The International Movement of Tamil Culture (Sri Lanka chapter) in association with the University of Jaffna will be holding a two-day special conference on ‘Challenges and Initiatives of Tamil Language and Culture’ at the University premises on August 5 and 6.
Nirukshi (Niru) Perera has completed her PhD at the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia).
The thesis – Talking Tamil, Talking Saivism: Language practices in a Tamil Hindu temple in Australia – is available to read here.
Hinduism is growing in its influence and significance both in Australia and internationally. The development of India as a superpower and the rise of Hindu nationalism in India are indicators of this growing influence.
In Australia all censuses since 2001 point to Hinduism as the fastest-growing non-Christian religion yet the phenomena of Hinduism in Australia is relatively under researched. Furthermore, non-white immigration and multiculturalism are once more under the spotlight in Australia with the government’s proposed changes to the English language requirements for citizenship, and with the recent release of the 2016 census results. The figure for the number of people who speak Tamil at home has grown by 45% since the 2011 census, and is now approximately 74,000 people. This means that for the part of the Australian population that speaks a language other than English at home, Tamil is the 13th top language.
Therefore, this research is a timely report on the experiences of Sri Lankan migrants and a focus on the role that language and religion play in their lives in Australia and in the formation of identities for the second- and third- generation. In fact, this is the first thesis to focus on the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia.
Niru conducted an ethnographic study in a Tamil Hindu temple to investigate what languages are used in the temple space and to show how the temple, as a religious institution, is helping migrants to maintain and transmit the Tamil language and Saiva religion to the next generation.
The study found that the temple has a positive influence on the development of young Tamils’ religious, ethnic and linguistic identities and it provides a safe space for children to use Tamil in a new way. This new way is termed “translanguaging” and it allows for children to use all their languages often resulting in speech that mixes Tamil and English. While English is generally their stronger language, their use of Tamil in translanguaging is evidence of the significant influence of their heritage religion and culture in their contemporary Australian lives.
Trois cartes qui donnent à comprendre un peu de la complexité ethno-religieuse du Sri Lanka.
As personalities, both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common candidate Maithripala Sirisena appeals to the same rural Sinhala vote base. Their political coalitions however means that candidate Maithripala will draw in the majority of the votes from the minority communities, while President Rajapska is expected to win in bulk of the areas where there is a Sinhala-Buddhist Majority.
The South Asia blog has helpfully developed three maps that visualizes the geographic ethnic distribution which may resemble their vote when Sri Lankans go to the polls today.
According to a letter issued by the Kilinochchi zonal education director on the 03rd of January 2013, hundred and three security personnel have been employed to teach the Sinhalese language in all schools within the Kilinochchi zone.
It is illegal to employ any person for teaching in government schools other than those who have been appointed by the Ministry of Education and who have been properly trained according to the teacher services regulations. This decision also goes against the LLRC Recommendation which urges that security forces personnel should move out of civil administration activities as a vital step towards post war reconciliation. As per Recommendation 9.134 of the LLRC report, “the security forces should dis-engage itself from all civil administration related activities as rapidly as possible.” In addition to this, Recommendations 9.171 calls for “the phasing out of the involvement of the security forces in civilian activities…”
click to read the article: http://vimarsanam-vimansa.org/report/military-teaching-in-north-schools-defies-llrc/