Growing appreciation of Tamil Literature in Singapore
Speech by Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry Of Culture, Community And Youth & Ministry Of Social and Family Development, At Kaviarasu Kannadasan Vizha 2022 on 19 Nov 2022
29 November 2022
VANAKKAM. A very good evening to one and all. I am very glad to be here with all of you this evening.
First, I would like to thank the Association of Singapore Tamil Writers (ASTW) for inviting me to the Kaviarasu Kannadasan Vizha.
Held in honour of works by the legendary poet and lyricist Kannadasan, tonight we also celebrate Tamil literary works and accomplishments of our local community of Tamil writers.
The Kannadasan Award presented today, recognises the contributions of outstanding and promising young writers to the local Tamil literary scene. Ms Subashini Kalaikkannan is our award recipient this year. She started her writing journey from a young age, winning many prizes in poetry, essay contests, and she has gone on to publish two books of poetry, wrote lyrics and is actively involved in translation and dubbing work.
Heartiest congratulations, Subashini! We all look forward to more good work from you.
In addition to creating this award, the Association also organises monthly sessions to encourage and nurture young and new authors to try their hand at writing short stories. Such programmes aim to help our youngsters develop an interest in writing and sharpening their writing skills. And it is encouraging for me to learn that more youngsters are taking part in these sessions. I hope that they will continue to develop their passion and skills, and contribute to the Tamil literary scene in Singapore.
Singapore Writer’s Festival
Our arts and heritage landscape in Singapore is one that is vibrant and diverse. And this is due to the efforts of cultural institutions, practitioners, and arts groups like the ASTW, and through rich programming like the Singapore Writers Festival.
This year’s edition of the Kaviarasu Kannadasan Vizha is co-presented with the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF), one of the few multilingual literary festivals in the world. The SWF plays an important role in facilitating greater understanding across communities via local, regional, and international literary exchanges.
The multilingual festival facilitates the exploration of literary expression within the context of individual cultures and languages. ASTW’s involvement as a SWF programme partner is significant in growing the appreciation and development of Tamil literature here in Singapore. The literary arts contribute greatly to arts and heritage in Singapore, and developments in these areas deepen our shared sense of identity, culture and experiences.
On that note, once again I would like to congratulate the Association of Singapore Tamil Writers for a successful event, and heartiest congratulations to all the winners this evening!