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Tamils - the disappearing Singapore race.

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Tamils - the disappearing Singapore race.

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 7:24 am

One thing that seems to got lost in the debate over the levels of Subcons being allowed in is the effect it's had on the local Tamil community.

I started living here 20 years ago - in that time I had Tamil friends, a Tamil girlfriend and Tamil people were a visible part of the community. I was thinking about how few Tamil friends I have now.

I was discussing this with my last Tamil local friend last night - he remarked sadly - "we're the race that lost the race". He went on to explain that most, if not all, the subcons let in were not Tamils but from parts of India (and certainly not Sri Lanka - the Tamil homeland). He explained that there were some reasons for this - the Tamil community here had supported the Tigers to some extent and the community suspected that the PAP had simply abandoned them and then swamped them with "Indians" immigrants - claiming they were the same race as the Tamils - which he rejects.

I'd never really thought about this; but as he pointed out the local Tamil dialect, script and customs are not at all similar to the imported Subcons dialect, script or customs. His view is that the Tamils here are lost race and will disappear in a generation or two.

So when you here about the Malay community (still vibrant) or the Eurasian community (ok) being swamped by PRC's - spare a thought for the Tamils - they might look the same as the "new" Indians - but they're not Indians.

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Postby the lynx » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 9:07 am

Good time you pointed it out. I've been wondering where the Tamils have been. I've always known that the Singaporean Tamils make quite a significant number. In fact, where I come from, I had many Tamils friends and I picked up few Tamil lines, customs and even food. Tried few lines to impress some when I first arrived, just to realise that they speak Urdu instead!

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Postby morenangpinay » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:25 am

which race do the majority of singapore indians come from?

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:42 am

morenangpinay wrote:which race do the majority of singapore indians come from?


Majority of Singapore Indians come from the southern part of India. We dont have racial subclassification in India.

Tamil is not a race, its a language. In singapore the India community was very diverse and not just people from South India. So although they allowed to practise Tamil as the official language, there is no way they could logically create Tamil race. There is no such race and they had to do justice to the other non Tamil comunities in Singapore, like the Malayalees, Gujarati, Punjabis etc. They did the right thing by letting in all kinds of Indians from Subcon. Integration is a different matter. That issue exists with different communities of the PRCs as well. The local chinese are Han Chinese. They cannot just ristrict immigration to only Han Chinese from the Chinese community.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 1:07 pm

Wd40 wrote:
morenangpinay wrote:which race do the majority of singapore indians come from?


Majority of Singapore Indians come from the southern part of India. We dont have racial subclassification in India.

Tamil is not a race, its a language. In singapore the India community was very diverse and not just people from South India. So although they allowed to practise Tamil as the official language, there is no way they could logically create Tamil race. There is no such race and they had to do justice to the other non Tamil comunities in Singapore, like the Malayalees, Gujarati, Punjabis etc. They did the right thing by letting in all kinds of Indians from Subcon. Integration is a different matter. That issue exists with different communities of the PRCs as well. The local chinese are Han Chinese. They cannot just ristrict immigration to only Han Chinese from the Chinese community.


Nah, you use the caste system much more effectively. :-|

While Tamil is not a race and I'm not going to go back and rehash old ground, Most south eastern Indians seem to be of Dravidian stock. Tamil was probably the largest dialectic group in the days of the British here so that because the dominant language. However, as migration from there diminished (planned or otherwise) It's given rise to intermarriages (among Indians) and interracial (other races - like mine for example), thereby diluting those original families and continuing to do so. I'm am surprised that Tamil hasn't been forced to the side in favour of Hindi, but I suspect it will come in time.

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 1:32 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Nah, you use the caste system much more effectively. :-|

While Tamil is not a race and I'm not going to go back and rehash old ground, Most south eastern Indians seem to be of Dravidian stock. Tamil was probably the largest dialectic group in the days of the British here so that because the dominant language. However, as migration from there diminished (planned or otherwise) It's given rise to intermarriages (among Indians) and interracial (other races - like mine for example), thereby diluting those original families and continuing to do so. I'm am surprised that Tamil hasn't been forced to the side in favour of Hindi, but I suspect it will come in time.


Most likely not .. as post last election, the pro-tamil activities are being ramped up .. though that doesn't stop some of my 'northern' colleagues loudly saying the Vasantham channel is a uselses channel and simply should be shut down .. simply because the tamil content is so high and after all, there is enough Hindi channels on Cable ..

Which I don't agree and would never bother to argue with such 'superior' people .. plus the group I mentioned has often insisted that all Indians are better off with Hindi .. than Tamil .. or other languages .. and Hindi should be made a compulsory subject for "INDIANS" in Singapore .

I do see some interesting times ahead .. when the voters use their ballot to express their opinion ..

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 1:41 pm

ecureilx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Nah, you use the caste system much more effectively. :-|

While Tamil is not a race and I'm not going to go back and rehash old ground, Most south eastern Indians seem to be of Dravidian stock. Tamil was probably the largest dialectic group in the days of the British here so that because the dominant language. However, as migration from there diminished (planned or otherwise) It's given rise to intermarriages (among Indians) and interracial (other races - like mine for example), thereby diluting those original families and continuing to do so. I'm am surprised that Tamil hasn't been forced to the side in favour of Hindi, but I suspect it will come in time.


Most likely not .. as post last election, the pro-tamil activities are being ramped up .. though that doesn't stop some of my 'northern' colleagues loudly saying the Vasantham channel is a uselses channel and simply should be shut down .. simply because the tamil content is so high and after all, there is enough Hindi channels on Cable ..

Which I don't agree and would never bother to argue with such 'superior' people .. plus the group I mentioned has often insisted that all Indians are better off with Hindi .. than Tamil .. or other languages .. and Hindi should be made a compulsory subject for "INDIANS" in Singapore .

I do see some interesting times ahead .. when the voters use their ballot to express their opinion ..


Off topic, but indeed vasantham is a useless channel. Why the hell do they keep showing black and white movies from the 60s and 70s? Simply beats me man. Me thinks its propaganda to show India in the same light as it was in those decades, just like our dear SMS still thinks that caste system is the only thing that exists in India.

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 2:00 pm

Wd40 wrote:Off topic, but indeed vasantham is a useless channel. Why the hell do they keep showing black and white movies from the 60s and 70s? Simply beats me man. Me thinks its propaganda to show India in the same light as it was in those decades, just like our dear SMS still thinks that caste system is the only thing that exists in India.


So those talk shows, local talent shows etc. etc. are a waste of time as well ?

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 2:07 pm

ecureilx wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Off topic, but indeed vasantham is a useless channel. Why the hell do they keep showing black and white movies from the 60s and 70s? Simply beats me man. Me thinks its propaganda to show India in the same light as it was in those decades, just like our dear SMS still thinks that caste system is the only thing that exists in India.


So those talk shows, local talent shows etc. etc. are a waste of time as well ?


Well, whenever I turn on that channel, its either an MGR black and white movie or end of transmission. Seriously, even in Indian channels, you will never be able to watch these movies and Singaporeans supposedly are more modern than Indians? Then why show those movies?

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Postby the lynx » Fri, 11 Oct 2013 2:38 pm

So I guess the issue with Vasantham (in terms of 'declining' needs for Tamil language here) would be the same as the SMRT passenger service announcements (in Tamil)?

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Postby ecureilx » Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:03 pm

Wd40 wrote:Well, whenever I turn on that channel, its either an MGR black and white movie or end of transmission. Seriously, even in Indian channels, you will never be able to watch these movies and Singaporeans supposedly are more modern than Indians? Then why show those movies?


you see, people away from mother land. .. like those in Malaysia as well, prefer to see an occasional Old time movie ..

and you can't fill up the tv station with brand new movies... all the time .. especially when there is Sun and Vijay and all ..

Just because modern, does it mean you shouldn't see nostalgic movies ??

Well, you could write to the director of Vasantham and make a protest .. and see how it goes ;)

Lynx: Not likely, with the renewed efforts of the Govt to ensure Tamil survives .. though I can see the new residents are vocal in being anti tamil .. vs old Hindi speaking / other language speaking residents who didn't bother about it ..

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:24 pm

I get all three channels. My MiL speaks very little English.

If you think about it. Look at the popularity of the old Chinese films in dialect even today. Is there any difference?

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 14 Oct 2013 8:51 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I get all three channels. My MiL speaks very little English.

If you think about it. Look at the popularity of the old Chinese films in dialect even today. Is there any difference?


in summary .. new residents want to forget the past, and want to talk about 'now' and 'modern .. ' and 'advanced' etc. etc. .. while the older folks and long term residents do want to see nostalgic movies .. now .. that being a reason to ask to shut down a tamil channel.. that's a bit too much I guess ;)

was talking about this with some local friends, including chinese and malays .. and they love the Vasantham channel (thanks to the sub titles etc.. ) and don't fancy Sun/Zee/Sony .. and the likes .. so how ??

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Postby bloodhound123 » Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:05 pm

ecureilx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Nah, you use the caste system much more effectively. :-|

While Tamil is not a race and I'm not going to go back and rehash old ground, Most south eastern Indians seem to be of Dravidian stock. Tamil was probably the largest dialectic group in the days of the British here so that because the dominant language. However, as migration from there diminished (planned or otherwise) It's given rise to intermarriages (among Indians) and interracial (other races - like mine for example), thereby diluting those original families and continuing to do so. I'm am surprised that Tamil hasn't been forced to the side in favour of Hindi, but I suspect it will come in time.


Most likely not .. as post last election, the pro-tamil activities are being ramped up .. though that doesn't stop some of my 'northern' colleagues loudly saying the Vasantham channel is a uselses channel and simply should be shut down .. simply because the tamil content is so high and after all, there is enough Hindi channels on Cable ..

Which I don't agree and would never bother to argue with such 'superior' people .. plus the group I mentioned has often insisted that all Indians are better off with Hindi .. than Tamil .. or other languages .. and Hindi should be made a compulsory subject for "INDIANS" in Singapore .

I do see some interesting times ahead .. when the voters use their ballot to express their opinion ..


If Tamil were to pave way for Hindi as the official language in Singapore, that would be the worst thing to happen. Tamil->Hindi is NOT analogous to Hokkien->Mandarin or Cantonese->Mandarin. Cantonese, Hokkien are dialects, not languages in themselves. Tamil and Hindi are completely different languages. Hindi is a very new language whose root is in the Indo-Aryan and Tamil is a very old language with its roots in proto-Dravidian.

If social integration is of prime importance in the granting of PRships, most northern Indians should be out immediately. They can NEVER integrate with the local community here. They just cannot digest the fact that India can have languages other than Hindi and cuisines other than northern Indian. My Caucasian friends and colleagues seem to have a better hang of the intricacies in various languages and cultures in the Subcontinent than northern Indians. If you ask a Hindi speaking parent to send his kid for Tamil classes at gunpoint, he would prefer to be shot rather than send his kid for Tamil classes.

Even India could not enforce Hindi as the national language post-independence owing to backlashes from non-hindi speaking states. I have always voted for an Indian Union along the lines of European Union for better political and social stability in the region in the long run. Every language is getting sidelined in India - tamil, telugu, marathi etc. When Hindi was to be made compulsory as a 3rd language in non-hindi speaking states there was a proposal to introduce a non-hindi langauge as a 3rd language in Hindi speaking states, only to be shot down at its budding stage. I am an Indian Tamil and I can converse in 3 other Indian languages fluently. I spend time diving deep into every other language and culture in India trying not to construct preconceived notions, but this is not the reciprocation that I see from most northern Indians.

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Postby bloodhound123 » Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:16 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Wd40 wrote:
morenangpinay wrote:which race do the majority of singapore indians come from?


Majority of Singapore Indians come from the southern part of India. We dont have racial subclassification in India.

Tamil is not a race, its a language. In singapore the India community was very diverse and not just people from South India. So although they allowed to practise Tamil as the official language, there is no way they could logically create Tamil race. There is no such race and they had to do justice to the other non Tamil comunities in Singapore, like the Malayalees, Gujarati, Punjabis etc. They did the right thing by letting in all kinds of Indians from Subcon. Integration is a different matter. That issue exists with different communities of the PRCs as well. The local chinese are Han Chinese. They cannot just ristrict immigration to only Han Chinese from the Chinese community.


Nah, you use the caste system much more effectively. :-|

While Tamil is not a race and I'm not going to go back and rehash old ground, Most south eastern Indians seem to be of Dravidian stock. Tamil was probably the largest dialectic group in the days of the British here so that because the dominant language. However, as migration from there diminished (planned or otherwise) It's given rise to intermarriages (among Indians) and interracial (other races - like mine for example), thereby diluting those original families and continuing to do so. I'm am surprised that Tamil hasn't been forced to the side in favour of Hindi, but I suspect it will come in time.


SMS - I have mentioned this in another thread as well. Dravidian-Aryan is a not a racial divide, it is a cultural divide. The racial aspect of it was propagated by the European conquerors to reign supremacy in the region. The genetic variation is very homogeneous across the subcontinent. If northern Indians are Aryans, are they genetically closer to Germans?

The relations of Tamils in the Malaya peninsula dates back much earlier than the days of British presence here. They have been trading here for over 1000 years ( Indian Pernakans for eg is an evidence of that ) , the Cholas have conquered and ruled several islands in south-east Asia.

Several of the top cabinet ministers in Singapore are Tamil ( both of Sri Lankan and Indian descent). Tamil making way for Hindi may be hard to come by ( hope it doesnt happen ).


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