Chris Bowen, Minister of Immigration talked about 'the genius of Australian multiculturalism' and he famously said “I've seen people, proudly wearing the national dress of their homeland, clasping an Australian flag with all their might…” This passion was on display at the event organised by Tamilar Inc, a nascent not-for-profit organisation on 14th April at Finnish society hall in Melbourne to celebrate Tamil New Year day (தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு).The event attended by over 180 Tamils, ran from 5 to 10 pm and featured speeches, performance by Tamil school children, games, discussion forum and food.
Chief Guest Mr Chidambaram Srinivasan, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission and Cr. Bob Fairclough from the Wyndham City Council graced the occasion. The event was formally declared open by Mr Chidambaram Srinivasan with lighting of lamp a traditional way of opening an event. This also symbolised the arrival of the New Year and with it new hopes and warmth.
Ganesh Jaygan, the President of the organisation spoke about how Tamilar Inc, was born and how the three key tenets of Tamilar namely language, tradition and culture formed the basis of the Tamilar’s objectives. He also spoke about how Tamilar Inc partnered with the Victorian School of Languages (VSL), a government school and the largest provider of language education in Australia to start offering Tamil Classes in Galvin Park SC, Werribee. He added “Twenty primary school students are enrolled in the language class and positions for term 2 are filling fast”
Commissioner Chidambaram Srinivasan, addressed the gathering and provided valuable feedback to make the organisation inclusive to the wider Australian community and to ensure there is a mutual sharing of knowledge about the cultural practices between the various ethnic groups. Councillor Bob Fairclough, congratulated the Tamilar team on the good work and passionately talked about preventing burglaries, which are on the rise in the Wyndham area.
One of the key attractions of the event was the presentation by the School children of Tamil school which also celebrated the completion of Term 1. The students demonstrated their Tamil speaking skills and thrilled the audience and parents.
Teachers Sudha Venkatesh and Venkatesh Srinivasan described how the course is designed to leverage the benefits of technology along with worksheets and textbooks to enhance a grasp of the language. Sudha said “the course includes a wide range of multimedia content including flash games, audio and video clips. During classes, we focus on improving vocabulary and conversational skills through songs and drama along with fun and games”. They also explained the salient features of educational web portal “Koodam” and how the teaching material and assignments are uploaded, to which both students and parents have access too.
Oh!! What an evening, it was not just talk; the audience were engaged through fun and games. While the adults actively participated in group discussion and children were busy in games.