yaliniraja yaliniraja

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Dancer/Auror 🦖  We're from Puhar where the male sea rapes the sandy castles that we girls construct. #DancingWithYaliniRaja

தமிழர் திருநாள் வாழ்த்துகள்! 🌞🐄🌾🍚 Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Thamil people as earlier as the Sangam period dating back 300 BCE-300 CE. (Notice how many of our festivals, traditions and text originate from this time? This shows how many centuries we have travelled through as a people). We show our gratitude to nature, the sun and the farm animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest. We also celebrate farmers for their hard work in providing us food. No pongal celebration is complete without boiling sweet rice or pongal.
We celebrate Thai Pongal on the first day of the first month (Thai) of the Thamil calendar. This festival is celebrated by all Thamil people as it is not tied to any particular religion or faith. My family celebrates Thamil New Year during this time as it is the only day that unites all Thamil people. (Chithirai is only relevant to those who observe the Hindu calendar, not inclusive of all). Wishing all my fellow Thamilar the best on this Thai Pongal thirunaal!

கற்றது கைமண் அளவு,
கல்லாதது உலகளவு
(What we have learned is the size of a handful of soil. What we have yet to learn is the size of the whole world)
Avvaiyar has always amazed me. While many prefer Thirukkural and Thiruvalluvar, my favourite has always been Avvaiyar. She was a contemporary to Thiruvalluvar and was an author during the Sangam period (3rd BCE-3 CE) , where we saw the revival of classical Thamil literature and art. Imagine female Thamil scholars, about 50 in total, that weren’t just literate but excelled in the language during a time when female literacy rates were at a low. Avvaiayr is always portrayed as an independent, older woman that isn’t attached to a male figure. While the Thirukkural is rich in language and philosophy, Avvaiyar’s writings were known for their simplicity and studied by children and scholars alike. Her Aathichudi is a code of conduct written in 2-3 words. Each verse is organized in alphabetical order and it’s content is still relevant to today’s society. My favourite verse from Aathichudi is காப்பது விரதம்.
(Kaapathu Viratham) where she is teaching us to always be true to our morals and values in life. #tamilheritagemonth #thaipongal #pongal2019

My favourite letter in the Thamil alphabet is அ.
It’s not only the first letter of the alphabet but at the start of meaningful Thamil words like Amma, Appa, Anna, Arul, Anpu and so on. (Mom, Dad, Brother, wisdom/enlightenment, love). The first kural or verse in the Thirukural also mentions this letter.
அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி
பகவன் முதற்றே உலகு.
(Akara mudhala ezuththellam adhi  pagavan muthattre ulagu)
Which roughly translates to:
Like 'A' is the prime of all letters. The source of life is God who is the prime of the world.
What’s interesting in Thirukural is Thiruvalluvar never mentions a particular God in any of the 1,330 verses. So it’s upto the reader to interpret it as love, nature, spiritual, mythological or religious figure. Free of any particular religion, the Thirukural is a Thamil text that teaches us how to lead a virtuous and meaningful life.
#tamilheritagemonth #pongal2019 #thaipongal

2018 has by far been the best year of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself. I only have a heart full of gratitude for the opportunities, support and the amazing people I’ve met over the past year. Looking forward to learning and growing more in 2019 🤸🏾‍♀️ Wishing everyone a very happy New Year filled with happiness, good health and success. Stay safe and vigilant everyone! #2019

Came across this beautiful poem from the Ainkurunuru text which is part of the Eight Anthologies or Ettuthokai. Beautiful anthology of poetry dating back 2000 years to the Sangam period.
ஐங்குறுநூறு 192, நெய்தல் திணை
கோடுபுலம் கொட்பக் கடலெழுந்து முழுங்கப்
பாடிமிழ் பனித்துறை யோடுகலம் உகைக்கும்
துறைவன் பிரிந்தென நெகிழ்ந்தன
வீங்கின மாதோ தோழி என் வளையே.
••••
Ainkurunuru 192
Friend, his seas swell and roar
making conch shells whirl on the sands.
But fishermen ply their little wooden boats
unafraid of the cold lash of the waves.
Look, my bangles
slip loose as he leaves,
grow tight as he returns,
and they give me away.

ஆரம்பம் | aarambam
pc: smiles events
#bharatanatyam #torontoarts

பாரதி வரிகள்:
வெள்ளைத் தாமரை பூவில் இருப்பாள்
வீணை செய்யும் ஒலியில் இருப்பாள்
கொள்ளை இன்பம் குலவு கவிதை
கூறு பாவலர் உள்ளத்திலிருப்பாள்

One who sits on a white lotus
She will be the music resonating from a veenai
She will be in the hearts of poets who write poems giving immense pleasure

What an important message hidden within a simple kavithai. Women should not just be seen as revered figures in mythology like Saraswathi, the Goddess of Knowledge. She needs to be respected and included in all aspects of daily life around us. Equality in rights, status and opportunities.
••••
#bharathiyar #bharatanatyam #YaliniRajaDanceVideos #DancingWithYaliniRaja

Same same but different. 2018 and 2013. It’s been interesting to reflect on the past as 2018 comes to an end. Excited to see what the new year will bring 🤸🏾‍♀️ #YaliniSareesAndJazz

பயணம்
remember the journey

#karthigaipoo pin: @freedom83_

Nachiyar Thirumozhi 💭...
Vaaranam aayiram suzha valam seidhu
Naarana nambi nadakinraan enredhir
Poorana porkudam veithu puramengum
Thoranam naatta kana kanden thozhi naan
-Written by Sri Andal, sole female Alvar (est. 7-8 century)
••••
Surrounded by one thousand elephants
Narayana was walking towards me
Received by golden poorana kumbams and flower streamers surrounded all around
This was the dream I dreamt, my dear friend..
#DancingWithYaliniRaja
#mahabalipuram #bharatanatyam

புதைக்கப்படவில்லை விதைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளார்கள்
Puthaika padavillai vithaika padularkal! (They were not buried but became the seeds for our revolution!)
•••
So many emotions as we reflect on our Maveerar and Maveerar Naal. The most moving must be the updates straight from Eelam. Under all the military surveillance and intimidation, our people continue to stand up and stand against oppression. Somehow amidst the trauma and scars, they continue to show so much strength. As so many forces try to erase our history and our stories, seeing Thamil resistance in its different forms gives me hope that the Thamil struggle for self-determination will continue. We faced many years of political strife, decades of armed struggle and here we are now. It’s important we continue to speak of liberation not just today but the days going forward. We must continue to speak up and speak out about ongoing issues like land grabbing of ancestral Thamil land, militarization in Thamil areas, stand in solidarity with the Thamil families of the disappeared and the safety and sustainability of our Thamil families back home. “Today is a day about remembering and reflecting, even when there are people around trying to prevent that. To remember, is to resist.”
Video: @tamilguardian

With November marking Trans Awareness Week and Woman Abuse Prevention Month, I thought I’d share this clip of my dance teacher, Thirunangai Narthaki Nataraj. She’s one of two Transgender women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for the past ten years. She’s not only been a teacher but a second Amma to me. The most important lesson she’s taught me is how important it is to be true to ourselves and to own our voice, especially as women. Apart from performing worldwide and running her own dance school in Chennai, my teacher is constantly advocating on behalf of the Trans community and fighting against the stigma and discrimination they face. In celebration of gender identity, I thought I’d share this clip of her. She’s lost in her own world as she portrays a mother adorning her child. #transawarenessweek #genderidentity #transgenderdayofremembrance #bharatanatyam

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