Ancient Tamil text ‘Tirukkural’ to feature in Cambodian school textbooks

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Ancient Tamil text ‘Tirukkural’ to feature in Cambodian school textbooks

Students in Cambodian schools will soon have Tirukkural as part of their syllabus. The announcement was made by representatives of the Cambodian government recently when they were in Tamil Nadu.

Tirukkural, one of the oldest Tamil classic texts, speaks about the virtues an individual must possess, in 1,330 couplets. The text has been translated into multiple languages including international languages and is popularly known as ‘Ulaga podhumarai’ which roughly translates to ‘universal code of life’.

The Angkor Tamil Sangam and the Pannattu Tamilar Naduvam have announced that they will unveil the statues of Tamil king Rajendra Chola and Khmer king Suryavarman I in Cambodia in 2022. The statues will be installed with the support of the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Seenu Gnanam Travels.

In a press meet held in Chennai last week, representatives of the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the President of Pannattu Tamilar Naduvam, Thanigachalam, said that the Tirukkural will be translated to Khmer (Cambodia’s official language) and incorporated in school textbooks in the country. They also said that they have planned to install statues of the Tamil and Khmer emperors as a symbol of the friendship between the two kings centuries ago.

The statues will be installed at an outlay of Rs 25 crore and will probably be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thanigachalam told the media. He also added that around 25,000 guests are expected to attend the grand event which will strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Cambodia.

The Cambodian government representatives were in Tamil Nadu in the last week of June, visiting ancient temples in Kancheepuram, Chidambaram, Thanjavur and Mahabalipuram looking for evidence to establish a historical relationship between the Pallava dynasty and the Khmer dynasty of Cambodia. After the visit, they said that it is possible that there were strong links between the two countries during the Pallava rule in Tamil Nadu.