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The Tamil Brahmin Culture - one opinion (borrowed)

prasad1

Well-known member
In another thread, there was the talk of preserving "tamil Brahmin Culture", but no mention of any cultural item.
My repeated query about a particular piece of cultural activity, no one could describe one.

The Hindu religion is dominant among the people. They worship Shiva, Vishnu, Vinayaka and a number of other major gods. They have minor deities too. They also worship the Mother Goddess traditionally and through honoring local or minor goddesses called ammans. They do this through daily prayer known as puja. They believe largely in superstitious practices. Only a minority are Christian or Muslim.

Sages are highly thought of among the people. Ancient folklore speaks of Agastya, the heaviest sage, who had to move south in order to balance the weight of the earth. It had been sinking due to the weight of wisdom of the gathered sages. During his travels, it is said that he brought water taken from the Ganges River, which is considered sacred. But a crow tipped over the pot of water that he was bringing and it formed the Kaveri River, which is now also considered sacred in India.

These Brahmin people also have a lot of superstitions that affect their daily lives and rites of passage. For example, pregnant women are not allowed to cross rivers or climb hills. They receive gifts of bangles from the family of their husband when they reach their seventh month of pregnancy. There are also elaborate ceremonies for shaving the head of and naming the baby, once he is born. Women at the point of puberty are celebrated through a fest.

When it comes to death, they also have a unique set of beliefs. They are not allowed to refer to dead people as dead. Instead, they are believed to have moved into Shiva's realm, or to wherever it is that they go when they die. Burial is not practiced among those of higher social standing. Instead, they prefer cremation. Before the funeral, a corpse is washed, perfumed and dressed in smart or brand-new clothes. Every anniversary of the death of a family member, the relatives are required to gather, feed the poor, and give gifts to priests.

Matrilineal ties are given importance. Marriage between cousins is permitted and often practiced. They marry within their caste, and the bride's family pays for a dowry and all the wedding expenses. Wedding rites usually included a sacred fire, throwing rice, blowing conch shells, and colored water.

Their hello and goodbye greetings are patterned after the Hindu namaskar. This involves joining palms. They are hospitable people who entertain guests with food and coffee and tell them to return once they say goodbye.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JAMES GUNASEELAN
James Gunaseelan is an expert on tamil brahmin http://www.brahminsmatrimony.com/agebrowse/all/Iyer/all marriages. To find out more about the topic, check out his articles online.

 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
Dear Prasad,

In the current scenario, there is no cultural item which can be claimed as distinctly identifying Tamil Brahmins.

Perhaps you are attempting to retrieve something from Tamil Nadu as Tamil Brahmin culture. My best wishes for your success.

Even the Tamil language is not ours.

Our forefathers spoke Sanskrit.

Tamil Nadu is not our roots nor origin.

We cannot claim Tamil Nadu as our belonging. We have made ourselves belong to Tamil Nadu. We have made Tamil Nadu our state of domicility. there is nothing wrong. We have to belong somewhere. we have mingled with tamil-speaking group. we speak tamil with an accent and dialect our own.

We celebrate pongal together with other tamilians. but pongal festival is not ours, it is not our belonging.

We celebrate New Year on 1st of tamil month chithirai. 1st of Chithirai is Tamil New Year. It is not Tamil Brahmin New Year. We do not know which is the 1st day in Brahmin Calendar since we lost our calendar.

However there is absolutely nothing wrong in observing Tamil New Year. There is absolutely nothing wrong in observing anything that is Tamil, that belongs to Tamil Nadu, that belongs to the people to whom Tamil Nadu belongs.

We have made Tamil identity our own.

All of us brahmins, Telugu brahmins, Kannada brahmins, Malayalam brahmins, Marathi brahmins, Bengali Brahmins, UP Brahmins, Kashmiri brahmins etc etc were ONE, many centuries ago. Our forefathers were one.

We lost our roots, our original identity.

We have adopted others' identity as our own.

For example Murugan is strictly Tamil God. But Tamil Brahmins also worship Murugan. This again is not wrong. Tamil Brahmins have the liberty to worship any god. kaliamman, mariyamman, are not goddesses whom our forefathers worshipped. but there is nothing wrong if tamil brahmins can also worship these goddesses. tamil brahmins are not forbidden from worshipping tamilians' gods and goddesses. There is no sanskrit text to worship Murugan except Subrahmanya ashtothram. Sashti Kavacham is Tamil, by Tamilians.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
 

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