TAMIL CULTURE AND TRADITION
Tamils have a great tradition of heritage and culture that developed over 2000 years and still continues to flourish. This great cultural heritage evolved through the rule of dynasties that ruled the state during various phases of history in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India. The rise and fall of a number of dynasties and empires in Tamil Nadu had influenced the magnificent temples, sculptures, architecture, dance forms, art and literature. In this Program, we are presenting the influence of various dynasties on Tamil culture and heritage. For this program, we always interview Tamil pundits.
Tamil literature has a rich and long literary tradition spanning more than two thousand years. The oldest extant works show signs of maturity indicating an even longer period of evolution. Contributors to the Tamil literature are mainly from Tamil people from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lankan Tamils from Sri Lanka and from Tamil Diasporas. The history of Tamil literature follows the history of Tamil Nadu, closely following the social, religious and political trends of various periods. The secular nature of the early Sangam poetry gave way to works of religious and didactic nature during the middle ages. A revival of Tamil literature took place from the late nineteenth century when works of religious and philosophical nature written in a style that made it easier for the common people to enjoy. Nationalist poets began to utilize the power of poetry in influencing the masses. In this Program, we present the social, political and religious trends of various periods portrayed in the Tamil literature. Currently we are dealing with Silapathigaram, one of the epics of Tamil literature. For this program, we always interview Tamil pundits.
We interview children of the listeners. Every year we choose a particular district of Tamil Nadu Region. We ask them about their performance in their studies, about their skills and talents. This is creating a healthy competitive spirit among children, when a particular student is singing well or delivering a speech very well. This program brings the whole family to listen to our Veritas programs. All those children who participate in this program are given prizes during our annual listeners’ meeting. From 2010 January onwards, Sri Lankan Tamil children will participate in this program.
MAIL BOX PROGRAMS
We have two mail box programs, one every Tuesday evening, and another every Wednesday evening. On Tuesday evenings, we read the comments of our listeners about our programs. We are always happy to know that they really benefit from our programs. In their letters, some listeners write about their petitions. So this program is always followed by special prayers for our listeners. On Wednesday, we read the creative productions of our listeners like poetry, personal thoughts, jokes, medicinal use of different things and new particulars about different things around the world. We also have another mail box program followed by the productions of our listeners namely ‘Question and Answer’. In this program we answer the questions of our listeners.
LISTENERS IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS
We have nearly 60 listeners club in our main target areas namely Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. We are not only able to assess the number of listeners correctly in the target areas since many people have lost the habit of writing but they always listen to our programs. In 2008, we have received 14, 605 letters from the listeners. These clubs in the target areas are doing so many charitable works. They send us the reports about their activities. We always read their reports. It is an encouragement for the other listeners too. Usually, the clubs help the school going children. Sometimes they also get involved in the relief work, if there is a natural disaster.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF GREAT PEOPLE
In this program, we interview people who are contributing a lot in different fields of human endeavor like music, drama, medicine, science, writing etc. The young people always get encouraged to listen to nice stories of their achievements. This year, we have interviewed so many great people. Sometimes we invite them to our annual listeners’ meeting.
LET US SAVE OUR HEALTH
It is a health awareness program. We always interview doctors on different health issues. The listeners also participate in the program by clarifying their doubts over phone to the doctors. Usually, one interview will last for a few weeks.
Dr.Kanagarai – Use of herbal medicine in our daily lives.
Dr.Srinivasan- On diabetic diet using herbal medical system
Dr.Sumathi- On diseases concerning only women
Dr.Kartheeban- On orthopedic treatment
Dr.lakshiman- On drinking and smoking habits
Dr.Ellearasi- On physiotherapy
GLORY TO WOMANHOOD
In Tamil society, gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem. Traditional patriarchal norms have relegated women to secondary status within the household and workplace. This drastically affects women’s health, financial status, education and political involvement. In Tamil society, women are commonly married young, quickly become mothers, and are then burdened by stringent domestic and financial responsibilities. They are frequently malnourished since women typically are the last member of a household to eat and the last receive medical attention. Women receive little schooling and also suffer from unfair and biased inheritance and divorce laws. These laws prevent women from accumulating substantial financial assets, making it difficult for women to establish their own security and autonomy. In the current year, we have been dealing with the above issues. For some issues, we have interviewed women activists. In the coming year-2010, we would like to concentrate on Media and its impact on women and Laws that protect the rights of women.
BRIDGE OF LOVE
It was the most famous and useful program some eight years ago during the height of the ethnic war in Sri Lanka. This program helped the displaced people to communicate with each other. Now we mainly focus on family relationships namely relationship between husband and wife, between parents and children, between families etc.
TOURING AROUND THE WORLD
In this program, we take up a particular art, an issue or profession and explain its global or regional impact on the lives of the people. In 2008, we explained the history of Tamil music and this year we have been presenting on Tamil cinema and its impact on the people. The cinema politics nexus in Tamil Nadu, for instance is quite interesting. All five chief ministers who have governed Tamil Nadu since 1967 have been associated with cinema. The immense popularity of film as an entertainment form and its emergence in Tamil Nadu as a major cultural preoccupation underscores the significance of the role of audio- visual communication in Tamil society. Our critical analysis of Tamil movies and the social impact of Tamil cinema on their lives are very interesting and useful, according to our listeners.
In this program, we always take up a hot political issue of the week. In our analysis, we do not make any compromise with any political parties and any political leaders. Though our listeners are belonging to different political parties, they very much appreciate this program because they know very well that we are neutral in our position. In the past, we gave more importance to Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. Now we take up any issue concerning regional, national and international politics.
IN SEARCH OF LIGHT
The program dramatizes biblical events and stories. Last year they dramatized Old Testament and stories. This year, they are dramatizing the teachings and parables of Jesus. This drama directly brings the knowledge about Jesus to the listeners. Recently this program has been divided into two parts, in the second part; there is a skit of application.
WHERE ARE WE MARCHING?
It is a drama on human values like forgiveness, love, justice, humility. This drama always ends with a short reflection. Though the dramas end with a positive note, the opposite values that create conflict in the human relationships are developed interestingly in the plot of the drama.
EXPERIENCE AND SCENE
This drama is divided into two parts. In this program, people belonging to different walks of life are interviewed where they may share a problem regarding work and family. In the second part of the program, that problem will be developed as a script and dramatized.
This is a social and political drama. Mostly they deal with current events.
The structure of the liturgy as follows:
Introduction to the readings
Reading of the gospel
Narrating one bible story
ANALYSIS OF WEEKLY EVENTS
In this program, we take up the important events of the particular week from news papers and magazines and give our analysis about them. Since we use colloquial language and talk satirically, this program is attracting so many listeners. Usually we choose five events. At the end of the analysis of each event, we play a song for a minute related to the event.
In order to promote inter-religious dialogue, RVA Tamil service always presents special programs during the major festivals of both Hindu and Islam religions. We also present special programs during the national days of Indian people such as Independence day, republic day etc. In a year, totally, we present about 30 special programs wherein we interview people and the listeners also get to participate by asking questions.