Records of today´s activities will become historical archives for the future. Here are a few examples of Tamil activities captured on Norwegian public platforms. Even though there are limited Tamil activities performed at Norwegian public platforms, it has a system that automatically captures records and generates historical archives. In contrast, there are overwhelming Tamil activities on private platforms. Unfortunately, because of the lack of an archive system, these activities get lost from any documentation or archive. And therefore no archive to preserve.
The records mentioned here convey another historical value. That is the activities of migrated Tamil women at Norwegian public platforms. These are both first and second-generation migrated Tamil women who have made Tamil art, music, culture and history known to the general public of Norway. The activities have broken the barriers and built bridges between cultures in a migrated country.
In the activities, these women have taken various roles in different kinds of projects. These projects have contributed to creating a collaborated Norwegian-Tamil society by preserving Tamil culture and respecting Norwegian culture.
Tamil women have coordinated projects, taken a lead role, been a co-star, supported and developed others as a coach or instructors. In parallel, some of them are having a private organisation to provide the society with art, culture and wellbeing. It is noteworthy to mention that these activities are in addition to their full-time job.
These activities are examples of Tamil activities at public platforms that are being captured for preservation. At the same time, activities at private platforms get lost from preservation for the future.
This does not mean that the overwhelming activities of Tamils at private platforms are any less important than the activities at public platforms. For instance, in this coronavirus pandemic, the activities and importance of organisations that provide social platforms for physical and mental activities, development and wellbeing become even more visible. Their voluntary service regardless of limited time, resources and capacity is remarkable and has a historical value.
So, the existence of record-keeping and archive systems makes a major difference in the survival of historical and cultural heritage for the future. The organisation archive is the one that can protect the continuity of the history of its surrounded society.
“The process of gathering the archival materials of an organisation is a job for the current committee. But giving the appropriate cooperation in the collection process is the responsibility of all former and contemporary members who hold the archival documents. Hence, those archival materials are properties of the organisation and the historical and cultural heritage of a society. It can be a consolation that this situation is also common for Norwegian voluntary organisations. Please do not forget that isolated archives at homes with no public access and use are equivalent to lost archive.”
“Koothu” is a traditional Tamil drama form. In 2010, it was performed for the first time at the Oslo Opera House in Norway. This was also the first time a Tamil performance was staged at the Oslo Opera House. The performance about “Global warming” was put together by musicians and dancers from Sri Lanka, students from Nordic Black Theater and students and teachers from Oslo Music and Culture school. Koothu was one of the elements in the one-week Tamil Opera Festival in Oslo.
According to Utrop, Vasuki Jayapalan, one of the initiators says that the cultural performance worked also on integration and developing understanding between Norway and Sri Lanka, as well as between Singhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Vasuki Jeyapalan has also her own organisation called Oslo Fine Arts Academy
Norwegian-Tamil girls from the dance institution Kala Saadhana participated at the TV2 television “Norske Talenter” (Norwegian Talents) competition. This is a fusion of Norwegian and Tamil culture conveying a message about equality. Choreographed by Kavitha Laxmi.
Likewise, other Tamil boys and girls, both representing an organisation and as individuals, have participated in this television competition.
Below is a screenshot of Aksaya performing at the semi-finals of the TV2 “Norske Talenter” competition in 2019. Choreographed by Thushya Amarasinkam who has the dance school NatyaVaruna – Dance Creations, Oslo.
“Aktive Kvinner på tur – fra hele verden” by Sathiaruby Sivaganesh. This article is from the book “Leve Lillomarka” (2019). It was published by Friends of Lillomarka to mark their 50th anniversary. Lillomarka is a part of the forest in Oslo. It is in the northeast of central Oslo. And Friends of Lillomarka is an association that works to protect, develop and take care of Lillomarka.
Sathiaruby Sivaganesh has the organisation, “Aktive kvinner” (active women), where she gives physical training for women with a migrated background in Oslo with cooperation with the Bjerke city district in Oslo.
In parallel, she gives aerobic classes at Tamil Resource and Counselling Centre in Oslo and at Noreel sports club (Tamil sports club). Under the coronavirus lockdown, she volunteered and initiated online aerobic classes from March to June, as well as training and walking tours in the Norwegian forest that continued in the summer holidays. And it still goes on. Even though the lockdown activity was started with women participants with a multi-cultural background, men became also active participants.
“Tyfonens Øye” by Kjell Kristensen Direction: Cliff A. Moustache Premiered on 5th April at Cafeteatret
«In “The Typhoon’s Eye”, a Tamil village leader and a deserted Sinhalese soldier experience a strange common destiny – they have to share a cell at a remote police station. Their perception of reality is very different – but still a larger, mutual understanding gradually emerges.
But around them, the irreconcilability and brutality are as strong as before, and the acts of war catch up with the two prisoners in a way they had not dreamed of…»
The performance is supported by playwright support from the Norwegian Art Council (Norsk Kulturråd).
Starring: Biniam Yhidego Khawar “Gomi” Sadiq Ali Djabbary Ahmed Tobasi Dance: Tamilini Sivalingam Music: Thiru Ganeshu & Aladin Abbas Set design: Karen Schønemann Lighting: Paulucci Araujo
Disclaimer: Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews. In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process that may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information on this website.