Friday, August 28, 2009

LoSIng My IDEntiTy


Its been a long time since ive updated this blog. A lot of things have happen this days. Our Hindraf leader is released from ISA and established new party. Hmmm... Coming to the main point why im writing today. Its about our major problem which is speaking our mother tongue 'Tamil'. Everything is developing in our country now except the mentality of our Indians.
Many Indian Malaysians who know their mother tongue seem to be almost embarrassed to speak the language especially in the presence of other Malaysians. This small looking problem is a major problem actually, people who cant speak their own mother tongue is more likely ignoring their own mother. But if we go to the root of this problem ,the main cause of this problem is our parents and ancestors also. Our own race itself. Most of the parents now days wont encourage their children to learn Tamil,but they always ask them to learn English,Mandarin and Malay so they can mingle around with other races easily.

I once asked a fellow Malayalee girl who is my classmate, how come she could not speak her language? She told me that “My father said learning Malayalam or Tamil is not going to bring any economic benefits at all to me so I would be better off learning English,” was her reply. Her father was on to something because I hear the same reason being given by parents who only speak English to their children. What is the point of learning your mother tongue? It’s English, Malay and Mandarin that you need to get by in this world. This scenario is played out in many urban middle class homes of Indian Malaysians. It seems to me the better educated and the richer the Indian Malaysian is, the more they distances their selves from their mother tongue.

Has it come to this for us Indian Malaysians? Because there is no economic value to our mother tongue so let us dump it? On the same argument, if there is no economic value in us remaining Hindus or Sikhs etc so it is better we dump it for any religion that will give us an economic uplift? Anything about us is for sale as long as it brings economic benefits?
Why don't we change our religion to other religion that will give us more benefits rather than being a Hindu? With this kind of mentality we wont go far and at last there will be a museum to show our future children who is Indian,Tamilan and etc.

Not many of us realize that we are killing our own identity just to survive. Does a language become marketable on its own. We are the one should make it marketable, not others. If we still insisting to talk in our own mother language then we are no more INDIANS. Even my lecturer also talk about this to me. Even thought she is a Malay, but ask me to talk in Tamil.She told me that 'who else will revive your own language if not you'. She also told me that one of the tried and tested ways a dominant power tries to overpower the weaker subjects is to try to take away its language and culture so that the people can be easily molded into whatever the dominant party wants them to be.

When we loose our mother tongue it is just the first phase in losing our culture and our identity. But some of us aren’t too bothered about all this. Even our well known poet Vairamuthu once talked about a language in the Andaman Nicobar Islands, where there were only four speakers of the language left. When those four eventually die, that language would die with them. That he said is a tragedy. But the greater tragedy is when the people of a language are still around and yet despite that, the language dies because no one is able to speak it anymore, he said.It is up to us to see that the greater language tragedy that Vairamuthu talked about does not happen to us Indian Malaysians. But looking at the situation now i think this tragedy will happen soon in Malaysia. Better we change now than its too late. 'Valghe Thamilagam,Valghe Tamil Mozli

“If the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.” - quote attributed to Lord Macaulay, 1835

1 comment:

  1. uhm, hope the awareness will swell before the tragedy strikes us. if saving Tamil is just as simple as speaking the language with pride, that can be done in no time, if people wish to.
    the French famously described their language as one that can turn even dirt into beauty, but here we have a language which on its own is an instrument of beauty, charm and intelligence. let's just make the best out of Tamil and not forsake it. after all,without Tamil, we are just half a nation...


Blogger Templates by Blog Forum