Meet Winnipeg

Meet the 2017 Tamil Pavilion.

Meet the Tamil Pavilion.

Tamil is not a country, but a language in South India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius.  In fact, it is the oldest living language in the Indian Sub continent. This pavilion highlights the ancient Tamil culture, their traditions, food, arts, music, dance, and clothing.

My tip to you is:  COME EARLY – there is so much to explore in this venue and we’re sure glad we did!


Tamil Pavilion

Venue: Burton Cummings Community Centre (960 Arlington St.)
Dates:  Sun. Aug 6th to Sat. August 12th

** For a complete, updated listing of pavilions I have visited so far, please click here.


Cultural Display

This is a pavilion that I can truly say genuinely wants to educate their patrons about the South Indian culture, language, art, beliefs and traditions.  There are about 8-ish stations in one room with at least one knowledgeable volunteer who is an expert on the subject.

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We learned about the veena, a traditional 24-fret string instrument played with two hands (WOW!).  Later, we got to create a pattern with rice flour, which is their way of giving back to nature.  “We take what’s inside our homes to share with the outside world like birds and small animals,” explains the volunteer.  On display is an intricate pattern of coloured rice that is part of their celebration of lights.

Further on, we got to learn about the healing and medicinal properties of spices and herbs used in Indian cuisine.  We also learned about ancient architecture, without the need for cement!  We got to flip through the 133-chapter Thirukkural, consisting of 1330 couplets about everyday life and issues.  It has since then been translated into English and offers beautiful advice.  In fact, it is one of the most widely translated non-religious texts!  Definitely a must-see.



We were treated by their pavilion to some battered chicken rolls (amaaaazing) paired with a sweet mango juice.  This also comes in a spicier beef version.  There are also a wide selection of cuisine – the smell of food in the hall is very mouth-watering.  Try their rice and curry or their Masala-Dosai, or if you’re in the mood for dessert, try one of the several options they have available for purchase.



We got to see a range of traditional classical dance.  This style is BharathaNatyam, and it is one of the most intricate forms of dance I’ve seen.  Dancers not only use their bodies, but each hand gesture is a symbol, and their faces convey emotions.  We also got to see some folk dances, including one in which dancers balance pots on their head, and some semi-classical pieces as well.

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Their childrens’ troupe did an adorable job telling the traditional folklore through dance and you can see the beginning stages of a young girl learning the intricacies of dance.  We also got to see a variety of different costumes from the fishermans’ folk dance to the very classical Bharathanatyam costumes.

If you’re up for it, they also get a female volunteer on stage to do a saree demonstration – and you can also try on a saree yourself or purchase one from their souvenir shop!

Above and Beyond

I wanted to thank Mrs. Poorany William who was so gracious and welcoming to us as the pavilion coordinator and the president of the Tamil Cultural Society of Manitoba.  She was so wonderful at making sure our questions were answered and we had a thorough experience of the pavilion and cultural display.  She explained the dances to us that we would see, and she and her team of volunteers were so attentive and hospitable.  Thank you for making us feel at home!

A million thanks again to everyone at the Tamil Pavilion for really teaching us about the many facets of your cultures, languages, teachings and traditions.  Did you visit the Tamil Pavilion too? Connect with me and let me know what your highlights were!

** For a complete, updated listing of pavilions I have visited so far, please click here.



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