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11 th International Conference -Seminar on Tamil Studies July 7-9, 2023 CHENNAI, INDIA

The International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) was established in the year 1964 by Fr. Xavier Thaninayagam with a view to see the word of Tamil echo in every nook and cranny of the world. It has become the authentic voice of the global Tamils. The organization has so far conducted ten International Conference Seminars on Tamil Studies (“Conference”) in different countries including Malaysia (3), India (3), France (1), Mauritius (1), Sri Lanka (1) and the USA(1) before this.

The Institute of Asian Studies (IAS) founded in 1982 is an academic centre with a global reputation. It is a collaborative venture of scholars from Japan and other Asian countries and works with renowned world centres like the UNESCO and others. In addition, it has many hundreds of rare publications to its credit on Tamil Studies.

These two organizations with laudable academic objectives joined together and organized the 11 th International Conference-Seminar on Tamil Studies, an event of global magnitude and character at the Sylvan campus of the Institute of Asian Studies in Chennai from 7 th to 9 th July 2023.

More than 210 research scholars in addition to 20 experts on various aspects of Tamil Studies from more than 20 different countries including France, America, Germany, Britain, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Russia and Mauritius assembled together to present in person, share their research work and participate in a healthy dialogue on the multifarious aspects of the rich Tamil heritage covering the history of Tamils, Tamil Language, Literature, Culture and Civilization.

The inaugural function marked a very grand event with fantastic artistic performances of artists proficient in both classical and folk varieties from various parts of Tamil Nadu. The presence of Diplomats from Korea, Russia, Japan and other countries along with the Ministers, members of Parliament and legislative assembly and the good speeches delivered by them very much enriched the event. A statue of Thiruvalluvar, the universal bard from Tamil Nadu, was also unveiled as one of the premier events of this global programme.

Both the Plenary sessions and Parallel sessions present very valuable academic discussions hitherto unheard. Parallel sessions were held in seven different venues inside the campus of the Institute of Asian Studies.

The cultural programmes were rich feasts to the ear and eyes and the variety of delicious dishes served during breakfast, lunch and dinner speak volumes about the art of cooking of the Tamils from a hoary past to the present age. The book exhibition and the release of nearly 70 new books at a single function were indeed wonderful.

The nice hospitality extended by the organizers and the very effective academic interactions with many scholars from many countries on varied topics remains green in the minds of all participants. The main theme of the conference was “Reconstructing the history of the Tamil race, Tamil language, Tamil Literature, Tamil Culture and Tamil civilization drawing on the evolving archaeological findings, genetic studies, linguistic relations, literary and cultural history and the history of world civilization”.

The deliberations of the conference give hope to all participants that all the great visions of the founders of the IATR will be translated into reality in the days to come and the subsequent conferences to be organized in different countries.

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