SINGAPORE - This year's month-long Tamil Language Festival has something planned for everyone.
Launched last Saturday by Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and for Trade and Industry, the event will include a series of literary, oratorical and cultural programmes to get Indians to embrace their mother tongue and use it in their daily lives.
"Through this outreach, we want to reach everyone as there is something for all to enjoy and learn," said Mr R. Rajaram, chairman of the Tamil Language Council. "These activities are also excellent opportunities for the community to immerse themselves in an environment where Tamil is spoken and heard."
As part of this year's festival, which runs until April 27, the National Heritage Board has organised a writing competition named Arte(Factually) Speaking.
Students and the general public are invited to pen short stories in Tamil, based on artefacts in the board's collection.
Schools have also come on board with programmes run by students for students. For instance, Yishun Junior College will hold a pre-university seminar on Tamil language and literature on April 12.
To drum up buzz for the event, 50 volunteers dressed in grey T-shirts went around Little India last Sunday from 10am to noon. They visited shops, temples and eateries to distribute colourful fliers and put up posters with information on this year's festival.
The Tamil Language Council has been organising the festival, which urges the community to "love Tamil, speak Tamil", since 2007. Its partner organisations this year include the Singapore Indian Association and the Association of Singapore Tamil Writers.
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