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Maraimalai Adigal did extensive research on the date of Thiruvalluvar. While
presiding over the Thiruvalluvar Day conference of Thiruvalluvar
Kazhagam held on 18 Jan 1935, he declared that Thiruvalluvar was born 30 years
before the birth of Jesus and suggested Tamils to keep the Tamil Calender with
this as the reference. His suggestion that the Tamil Thiruvalluvar year can be
obtained by adding 31 years to the Christian Calender is being followed since then.
"There is no doubt that the culture of the Tamils belongs to the great and immortal treasures of the world's civilisation..." Czech Professor Dr. Kamil.V. Zvelebil
Tamil culture is a culture of great antiquity and it has made, and will continue to make, a rich contribution to world civilisation. That is not to say, Tamils have not gained, and continue to gain, by their interaction with other peoples and other cultures - particularly those of the Indian sub continent. No people are an island unto themselves. The Tamil people are not chauvinists and the words of the Tamil poet Kanniyan Poongundran in Purananuru (Poem 196), written two thousand years, continue to direct and influence:
|To us all towns are one, all men our
Life's good comes not form others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Death's no new thing; nor do our bosoms thrill
When Joyous life seems like a luscious draught.
When grieved, we patient suffer; for, we deem
This much - praised life of ours a fragile raft
Borne down the waters of some mountain stream
That o'er huge boulders roaring seeks the plain
Tho' storms with lightnings' flash from darken'd skies
Descend, the raft goes on as fates ordain.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise ! -
We marvel not at greatness of the great;
Still less despise we men of low estate.
- English Translation by Rev. G.U.Pope in Tamil Heroic Poems:
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