Pioneer of 'Scientific Tamil'

post-edit 0 comments
Dr. Samuel Fisk Green, who pioneered the translation of Western medical science into Tamil 
Article by S. MUTHAIAH

THE PARAGRAPH on November 29 about the American `Pachaiappan' of Worcester, Mass., brought me a response from a most unexpected quarter. R. Ambihaipahar (Ambi), a well-known Sri Lankan Tamil writer now settled in Australia, sent me from Sydney his biography of Dr. Samuel Fisk Green - and a most revealing document it is. Dr. Green, it appears, not only pioneered hospital medicare in Ceylon but more significantly, pioneered the translation of Western medical science into Tamil. And that appears to be quite a while before the Madras Presidency began looking at rendering Western scientific terms in Tamil.

The American Ceylon Mission, established in Jaffna before it was established in India, sent out to it Dr. John Scudder, grandfather of Ida Scudder of Vellore, if I am not mistaken, as its first medical missionary in 1820. He not only set up a clinic there but also a medical school to train a few Jaffna Tamils in the rudiments of medicine. In 1833, he moved to Madras to establish the ACM here. In 1846, it was John Scudder who interviewed the young Green in Boston and invited him to join the ACM medical facility in Jaffna.

Tamil Studies in Germany

post-edit 0 comments
Tamil Studies in Germany
Prof.Thomas Malten

Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies,
Cologne University and Department of Lexicography,
Institute of Asian Studies, Chemmanchery, Chennai

Lecture at Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai, 17 March 1998
[see also Proposed Closure of Tamil Studies in Germany, 14 November 2004]

In the preceding lectures we have heard about contributions made by German missionaries to Tamil studies particularly in the field of Tamil lexicography and grammar. The study of Tamil language and literature in Germany today - the topic of my lecture — is pursued mainly at two universities, the University of Heidelberg and the University of Cologne. [This is meant in the sense that people are specifically employed for this particular field of teaching and research in Indology - there are of course many more German universities where Tamil has been taught at some time or other in the recent past].

Academic Tamil studies in Germany are based on the efforts of the missionaries, their establishment at universities, however, is of quite recent origin - about 30 to 35 years back, in the 1960s, when the first two World Tamil Conferences were held at Paris and Chennai, which may have helped in creating an awareness and interest in the subject.

The reason for the establishment of Tamil Studies at the university level in Germany can be found in the recognition of the fact that Tamil is the only classical literary language of India besides Sanskrit and that Tamil language and literature have developed tremendously in many branches, particularly during the last 100-150 years.

The works of Arumuga Navalar, the rediscovery and publication of the ancient classics begun by U.V. Swaminatha Aiyar, the appearance of the poet Cupramaniya Parati, the development of a thriving modern narrative prose literature, beginning with the publication of the first Tamil novel, Vªtan¤yakam Pi¥¥ai's "Pirat¤pa mutaliy¤r carittiram " in 1879 followed by R¤jamaiyyar's "Kamal¤mp¤¥ carittiram" a few years later and a host of prose works in this century have all served to make the study of Tamil a very worthwhile and rewarding academic subject in many countries of the world today.

It is because of this that recently the Institute of Indology in Cologne has been officially renamed as "Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies".

The only explanation I can find for the rather late establishment of Tamil Studies in Germany, is that in the first part of this century the history of Germany was overshadowed by the catastrophies of the two world wars. Only in the past 40 years Germany has enjoyed continued peace and prosperity in this century. But these are the necessary preconditions for the opening and establishment of new academic pursuits in the field of the languages and literatures of Asia.

Transmission of Scientific Knowledge from Tamil nadu to Europe

post-edit 0 comments
Transmission of Scientific Knowledge from Tamizhagam to Europe

Written by K.V. Ramakrishna Rao

About the transmission of mathematical and astronomical Science from South India, particularly from Kerala, studies have been already conducted and published by C. K. Raju, George Ghevergheese Joseph, Denis F. Almeida, and the Aryabhata Group of University of Exeter1. Though, Prof. D. S. V. Subba Reddy2 has pointed out the European interest and their books on Indian medicine, he stopped short with appreciating interest shown by them. However, about the transmission of scientific knowledge and/or manuscripts from Tamizhagam, it appears no study has been so far. The study of Jesuit writings reveal interesting details that such transmission had taken place during 1600 to 1850 period and even beyond. The study of events at Tranquebar, Pondicherry and Madurai provides wealth of such information.

View the Full Text Here

View the Original article and more at
Copyright 2011 SIDDHADREAMS