photos published below were clicked from there. To see more photos from ‘Iniyavai narpadhu’ oorvalam (rally), click here.
You can click on this link to read a short essay (in Tamil/ English) on why Tamil is considered as one of the classical languages of the world (Ulaga Semmozhi).