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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.
 
Murugan is strictly a tamil god??

<no personal attacks allowed. refrain from posting such messages>
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
Dear Prasad,

In the current scenario, there is no cultural item which can be claimed as distinctly identifying Tamil Brahmins.
Thank you Gnana Sunyamji.
It takes a lot of guts and honesty to admit the facts.
But Truth can not be denied.
I agree that culture is all acquired.
It is local and time-bound. There is no originality in any culture.
There is no shame in adopting the local culture.
 

Aaryambal

New member
Of late I came across a very surprising blog regarding Brahmins. It said that Brahmins were originally Hebrews (Jews), they came from Israel, Sanskrit was derived from Hebrew language, most customs, traditions, deities are same and so on. Brahmins original religion is Judaism. There are quite some manuscripts available about their migration from Israel. These are being dug out in many parts of Tamilzhnaadu. Brahmins migrated to various parts of Bharat and adapted themselves to the native language with their own variations. Can someone can throw some more light on this matter?
 

renuka

Well-known member
Of late I came across a very surprising blog regarding Brahmins. It said that Brahmins were originally Hebrews (Jews), they came from Israel, Sanskrit was derived from Hebrew language, most customs, traditions, deities are same and so on. Brahmins original religion is Judaism. There are quite some manuscripts available about their migration from Israel. These are being dug out in many parts of Tamilzhnaadu. Brahmins migrated to various parts of Bharat and adapted themselves to the native language with their own variations. Can someone can throw some more light on this matter?
In Quora a Vishwanathan Gopalan was saying about Brahmins are a lost tribe of Jew etc and citing some DNA done etc and Jewish guy replied:
Andrew Gray, Jewish
Updated May 3, 2019 · Author has 408 answers and 72.5k answer views


Absolutely not - its a ridiculous claim.
They dont have any Jewish ancestry - the only similarity is probably in Religion - but Brahmin practice is radically different from Judaism - Idolatry is banned in Judaism - but as we know Hinduism has no such ban.
Brahmins are Indians, or South Asians; whereas Jews are West Asians - thats as far as the similarities go regarding genetics. Religiously Judaism may have some similarities - but then again many ancient religions were similar to Judaism therefore it would make sense Hinduism have a few similarities too. For eg. Zoroastrianism has more similarities with Judaism than Hinduism does with Judaism - this is because they are more older - communities would definitely have some systems of trade and functioning that worked similar to each other.
They are radically different peoples with very very different practices, cultures and beliefs.
Whatever others will tell you about some link between Jews and Brahmins - they are just coincidental in few families - BUT that can be explained by migration patterns - it does NOT equate to any link between Jews and Brahmins - absolutely NOT. It just says that Human beings in Asia have 0.1% common ancestry as opposed to 100% common ancestry.
Hinduism is NOT Judaism - Brahmins are NOT Jews. And they are NOT related - there is ZERO scientific proof.
Brahmins are the least similar to Jews, theres no question about it.
You can literally take any two religious groups, and bring up similarities between them and say “oh look! Group X is just like Group Y” and itll be horribly biased unless there are actual significant similarities such as origins, language and culture.
Brahmins traditionally dont study Torah, dont study Hebrew and are least bit interested in Israel or the Jewish people. I have only once met such a person but he was married to a Jewish woman and was seeking conversion - in that case its obvious why - but the rest millions of Brahmins in the world - none of them care.

 
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krish44

Well-known member
india had a jewish minority who were located in cochin and mumbai.

We had hindi film stars who were jews-David and Nadira.

Most jews emigrated to israel later and many regrettedtheir decision as they were discriminated there due to

their colour by white counter parts.
 

Aaryambal

New member
In Quora a Vishwanathan Gopalan was saying about Brahmins are a lost tribe of Jew etc and citing some DNA done etc and Jewish guy replied:
Andrew Gray, Jewish
Updated May 3, 2019 · Author has 408 answers and 72.5k answer views


Absolutely not - its a ridiculous claim.
They dont have any Jewish ancestry - the only similarity is probably in Religion - but Brahmin practice is radically different from Judaism - Idolatry is banned in Judaism - but as we know Hinduism has no such ban.
Brahmins are Indians, or South Asians; whereas Jews are West Asians - thats as far as the similarities go regarding genetics. Religiously Judaism may have some similarities - but then again many ancient religions were similar to Judaism therefore it would make sense Hinduism have a few similarities too. For eg. Zoroastrianism has more similarities with Judaism than Hinduism does with Judaism - this is because they are more older - communities would definitely have some systems of trade and functioning that worked similar to each other.
They are radically different peoples with very very different practices, cultures and beliefs.
Whatever others will tell you about some link between Jews and Brahmins - they are just coincidental in few families - BUT that can be explained by migration patterns - it does NOT equate to any link between Jews and Brahmins - absolutely NOT. It just says that Human beings in Asia have 0.1% common ancestry as opposed to 100% common ancestry.
Hinduism is NOT Judaism - Brahmins are NOT Jews. And they are NOT related - there is ZERO scientific proof.
Brahmins are the least similar to Jews, theres no question about it.
You can literally take any two religious groups, and bring up similarities between them and say “oh look! Group X is just like Group Y” and itll be horribly biased unless there are actual significant similarities such as origins, language and culture.
Brahmins traditionally dont study Torah, dont study Hebrew and are least bit interested in Israel or the Jewish people. I have only once met such a person but he was married to a Jewish woman and was seeking conversion - in that case its obvious why - but the rest millions of Brahmins in the world - none of them care.

Thank you for prompt reply and clarification.
 

mskmoorthy

Well-known member
This post is not directly related to the thread. I am unable to delete this post. This post may be relevant to the previous post but not to the topic of this thread. I apologize for the intrusion.

1) Jews in Kolkata https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Kolkata
(https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/15/asia/calcutta-india-jewish-community/index.html ) http://skidmorenews.com/new-blog/2017/11/16/a-community-of-memory-recalling-jewish-calcutta
2) Nissim Ezkekiel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissim_Ezekiel
Some historical context:
1) Remembering the Jewish refugee who composed the All India Radio signature tune https://qz.com/india/287319/remembering-the-jewish-refugee-who-composed-the-all-india-radio-caller-tune/

2) During WWII, Polish Refugees Found a Home in India
https://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/a-reunion-for-war-survivors-who-escaped-to-india/?_r=0
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
In the present day of the polarized world, Some Hindus and some Jews might perceive the Muslim as the common enemy. But the enemy's enemy does not make a good friend.

The jews customs and religion is very similar to Islam, there is nothing common between Brahmins and Jews.
Yes, Jews were persecuted all over the world. You must have read Shakspere, Jews were not welcome anywhere.
 

krish44

Well-known member
This post is not directly related to the thread. I am unable to delete this post. This post may be relevant to the previous post but not to the topic of this thread. I apologize for the intrusion.

1) Jews in Kolkata https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Kolkata
(https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/15/asia/calcutta-india-jewish-community/index.html ) http://skidmorenews.com/new-blog/2017/11/16/a-community-of-memory-recalling-jewish-calcutta
2) Nissim Ezkekiel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissim_Ezekiel
Some historical context:
1) Remembering the Jewish refugee who composed the All India Radio signature tune https://qz.com/india/287319/remembering-the-jewish-refugee-who-composed-the-all-india-radio-caller-tune/

2) During WWII, Polish Refugees Found a Home in India
https://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/a-reunion-for-war-survivors-who-escaped-to-india/?_r=0
Thanks . I did not know this.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
There is no doubt in my mind that I am a Tamil Brahmin. I am born in a family which has been living in this part of the Country for generations and my mother tongue is Tamil. Since my mother was from Coimbatore, I was born there. My father was born in Harpanahalli in Bellary District, now in Karnataka. My grand father settled down in Anantapur, where he retired as Deputy Collector. Though I have migrated to Karnataka, and living here for the past 53 years, we speak only Tamil in our house and communicate with others in Kannada or English, outside.
Culturally we follow the traditions of Tamil Brahmins. Of course, we celebrate all festivals of Kannada Brahmins also. Apart from Tamil Brahmins, both Aiyars and Aiyangars there is sizable population of Kannada Brahmins, who belong to Babburkamme, Havyaka, sects.Tulu speaking Shivalli Brahmins, Konkani speaking Goud Saraswath Brahmins, Telugu Speaking Molakanadu Brahmins and above all Sri Vaishnava Hebbar Aiyangars who speak Tamil with Kannada mix also live in this State. There is a particular Tamil Brahmin migrants called Sankethi who speak a mix of Sanskrit and Tamil live in Mysore.
All Brahmins are migrants but identified as Kannadikas. Brahmins learnt and enriched the language of the land where ever they had gone and settled.
They mixed themselves well with the local population without losing the identity of their roots.
This continues even now when they migrate to Countries abroad. That is our Culture.

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
 

krish44

Well-known member
Many of us claim to be tamil brahmin.

We are of tamil parentage and incidentally are brahmins due to our parentage.

I visit tamilnadu as my ancestors are from that place and nothing more.

I hardly visit temples as a matter of choice, nor practise any rituals or sport threads.

My comfort level in Hindi is far more than tamil.

I speak tamil with a lot of hindi thrown in between.

I prefe bachans" KBC and hindi music talent contest to sob tamil serials.

I suppose in another generation we will cease both to be tamil and brahmin[ due to inter mixing and marrying

inter caste.inter religion].

I hardly regret or feel I have lost anything much.

Ultimately we are human beings . Why have caste religion labels? .These only divide people and not unite.
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Nationality, Language or Religious and Caste groupings occur among the people due to social nececcity. Man or woman cannot live alone. We are part of the society in which we are born. For the sake of safety and convenience we have to associate ourselves with others, which may be any one of the groupings I have quoted above, in which we were born.

It is my view Caste is based of people belonging to a particular trade or Job that they engage to earn their livelyhood. This identity may not be indespensable once we come out of the traditional trade or job. This is what is happening today, when our children go out in search of employment in India and abroad.
These metamorphosis will affect our Social hirarchy based Education, Trade and Communication. No one can stop this.
The present generation of Tamil Brahmins (both boys and girls) exhibit freedom in their thinking, they try to explore new frontiers.of knowledge.
Let us encourage this reniescence among our younger generation.

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
Many of us claim to be tamil brahmin.

We are of tamil parentage and incidentally are brahmins due to our parentage.
……...
Ultimately we are human beings . Why have caste religion labels? .These only divide people and not unite.
Saner counsel prevails. Gratifies to learn.
 

GNANA SUNYAM

Active member
Nationality, Language or Religious and Caste groupings occur among the people due to social nececcity. Man or woman cannot live alone. We are part of the society in which we are born. For the sake of safety and convenience we have to associate ourselves with others, which may be any one of the groupings I have quoted above, in which we were born.

It is my view Caste is based of people belonging to a particular trade or Job that they engage to earn their livelyhood. This identity may not be indespensable once we come out of the traditional trade or job. This is what is happening today, when our children go out in search of employment in India and abroad.
These metamorphosis will affect our Social hirarchy based Education, Trade and Communication. No one can stop this.
The present generation of Tamil Brahmins (both boys and girls) exhibit freedom in their thinking, they try to explore new frontiers.of knowledge.
Let us encourage this reniescence among our younger generation.

Brahmanyan
Bangalore.
our forefathers were called brahmins because they renounced material pursuits sir.

the renaissance you have mentioned is success in material pursuits in my opinion sir.
 

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