An unknown ‘Thamizh man’ who had super wisdom and with an exceptional knowledge of Thamizh literature wrote a book called Thirukkural. He wrote a total of 1330 couplets. Would you believe, if I tell you it was written 2000 years ago and is regarded as relevant even today.
Thirukkural is translated into 80+ different languages and those who have read it, have gained their share of wisdom from his words. Unfortunately, today most young Thamizhs know very little of what Thirukkural is. Though it is made mandatory to learn and teach Thirukkural in schools but unfortunately the sad part is, it’s not being taught the way it was meant to be. Because it is forced on students in form of syllabus than a source of learning, they are left with very little option and mugging up the syllabus to fetch good marks is one of them.
Therefore the value of Thirukkural is slowly fading away. What is more ironical is, In Thamizhnadu youths know more about Trump than Thirukkural.
In general, most Thamizhas give importance to English and cared very little about learning Thamizh with utmost understanding. It’s a popular believe that only English can help them to survive in this Globalised business era. There is nothing wrong in learning English if that is required for communication but when you don’t pay enough attention towards your mother tongue, you lose your civilization ethics and moral. This is one of the reasons why we see fusion of language and tradition.
Let’s say you are trying to learn some African language, the first thing you will start with is the script and next step is to learn words and then comes sentence forming. And eventually you will start learning what they speak. When you read such literature/poems, you will slowly understand their culture. You may like it or you may not, but that language will teach their culture and their civilizations ethics. There is nothing wrong with learning a new language. As long as you keep that as a tool to communicate additional language you know. The problem begins when you don’t pay attention to your mother tongue and starts unlearning your mother tongue rhymes, poems, and proverbs. Not all unlearning is good.
One must understand a language is beyond letters and words. It’s form of a lifestyle and a civilization. Understanding your civilization will teach you ethics, moral and science. Thamizh is one of the oldest language and that means Thamizh civilizations evolved with great ethics, moral and science. It provoked Thiruvalluvar to write Thirukkural, we must also understand that Thiruvalluvar must have had teacher/mentor who taught him language and help him attain utmost wisdom. This is what a language can do beyond letters and words.
There are many great Thamizh poets and philosophers who had given us wisdom in form of words. I strongly believe every language have such legends. In the era where people mixed the cultures are missing out on remembering the legends from the past. Every local poem, saying or proverb has survived centuries for a reason and you can understand the essence only if you are good at your mother tongue.
Understand that love towards language is not about forming a sentence right, without making mistakes or pronouncing the words correct all the time. Language love is all about understanding the literature of the language, the literature will teach you history, history will lead you to legends, legends share wisdom to you in their words and the wisdom you gain will help you to lead life.
My language is what made me, it is not just beautiful but it is powerful and full of wisdom.
My mother tongue is Thamizh and what is your mother tongue?