Kamban Kazhagam Australia is a community driven and not-for-profit Tamil volunteer organisation celebrating its 10th year since establishment. Over the past decade, the organisation has expanded with divisions in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. Kamban Kazhagam Australia is named after the legendary poet ‘Kamban’ and is dedicated to the learning and appreciation of his renowned literary works ‘Kamba Ramayanam’.
The Kamba Ramayanam is a treasured text and one of the greatest epics in Tamil literature. Written in the 9th Century in lyrical form, the significance of the Kamba Ramayanam stems from the unparalleled use of the Tamil language in capturing and conveying the story of Sri Rama. Adding further to its significance, key learnings from Tamil philosophy, religion and culture are woven seamlessly into the core story, making this epic the first of its kind in Tamil Literature. It is for this reason that to date, the author Kamban is hailed as ‘The Emperor among poets’.
Since its inception in 2006, Kamban Kazhagam Australia has strived to heighten awareness of the Kamba Ramayanam among both learned and new audiences. The organisation’s vision is to inspire and encourage all to consider the valuable teachings within this text, and by extension, develop a greater understanding of the Tamil language and values.
Honouring its vision, Kamban Kazhagam Australia has been holding annual programs embracing the three primary facets of the Tamil Langauage—Iyal (prose and verse), Isai (music) and Nadaham (theatrics). Through these means, the organisation has been showcasing learnings from Kamba Ramayanam in conjunction with concerts by esteemed artists worldwide. These efforts have enabled Kamban Kazhagam to significantly expand its membership and have led to a number of notable achievements. From October 2013, youth literature classes commenced where students delve into each chapter of the Kamba Ramayanam as well as other key related texts. These classes have resulted in 12 students (including those from interstate) conducting individual oratory performances on Kamba Ramayanam at recent events. Further to this, in October 2015 a youth competition ‘Vellum Sol’ was successfully launched and completed again in 2016. This competition requires youth teams to perform impromptu speeches from randomly selected Tamil words as well as phrases extracted from Kamba Ramayanam. It is noteworthy that the participants in this competition consisted of those not only from Kamban Kazagham itself, but also from various youth groups including university organisations and Tamil schools.
In its tenth year, Kamban Kazhagam Australia is aiming to further its reach with festivities in Sydney. This will consist of ‘Kamban Vizha’ (free event) to be held 21-23 October 2016 and fundraiser event ‘Gnana Velvi’ (oratory sessions by respected international speakers in Tamil Literature) 24-26 October 2016 at the Redgum Function Centre in Wentworthville, NSW.
Kamban Kazhagam is proud to announce that as part of the 2016 Kamban Tamil Literary Festival, a wholly youth production ‘Kalai Theri Arangam’ will be exhibited. This vibrant production will integrate all three facets of the Tamil Language (Iyal, Isai, Nadaham) in bringing to life nine scenes from the Kamba Ramayanam. The performance will also unite established artists from Melbourne and Sydney. It is an unmissable production and a sincere rendition that can be appreciated by all manner of audiences.
In addition to the above, the 2016 recipients of the ‘Maaruthi Viruthu’ and ‘Saandror Viruthu’ will also be announced at the Kamban Tamil Literary Festival. These awards are unique to the Kamban Kazhagam organisation. The ‘Maaruthi Viruthu’ is a prestigious annual award presented to the most inspiring individual for their contribution toward the development of Tamil locally and/or globally. Also an annual award, the ‘Saandror Viruthu’ is an opportunity to extend appreciation to an outstanding senior citizen for their tireless efforts to serve the Tamil community in Australia.
Kamba Ramayanam has stood the test of time proving its continued relevance in today’s world. It is undoubtedly a priceless gift to Tamil people as well as the broader community. Kamban Kazhagam’s 2016 festival is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this epic so please attend, donate and support this organisation’s milestone 10th year celebrations. Your support and donations toward Kamban Kazhagam Australia will ensure that future generations across the country continue to learn about and grow from Kamban’s exquisite literary works Kamba Ramayanam.