Introduction / History
Tamil is a Dravidian language, meaning that it is spoken by the original peoples of southern India. There are a number of Tamil dialects, and it is one of the longest-surviving classical languages of South Asia. Some Tamil inscriptions date as far back as 2500 years.
Where are they located?
Most Tamil speakers are either from India's southeastern state of Tamil Nadu or northern Sri Lanka. Some have migrated to other parts of the world including New Zealand, where Tamil speakers have associations in both Auckland and Canterbury.
What are their lives like?
Tamil speakers are one of the major South Asian peoples that have gone to other parts of the world. However, Tamil speakers are not as likely to be part of the South Asian diaspora as those who speak Punjabi, Gujarati or Bengali.
What are their beliefs?
In India, the majority of Tamil speakers are Hindu, though there are sizeable Muslim and Christian minorities. There are even Tamil pastors and missionaries. In New Zealand, however, all the Tamil speakers are Hindu. Although many are devout Hindus, many simply follow worship practices without a full understanding their Hindu beliefs.
What are their needs?
Tamil Indians would state their needs in terms of educational, social and economic opportunities. Like other South Asians, they are looking for better job opportunities in New Zealand than India have to offer.
* Pray for spiritual hunger among the South Asian diaspora in New Zealand.
* Pray for Tamil language Bible studies and fellowships to spring up in New Zealand.
* Pray for the Lord to raise up missionaries to Tamil speakers in New Zealand.
Text source: Keith Carey