Twenty-five years after it was first published in Tamil, the English translation of iconic Tamil author Tho Paramasivan’s classic book ‘Ariyappadaatha Tamizagam’ offers English readers a glimpse into the Tamil way of life.
In “The Sweet Salt of Tamil” translated by V Ramnarayan and published by Navayana, Paramasivan, commonly known as ThoPa, Tamil countryA deeper version of its history, dating back to the Shangam period of the 6th century BC, includes its literature, lifestyle, food, festivals, deities, and language.
“Toe Paramashban’s work on the unknown, unspoken and unknown aspects of the Tamil nation reads like notes and entries in a ledger. The text is chock-full of highlights and insights,” said S Anand, publisher of Navayana.
The book is divided into seven chapters that dive into Tamil culture and traditions.
In “The Lie of the Land,” ThoPa looks at the changing and diversifying food traditions of the region he affectionately calls “Tamizagam.”
From Chile, Tamils used black pepper to spice up their food until the 16th century introduction of the Chilean fruit, milagai, in Tamil. This is also the etymology of the widely used term “curry”.
“Black pepper, Karunkali, or Kali is mainly used in cooking meat, so the word Kali has become synonymous with the non-vegetarian dish known as Curry worldwide. I didn’t really like the use of ,” Paramashvan writes in the book.
He also adds that while ancient Tamil food was mainly cooked by roasting, dry heating or steam cooking, it is only recently that fried foods such as badai, bhaji and mixes have become prominent. I’m here.
The late author and scholar also noted that oil-free, steamed, dry-roasted or boiled foods are rapidly disappearing as the use of oil increases in Tamil households. did.
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In the chapter “The Structure of Life”, Paramashvan describes housing, clothing, names, family relationshipa wedding ceremony involving tying the ‘Tali’, the Tamil equivalent of Mangalsutra.
Paramashvan also mentions the use of ‘tali’ beyond the marriage tradition. has even been used in
In Tamil villages, it is customary to tie five small metal replicas of dogs, keys, amulets, coins and people’s leaves to a child’s waist cord ‘aimbadaittaali’ to ward off evil, but works from the Sangam era Men wearing ‘pulippal taali’ – teeth of tigers they hunted and killed as a symbol of bravery.
The writer also said that social activist and politician Periyar was the first Indian thinker to speak out and write against the institution of the ‘Tali’ ceremony as part of the ‘Pride Movement’.
Tamil leaders believed that: It was a reminder of the ‘gifted’ submission of women to men in ‘Kanya Danham’.
The book details festivals, deities, and their relationship with the various castes of the area. It also covers themes such as traditional Tamil games, cultural dynamics, language, their deviation and development over time, and the introduction of different religions into Tamil culture.
The book has been translated into English under an initiative of the Government of Tamil Nadu with the aim of enhancing the understanding of ‘Ancient, Tradition and Modernity of Tamil’.
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