The Sweet Salt Of Tamil – Tho Paramasivan


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What does Tamil taste like?

With a history of three millennia and spoken by 90 million people today, Tamil is at once ancient and modern. It is the oldest surviving language of the world. How is this Dravidian tongue different from other languages that look towards Sanskrit? Why was black the ideal of beauty for Tamils? Why do they not care for Deepavali? Why is the god Siva different from the North Indian Shiva? How does ‘curry’ trace its roots to the Tamil kari? When was the first idli made?

A verse in the Thirukkural says: ‘The right salt brings out love’s sweetness/ It kills the taste when less or in excess.’ Adding a dash of salt to Tamil’s sweetness, Tho Paramasivan, the greatest chronicler of all things Tamil, tells us the things we do not know about Tamil country.


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