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Tamil Heritage Month - January 2024

Categories: News

Tamil Heritage Month is proudly recognized during the month of January at TDSB since January 2016.  It has also been marked across the province of Ontario since March 2004 with the implementation of the Tamil Heritage Month Act, 2014.  Further, Tamil Heritage Month is also formally recognized nationally since January 2016 by the passing of a motion which reads,

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the contributions that Tamil-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Tamil language and culture, and the importance of educating and reflecting upon Tamil heritage for future generations by declaring January, every year, Tamil Heritage Month.

This year, the theme for Tamil Heritage Month is Our Memories, Our Truths, Our Paths Forward: A Mosaic of Tamil Identity 

இந்த ஆண்டின் தமிழ் மரபு மாதத்திற்கான கருப்பொருள், "எங்கள் நினைவுகள், நமது உண்மைகள், நமது முன்னோக்கி செல்ல வேண்டிய பாதைகள்: தமிழர் அடையாளம்”.

Memories play an integral role in how we shape our stories and our identities. They are what we tell ourselves about who we are, and they form the basis for how people know us as well as how we perceive and know the world around us. Memories also shape our truths, and it is with our memories and truths in mind that we set goals for ourselves and move forward, individually, and collectively as a group of people. 

As a board, the Toronto District School Board is committed to affirming identities, and to teaching and learning about the various stories and viewpoints of all its members. This year’s Tamil Heritage Month theme is a reminder to pause and reflect on our memories and narratives, to consider how they shape us individually, and to look at ways that we can come together to honour and celebrate our individuality while moving forward with our collective humanity in mind.

Toronto has the largest Tamil population outside of the South Asian subcontinent with thousands of TDSB students and staff members who identify as Tamil. The importance of building awareness, creating a strong self and collective identities, and understanding one's own roots and rights are important objectives of the Tamil Heritage Month volunteer planning committee.

To mark Tamil Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board in January, various educational opportunities will be offered to students to learn about the history, culture, and traditions. Recently all students from the Toronto District School Board were invited to submit an image that reflect this year’s theme to a Poster Challenge.  Three winning selections were made, and we’re delighted to shared them with you below. We are also sharing a video of the Tamil Heritage Month Celebration event held at Fleming Public School. Enjoy!

For further information about Tamil Heritage Month, please follow us on twitter/X to learn interesting facts on Tamil customs and traditions and explore what students have to say in their own words about the Tamil heritage:  @TDSB_Tamil 

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