TWO renowned poets from south India were among those present at the inaugural International Tamil Poetry Festival held in Ipoh recently.
T. Thayumanavan, 63, and P. Poongundran, 60, from Chennai, have published books which are being used as text references in Tamil Naidu government schools and universities.
Their poetry books are also very popular among the south Indian community residing in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States.
Thayumanavan said his grandfather, Marai Malai Adigal, was a renowned poet whose textbooks are being used in Malaysia for the Tamil syllabus at primary and secondary schools as well as universities.
“I have published four Tamil poetry books so far,” he said after the event was launched by MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel at the Teachers Training Institute in Hulu Kinta.
Over 500 poets from Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar participated in the two-day event organised by Ipoh Mutamil Pavalar Association.
Poongundran, who is an etymology expert and editor of linguistic magazine Thenmozhi, said he always emphasised on the importance of using pure Tamil words in his works.
“My father, Perunjittaranar, is also a renowned poet whose books are being used in Malaysia, especially in the teacher’s training colleges and universities for Tamil studies,” he added.
P. Ilamaran, 70, a poet from Singapore, has published 12 books and also composed devotional Hindu songs that are very commonly used during Thaipusam in Batu Caves and Penang.
Malaysian poet Dr Murasu Nedumaran, 78, from Klang, said he has written Tamil literature textbooks, Tamil poems and about the history of Tamils in Malaysia.
His textbooks and Tamil poems are used for the SPM syllabus.
The event’s working committee member P. Premah, who is also the Perak Wanita MIC chief said, this was the first time such an international poetry event was held in the country.
“A similar event is expected to be held in India in 2017.
“This is a good platform to get all the well-known poets worldwide, and to get better insights into poetry,” she added.