Brahmin Tamil - Wikipedia
Take for instance plant names such as ketaki (Pandanous odorotissimus) ram), (Tamil yatu), hastin or karin (elephant) (descriptive term, meaning 'an animal interesting pan-Indian feature: the relationship between the caste structure and. However, generallyi use the specific caste name, such as paˉraiyar, or the term dalit, which has been chosen by activists reflecting their present self-definition and relationship between Vellalars (upper-caste non-Brahmin tamils) and lower. Oh it's pure Tamil. Athimber athai+anbar Normally it denotes “father's sisters husband and elsder sister husband”” Ammanji Amman+sai.
It has also been postulated that some exogamous families came together to form small divisions as a consequence of shared work experiences with, for example, a local Nambudiri or Nair chief. These groups then became an endogamous subdivision, in a similar manner to developments of subdivisions in other castes elsewhere.
Their claims illustrated that the desires and aspirations of self-promotion applied even at the very top of the community and this extended as far as each family refusing to admit that they had any peers in rank, although they would acknowledge those above and below them. The membership of these two subgroups was statistically insignificant, being a small fraction of 1 per cent of the regional population, but the example of aspirational behaviour which they set filtered through to the significant ranks below them.
These subdivisions might adopt a new name or remove themselves from any association with a ritually demeaning occupation in order to assist their aspirations.
Most significantly, they adopted hypergamy and would utilise the rituals of thalikettu kalyanam and sambandhamwhich constituted their traditional version of a marriage ceremony, in order to advance themselves by association with higher-ranked participants and also to disassociate themselves from their existing rank and those below. Nossiter has described its purpose at foundation as being " From its early years, when it was contending that the Nairs needed to join together if they were to become a political force, it argued that the caste members should cease referring to their traditional subdivisions and instead see themselves as a whole.
Census information thereafter appears to have become unreliable on the matter of the subdivisions, in part at least because of the NSS campaign to ensure that respondents did not provide the information requested of them.
The NSS also promoted marriage across the various divisions in a further attempt to promote caste cohesion, although in this instance it met with only limited success. Indeed, even in the s it was likely that cross-subdivision marriage was rare generally, and this was certainly the case in the Central Travancore area.
It is not, however, a solidary group, and, the efforts of the N. It did attempt to reassert its influence inwhen it established its own political party—the National Democratic Party—but this lasted only until It classifies some, such as the Illathu and Swaroopathu Nairs, as a forward caste but other sections, such as the Veluthedathu, Vilakkithala and Andhra Nairs, as Other Backward Classes.
Historical matrilineal system Tharavad A typical tharavad reproduced from Panikkar's article published in Capital and small letters represent females and males respectively. Supposing that the females A, B and C were dead and the oldest male member karnavan being d, if the male members t, k and others demanded partition, the property would be divided into three parts.
Nairs operated a matrilineal marumakkathayam joint family structure called tharavadwhereby descendant families of one common ancestress lived under a single roof. Tharavads consisting of 50 to 80 members were not uncommon and some with membership as high as have been reported.
Wiktionary:Requested entries (Hindi)/Multilingual list of Indian family relation names
Only the women lived in the main house; men lived in separate rooms[ clarification needed ] and, on some occasions, lived in a separate house nearby. The families split on instances when they became unwieldy and during crisis among its members. When it split, the family property was separated along the female lines.Family Relationship names in Tamil - Spoken Tamil
The karnavan, the oldest male member in the tharavad, had the decision-making authority including the power to manage common property. Panikkara well-known writer from the Nair community, wrote in that, Authority in the family is wielded by the eldest member, who is called karnavan. He has full control of the common property, and manages the income very much as he pleases. He arranges marriages sambandhams for the boys as well as the girls of the family. He had till lately full power at least in practice of alienating anything that belonged to them.
His will was undisputed law. This is, perhaps, what is intended to be conveyed by the term Matri-potestas in communities of female descent. But it should be remembered that among the Nayars the autocrat of the family is not the mother, but the mother's brother.
The wife of karnavan had an unusual relationship in his tharavad as she belonged to a different one and her interests lay there. Panikkar wrote that Karnavan loved his sister's son more than his own and he believes it was due mainly to the instability of Nair marriages. Divorce rate was very high as both man and woman had equal right to terminate the marriage.
Enangar was another family with which a tharavad remained closely related; a few such related families formed a social group whose members participated in all social activities. Two forms of ritual marriage were traditional: The sambandham was the point at which the woman might take one or more partners and bear children by them, giving rise to the theories of them engaging in polyandrous practices.
A ritual called the tirandukuli marked the first menstruation and usually took place between these two events. There is much debate about whether the traditional Nair rituals fitted the traditional definition of marriage and which of thalikettu kalyanam or sambandham could lay claim to it. The wearing of it has been compared to a wedding ring as for most women in south India it denotes that they are married.
The thalikettu kalyanam was the ritual during which the thali would be tied on a piece of string around the neck of a Nair girl. If the girl should reach puberty before the ceremony took place then she would in theory have been out-caste, although it is probable that this stricture was not in fact observed. Higher-ranked groups within the caste, however, would perform the ritual more frequently than this and in consequence the age range at which it occurred was narrower, being roughly between age 10 and This increased frequency would reduce the likelihood of girls from two generations being involved in the same ceremony, which was forbidden.
The karnavan organised the elaborate ritual after taking advice from prominent villagers and also from a traditional astrologer, known as a Kaniyan. A pandal was constructed for the ceremony and the girls wore ornaments specifically used only on those occasions, as well as taking a ritual bath in oil.
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The ornaments were often loaned as only a few villagers would possess them. The person who tied the thali would be transported on an elephant. The higher the rank of that person then the greater the prestige reflected on to the tharavad, and also vice versa  since some people probably would refuse to act as tier in order to disassociate themselves from a group and thereby bolster their claims to be members of a higher group.
Although information is far from complete, those who tied the thali for girls of the aristocratic Nair families of Cochin in Central Kerala appear to have been usually Samantans, who were of higher rank, or occasionally the Kshatriyas, who were still higher. The Nambudiri Brahmins of Central Kerala acted in that role for the royal house of Cochin who were Kshatriyasbut whether they did so for other Kshatriyas is less certain.
The Kshatriyas would tie for the Samantans. However, although she neither mourned the death of her sambandham husband nor became a widow, she did observe certain mourning rituals upon the death of the man who had tied her thali. Panikkar argues that this proves that the real, religious marriage is the thalikettu kalyanam, although he also calls it a "mock marriage".
He believes that it may have come into existence to serve as a religious demarcation point. Sexual morality was lax, especially outside the higher ranks, and both relationship break-ups and realignments were common; the thali kalyanam legitimised the marital status of the woman in the eyes of her faith prior to her becoming involved in the amoral activities that were common practice.
Examples include that the person who tied the thali might be a close female relative, such as the girl's mother or aunt, and that the ceremony conducted by such people might take place outside a temple or as a small ceremony at the side of a more lavish thalikettu kalyanam rather than in the tharavadu. These variations were probably exceptional and would have applied to the poorest families.
Sambandham Panikkar says that for Nairs the real marriage, as opposed to a symbolic one, was sambandham, a word that comes from Sanskrit and translates as "good and close union". The Nair woman had sambandham relationships with Brahmins and Kshatriyas, as well as other Nairs. He is of the opinion that the system existed principally to facilitate the wedding of Nair women to Nambudiri Brahmins.
In the Malabar region, only the eldest male member of a Brahmin family was usually allowed to marry within their caste.
There were some circumstances in which a younger male was permitted to do so, these being with the consent of the elder son or when he was incapable of marriage. This system was designed to protect their traditions of patrilineality and primogeniture. A consequence of it was that the younger sons were allowed to marry women from the highest subdivisions of the Nair caste. The Nair women could marry the man who had tied their thali, provided that he was not otherwise restricted by the rules that women were not permitted to marry a man from a lower caste or subdivision, nor to marry anyone in the direct matrilineal line of descent however far back that may be or close relatives in the patrilineal line, nor a man less than two years her senior.
The most sacred and prominent of the prescribed set of prayers is the Gayatri Mantrawhich is as sacred to the Hindus as the Six Kalimas to the Muslims and Ahunwar to the Zoroastrians.
Once a year, Iyers change their sacred thread. All Iyers are cremated according to Vedic rites, usually within a day of the individual's death.
These rituals are expected to be performed only by male descendants of the deceased. Married men who perform this ritual must be accompanied by their wives.
The women are symbolically important in the ritual to give a "consent" to all the proceedings in it. This is usually followed by Nalangu, which is a casual and informal event.
Culture of Tamil Nadu Traditional ethics Iyers generally lead orthodox lives and adhere steadfastly to their customs and traditions.
The society is patriarchal but not feudal. The three horizontal lines visible on his chest, arms and forehead are made with holy ash vibhuti which is usually used by orthodox Saivites Iyers are generally vegetarian. Some abjure onion and garlic on the grounds that they activate certain base senses. Men are forbidden from performing their "sixteen duties" while women are forbidden from cooking food without having a purificatory bath in the morning.
The bathing was considered sufficiently purifying only if it confirmed to the rules of madi. In order to practice madi, the Brahmin had to wear only clothes which had been recently washed and dried, and the clothes should remain untouched by any person who was not madi. Only after taking bath in cold water, and after wearing such clothes, would the person be in a state of madi. Until the turn of the last[ clarification needed ] century, an Iyer widow was never allowed to remarry.
Once her husband dies, an Iyer woman had to tonsure her head. All these practices have, however, greatly dimimished with the enactment of reforms.
These are made of cotton and sometimes silk. Veshtis are worn in different styles. Those worn in typical brahminical style are known as panchakacham from the sanskrit terms pancha and gajam meaning "five yards" as the length of the panchakacham is five yards in contrast to the veshtis used in daily life which are four or eight cubits long.
They sometimes wrap their shoulders with a single piece of cloth known as angavastram body-garment. In earlier times, Iyer men who performed austerities also draped their waist or chests with deer skin or grass. They undertook the responsibility of preserving the Bharata Natya Shastraa monumental work on Bharatanatyamthe classical dance form of Tamil Nadu.
During the early 20th century, dance was usually regarded as a degenerate art associated with devadasis. Rukmini Devi Arundalehowever, revived the dying art form thereby breaking social and caste taboos about Brahmins taking part in the study and practice of the dance.
However, compared to dance, the contribution of Iyers in field of music has been considerably noteworthy. Tamil cuisine The main diet of Iyers is composed of vegetarian food,  mostly rice which is the staple diet for millions of South Indians. Vegetarian side dishes are frequently made in Iyer households apart from compulsory additions as rasam,sambar,etc. Home-made ghee is a staple addition to the diet, and traditional meals do not begin until ghee is poured over a heap of rice and lentils.
While tasting delicious, the cuisine eschews the extent of spices and heat traditionally found in south Indian cuisine.
Iyers are mostly known for their love for curd.
Brahmin Tamil Closer To Classical Tamil – Ramani's blog
Other South Indian delicacies such as dosas, idli, etc. Coffee amongst beverages and curd amongst food items form an indispensable part of the Iyer food menu. In most cases, there would also be a fast-flowing stream or river nearby. The houses on either side of the street were exclusively peopled by Brahmins who followed a joint family system.
All the houses were identical in design and architecture though not in size. In an Iyer residence, people wash their feet first with water on entering the house. Manipravalam and Brahmin Tamil Tamil is the mother tongue of most Iyers residing in India and elsewhere. However, Iyers speak a distinct dialect of Tamil unique to their community. Brahmin Tamil is highly Sanskritized and has often invited ridicule from Tamil nationalists due to its extensive usage of the Sanskrit vocabulary.