As part of Tamil Heritage Month, Tamil public school students shared their rich culture, including Thai Pongal, a three-day harvest festival typically observed in mid-January.
“It’s really cool knowing your history and where you’re from and the past and all about your Tamil culture because it’s very different to what we live in right now,” one student explained on a video released by the York Region District School Board (YRDSB). “The Tamil language itself is known to have a rich history and is actually known as one of the longest-surviving languages on earth,” another student said.
Tamil students from Middlefield Collegiate Institute, Milliken Mills High School, and Cedarwood Public, Stonebridge and Wilclay Public Schools share what it means to them to celebrate Tamil Heritage Month and their heritage in the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5FAMfLO_iQ&feature=youtube.
The YRDSB hosted a series of events throughout January to celebrate Tamil Heritage Month, which was adopted by the federal government in 2016 to celebrate the contributions of Tamil Canadians to Canada’s social, economic, political and cultural fabrics. Canada is home to one of the largest Tamil diasporas in the world.
YRDSB events included school assemblies and workshops on Tamil heritage, a research project by students in Grades 4 to 11 designed to help other students and staff learn about their rich history and contributions, and Thai Pongal celebrations with the Markham Tamil Organization, Tamil student associations and Whitchurch-Stouffville’s Tamil community.
“These events and learning opportunities help our students share their pride in their heritage and help us to build inclusive environments where they know their identities are respected and celebrated,” says teacher liaison Initha Subramaniam.
Screenshot from Tamil Heritage Month video released by the York Region District School Board.