Tallahassee Tamil Mandram’s beginning can be traced to 2000 when Dr. Muthuswamy & Mrs. Karpagam and Bhanu & Somasundaram began organizing Tamil cultural programs that brought together Tamizh families (from India, Malaysia, Singapore and Srilanka) that lived in and around Tallahassee for an evening of activities and exchanges. The activities were scheduled around Tamil New Year’s Day (middle of April) and sow the seeds for the Tallahassee Tamil Mandram. The Mandram aims to unite people who love Tamil and encourages American-born children to learn and speak Tamil language. Every year we organize three functions. Pongal in January, New Year in April and Deepavali in October.
During the first two years the activities consisted mostly of inviting people to Dr. Swamy’s residence for food and chat. Then Drs. Usha and Namas Chandra started to teach Tallahassee Tamil children how to read and write Tamil language. Their Tamil Classes gave impetus to celebrate Tamil New Year Day with programs in Tamil performed by children and adults. During the last several years we have had children and adults singing songs (classical and contemporary) perform skits and drama. The children and adults also gave performances in India Association of Tallahassee’s (IATLH) Glimpses of India and Utsav. The programs ranged from recital of Aathichudi, story telling in Tamil, song recitals in Tamil, skit of Maha Kavi Bharathiyar’s Olipadaitha Kanninai song, Tamil drama “Punishing the Fraud”, Tamil Ramayanam drama, and Tamil Play Tenali Raman, etc.
Due to its surging popularity and the increase in the number of people participating and attending the programs, starting from 2006 we have moved it to public locations rather than celebrating it at Dr. Swamy’s residence. Starting in 2009 we have included Kolam (rice-flour drawing) competition and family picnic to our yearly programs. Mrs Mani Priya and Dr Manoharan have been very helpful in these activities.
Now the younger generation is actively taking part in the Tamil mandram activities including organizing and performing various activities.