Wiki Workshop – Oct 2022

Wiki-workshop after February 2022 was held on 12th October 2022 at TRVS building in Rommen, Oslo

The working group for the project, Et mangfold av historier – norsk-timelines historie (A diversity of stories: Norwegian-Tamil history) on Lokalhistoriewiki.no at the National Library of Norway invited Tamil organisations in Oslo and the surrounding area to engage and motivate their members to participate in this effort. It was requested to contribute to documenting and preserving, which will become a valuable and rewarding cultural heritage for both the Tamil community and common society in Norway for the present and future.

Image: PowerPoint Presentation (Wiki team, 12.10.2022)

The program of the day was planned to be:

  • 18:00: welcome and short presentation of the wiki team.
  • 18:05: presentation of the project.
  • 18:10 – 20:00: planning and writing encyclopedia articles or memory narratives (minnefortelling).
  • 19:00-20:00: follow writers who want to write memory narratives to the senior’s get-together activity (eldretreff) at TRVS and set up the writing process.
  • 20:00-20:30: present the work done so far with food and drink.
    Participants get a wiki shopping net at the end of the wiki workshop.

Salute to the seniors of the Tamil Diaspora

Compared to other wiki workshops since the summer of 2021, unfortunately, there were no participants for this wiki workshop. This also tells how much the history of the Tamil Diaspora is endangered due to the lack of priority for documentation of the Tamil Diaspora. However, the visiting session to the activity of the senior’s get-together was turned into an information meeting about the wiki project.

Photos: Wiki team (12.10.2022)

The information meeting brought how important the history of the seniors is to their attention. The history of the seniors acts as a bridge between our roots and the new/future generations in Norway. The information meeting did also create a space for productive and healthy discussion. The seniors brought up a variety of questions and perspectives about the wiki project, the state of documentation of the Tamil Diaspora in Norway and earlier work on documentation of Tamil migration history in Norway. The meeting opened an opportunity to understand and enlighten the difference between “documentation” (அவணப்படுத்தல்) and media production/ journalism (ஊடகத் தயாரிப்பு).

Since Tamils are familiar with book and library traditions, documentation and archives are a new phenomenon and distant for Tamil society. However, Tamil migration history has been documented in the form of Tamil diasporic newspapers, books, magazines, anniversary booklets and other media productions. On the other hand, the act of documentation of various social processes where Tamils interact with Tamil diasporic organisations has, most of the time, been happening unconsciously and in serendipity. The documents of their interaction, such as meeting minutes, might be created for administrative purposes by the Tamil organizations. But they are normally done with a short-term mindset. So, there is an urgent need for conscious documentation of social interactions with a long-term preservation mindset.

There was great joy among the seniors who felt their diversity of history seen, heard, and recognized. At the end of the wiki workshop, the seniors got a shopping net with the logos of Lokalhistoriewiki.no and Snowflakepalmyra. It was a symbolic gift for the diasporic history that seniors have created in Norway. The leader of the activity of the senior’s get-together and the participants have warmly invited the wiki team to re-visit in future wiki workshops.

Purpose of wiki-workshop

Motivate self-documentation of:

  • Memories
  • Experiences
  • Events
  • Travels
  • Processes
  • Developments
  • Changes
  • Roots
  • Tradition, history, culture
  • Local and historic narratives

Why is self-documentation important?

There are:

  • no documentation that shows a continuity of Tamil migration history in Norway
  • lack of documentation of social interactions at Tamil organisations
  • lack of access to the documentation at Tamil organisations
  • lack of archives after Tamil organisations at Norwegian archives and libraries that can give a representative image of the Tamil migration history in Norway
  • fragmented documentation at Tamil organisations
Image: PowerPoint Presentation (Wiki team, 12.10.2022)

Importance of wiki-workshop for self-documentation

The first generation of migrated Tamils is the starting point for the migration history of Tamils. They are also the source for the internationally known identity as the “Tamil Diaspora”. Their history is the origin and base for information, evidence, memory, identity, and cultural heritage of the Tamil diaspora in Norway and worldwide. They are the fundament of the identity of second, third and future generations in various countries. They are the living answers to the question of “who we are”. When there is a lack of documentation of social interactions at Tamil diasporic organisations, self-documentation becomes even more necessary. The result of a successful self-documentation and the consequence of a lack of self-documentation will be visible in long term. A lack of documentation or no documentation in present will lead to a status of lost identity when the future generation starts to search for information and evidence for their roots in Norway.

Cooperation for a long-term purpose

The working team for the Tamil project at Lokalhistoriewiki.no is planning to arrange a wiki workshop once a month. The working team has created a platform for self-documentation of the Tamil Diaspora in Norway. The team is humbly requesting the Tamil society and the Tamil organizations in Norway, which have an organisational authority to cooperate to arrange:

  1. information meeting about the wiki project with their board (virtual meeting 30 min-1 hour)
  2. physical wiki workshop with a social get-together where we gather writers to write articles. Writers can be young or adults who can write in Norwegian. (approx. 3-4 hours physical wiki workshop)

You are possessing a valuable history! We hope you will contribute to documenting and passing it on to future generations.

More info:

“Et mangfold av historier: norsk-tamilenes historier” (A diversity of stories: Norwegian-Tamil history) at Lokalhistoriewiki.no: https://lokalhistoriewiki.no/wiki/Forside:Tamilsk_historie_og_kultur

About the project and its activities and development at Diaspora Tamil Archives:


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