Language is something that can connect us all together and in the same time, it can also divide us into certain groups. Many of you who don’t know (Or I am sure all of you), I started my preschool at the age of 5. YES PEOPLE, DON’T JUDGE ME. Before that according to my Amma, she told me that I speak fluent Tamil with everyone around me. But then as I was studying in English, soon enough my Tamil had this weird slang in it. (You guys know how this slang is) My parents started talking with me in English and emphasizing me to learn it more. Time passed and I barely speak Tamil with anyone except for my grandparents who I meet every once in a blue moon. But nevertheless, I was still trying to speak the language whenever I can. No one said anything because of how I speak Tamil.
And then I moved on to primary school where I still continue talking Tamil with all my Indian friends. And trust me when I say this, almost everyone laughed at me hearing how I speak the language. All I could do was just stay quiet and hope that their face is crushed under a giant wall. This went along for 6 years, and it made me really awkward to talk with my Indian friends. They always end up laughing and teasing me. There goes my confidence to talk in Tamil from 100% to 80%. Things never change much when I was in secondary school. The same thing happened till I lied to my friends that I can’t speak Tamil. Don’t judge. My lower secondary life was a horrible one thanks to some pathetic humans. Every time I use Tamil to converse with my friends, they end up telling me not to talk in Tamil because it seems I was ‘disgracing’ the language. Until now, nothing changed when I moved on to higher secondary and polytechnic.
“Kiri, don’t talk in Tamil with us. I feel like laughing”
I do talk with my Indian friends but thanks to them, I really felt like I was being ignored because I can’t converse with them in Tamil. I can’t speak it fluently but I was trying my best. I wanted to uphold my mother tongue. At least I was doing all I can despite how funny my Tamil is. So am I actually embarrassing the language? No, I am not. Being in Malaysia, we tend to converse with each other in many languages. When I talk with my Malay friends, I won’t deny that I do have some pronunciation problems here and there, and my friends laugh because of that. They correct me but NEVER once asked me to stop talking to them in Malay. And mind it, this is not my mother tongue. I still talk with them in Malay despite all those errors I am doing. Now, I am not talking bad about Indians or anything but generally, this is what I face since I was 7 years old.
When someone can’t speak a certain language, it is alright to laugh (Because that’s what friends are for, to humiliate you) but do not ask them to stop talking the language. You are actually not helping them at all. The world is increasing in every part every single year and it is our duty as a human to protect what our ancestors left for us. Try to compare this, a guy who speaks Tamil fluently, a guy who can speak Tamil moderately, and a guy who can barely speak Tamil, among all of them, who’s the worst? None of them are. I believe the guy who is the worst among everyone is the one who asks someone to stop speaking the language. By doing this, this guy is actually reducing the number of people who wants to speak in Tamil with everyone else. How is this not disgracing the Tamil language?
Language can really connect us together as a human. But can you guys see how it will actually break people to certain groups? A group who speaks Tamil fluently and another who barely speak Tamil with one another thanks to those who degrade them. And I certainly believe this issue is getting worse nowadays as many of us are using English to converse with one another. This is a sad truth, but we are able to survive without knowing Tamil our entire life as an Indian. But should we do that? No. It is our duty to uphold the Tamil language no matter how we speak it as long as our intentions are right. If you want to uphold the Tamil language, try to teach other and motivate them regardless of how their Tamil slang is. If you want to uphold the Tamil language, stop using and creating all those bad words to define something. Because that is what disgraces the Tamil language or any other language there is in this world. But never tell someone to stop speaking the language.
This is our language and mother tongue. No matter how we speak it with or without slang, we should be proud that someone is actually trying to speak it.
P/S: Guys, I am not sure if I am overwriting my posts in the blog. I know that we should not write a lot in blogs or readers might get bored. So please tell me if I am writing too much. Thanks 🙂