Clash of Love & Caste

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So you’re Tamil and you’re in love. Congratulations! You’ve managed to attain something many today have gone great lengths to find.

In between the long days at work, the commute home, pursuing a post-secondary education, staying in shape, networking, and spending time with family, you’ve managed to find that special someone who means the world and more. That one person who’ll make you stare at your phone in the morning in anticipation of a “good morning” message. That one person for whom you’ll drive across the city just to spend a few minutes with. And that one person you’ll spend countless hours fighting with just because of a disagreement about the future names for your planned children.

Aside from the obvious love-driven fights, everything about your partner is picture perfect. From their educational background, family values, all the way down to sexual attraction. Heck, she even sings, dances and has an unforgettable smile. Everything a guy can ask for.

But wait, you’ve forgotten something. Caste. Do you know what caste they belong to? Do you know what caste you belong to? Do you even know what caste is? If you do, why do you care?

The caste system is an archaic form of classism that segregates the Tamil diaspora. More importantly, it has ended the relationships of many young individuals, including my own. In a world replete with terrorism, poverty, war, child slavery, rape and much more, I find it amazing that this form of internal racism still exists. After all that we’ve gone through, why do we feel the need to discriminate among ourselves?

Had I known then what I know now, I would have never allowed the nonsense logic of my elders influence me to make the regretful decisions I have made. And though she was the girl of my dreams and remains so today, unfortunately her feelings have changed. Blame her I will not, as it is understandable for her to have a change of heart after all the pain she has endured. The pain caused by those with archaic beliefs and their disapproval of inter-caste marriages. The pain that has resulted in great agony and grief.

Given the opportunity, I would sacrifice it all to make it right and do what I truly wanted to do. To be with her and make our spoken of dreams a reality. However, as much as I could hope and pray for her to return and forgive me for kissing her goodbye, she has made up her mind and I will never see her again.

After fleeing a war-torn country riddled with bullets and segregation, it is absolutely ridiculous that the Tamil diaspora continues to feel the need to discriminate against their own. Why leave your homeland for the reasons of social inequality, only to practice it in a new country?

One day you will fall in love just as I did. You will go to your parents and tell them that you have found the one, just as I did. They will ask you the same questions about your partner that they had asked me. They may return to you with tears and sadness, as mine had returned to me.

And if they refuse to accept your relationship on the grounds of caste, step back and do exactly what I did NOT do. Take a look at the world around you and ask yourself:

“WHAT WILL CASTE DO FOR ME?”

– M. Bala

Author

68 comments
VithuSiva
VithuSiva

Diaspora Tamils like to claim that caste discrimination doesn't occur anymore but I'm not too sure. Its there in the background and can only be experienced and seen by someone of a 'lower' caste.Even if its true, and there is no caste discrimination, Tamils will always find a another way to discriminate against each other. Its part of human nature.



VasuVellalar
VasuVellalar

@Neeganslk4ever Hi-5 me my Vellalar brother,  I've been reading about the Vellalar caste that I'm part of and I have to say, its so awesome. All you non-Vellalars are missing out, we have so many benefits and power. I wish my parents told me of my origins sooner.

I feel like Clark Kent after he discovered his super powers.

Of course, we have a bloody and terrible history of using  on our own people and caste discrimination (like all discrimination) has to end eventually but lets enjoy it while we can. Don't judge me...even if you do, I have far too much power for it to even matter.

Proud Vellalar  ♥

Jainafromjaffna
Jainafromjaffna


People say humans have no cast or the only 


cast of a human is their humanity. This might


sound so good as a slogan but it is 


SCIENTIFICALLY WRONG. We humans DO have a cast


Even a fruit like mango has different types


in the same way humans also have different


VasuVellalar
VasuVellalar

@Jainafromjaffna   I know it still plays a major role in our lives, regardless of what people think or say.  It's still very much practiced even in the west.

Jainafromjaffna
Jainafromjaffna

I was born in the  Germany  and  never, it cannot happen, and will not happen.


Tamil parents do take the blame on themselves, in order to protect the wrong actions of their kids, but, they too know the reality.


The fact is that when the parents die, of those people who do intercsate marriages, no relative arrives at their death bed.


So this won't happen.


I am sure you can find a lot of us youngsters, barely through our 20s, but already having staunch opinions about almost everything around us. 


We fight for our rights to question others' beliefs.

We fight for our rights to keep our own.

We fight for our rights to disagree openly with others' opinions.

We fight against being forced to accept/be happy about situations/beliefs that we do not like.

We also accept that others have the right to keep their beliefs and act accordingly.


Aren't  our  parents doing the same thing?


They have the right to question your belief in inter-caste marriages.

They also have the right to not believe in inter-caste marriages and value what society and relatives think of them.

They have the right to openly disagree with you.

They have a right to not be forced to be happy about something they genuinely don't like.

And they are allowing you to marry the guy of your choice.

I have seen intercaste in the west even the educated lower caste are bad people , trust me never marry outside of your caste with lower castes.

RakiThamizhan
RakiThamizhan

I'm born in France and in my family we only date within our caste I wouldn't mind having another high caste in my family but I will never allow a low caste they are criminal minded people.

Anne Peo
Anne Peo

Okay seriously Rashmi Perera leave it

Rashmi Perera
Rashmi Perera

Anne Peo your belief system is an anachronism. Go change it!

Anne Peo
Anne Peo

Rashmi Perera you are gay!! Go study

Nivetha NV
Nivetha NV

don't worry , our next generation not going to do the same like our parents DO .

Johnrambo33
Johnrambo33

All the clowns waring over caste, lets face it. You can't tolerate the fact that the so called lower caste made well use of canadian, french opportunities and became rich. Period.

Vithua4
Vithua4

Caste does matter 

Doctors marry doctors

Brahmins marry Brahmins

Vellalars marry Vellalars

There is nothing wrong with that.

Murali Mpk
Murali Mpk

Mathan BalaYes it does. What caste you belong to affects your image to others, your values, your culture.The higher the status of your caste, the better off you will be. The family into which a person is born into is bound to have quite a few characteristics imbibed by his family. Reasoning thus, irrespective of caste system, the person will have certain traits. Because people belonging to certain "Caste" have some common set of practices, yes, "Caste" system does have an "influence" on habits culture and social organization. Eelam Tamils in Europe normally marry within same caste because it becomes easy for them to adjust with each other as many practices would be familiar or convenient

Murali Mpk
Murali Mpk

The so-called "lower castes" are the only ones who talk about caste, because it's become their bogeyman. Meanwhile, the "upper castes" don't pay any attention to caste at all. The caste system nowdays is only important for marriage because different castes have different cultures and values.Even in the west Tamils will discriminate a higher caste tamil if he/she is seen with a lower caste of the opposite sex. It's only a question of preference ,it's like Tamil discrimination against Darker (Karrupu) Tamils..Why this discrimination? because they are seen as less attractive,more barbaric due to media influence. It's the same with the Caste system..

Sriram Pakeerathan
Sriram Pakeerathan

Actually, the whole purpose of a caste system is to tell others what to do and what is best for them. Y'all need to step your logic and rational for discrimination. Even skinheads got better arguments than this.

Karthik Krishnan
Karthik Krishnan

You'd think a protracted civil war would extinguish this type of lunacy. I have news for you my friend, money is the only caste system. Thank god my Brahmin grandfather had the good sense to reject this practice and embrace communism.

Dash Malo
Dash Malo

And "you all" need to get a life and stop telling what other people should or shouldn't do as if you know what is best for them.

Sean Velayuthan
Sean Velayuthan

If there was a global caste hierarchy wonder where would Tamils rank? You may be a Vellalar among Tamils but you are a Karaiyar to everyone else.

Pandit
Pandit

If there was a global caste hierarchy where would Tamils rank?

You may be a Vellalar among Tamils but you are a Karaiyar to everyone else.

Sean Velayuthan
Sean Velayuthan

If there was a global caste hierarchy where would Tamils rank? You may be a Vellalar among Tamils but you are a Karaiyar to everyone else.

Bohishan Siri
Bohishan Siri

Terrence Marshall lmao check this.. same caste as him

ArjunVe
ArjunVe

Caste basis is to follow for marriages, actually holds a community together.The person before marriage are aware of the lifestyle, food, habits and of course many common friends and well wisher to hold the couple together.. And whether accept or not, but the time of festival clear the difference within relatives in same caste. Marriage within our own caste should be promoted.

JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@dradzi_ubova   There are very few brahmins in Jaffna, that is why vellalars are indeed more powerfull than Brahmins. But a Vellalar is never ever higher than a Brahmin. A real Brahmin would never dine with a Vellalar. And he would never marry a Vellalar thats a fact. Brahmins can build temples to if they have the money. But a vellalar can never wear a Poonool and  Puja. 

Nilla Nadarajan
Nilla Nadarajan

Chill guys ...Everyone is entitled to their own opinion..

Sriram Pakeerathan
Sriram Pakeerathan

You're a proud agricultural landlord living in the first world...tell me oh great landlord, what property do you own? Do you still file the same tax benefits since they didn't exist when your caste was created? I mean, you wouldn't want to file your taxes under the same benefits as someone of a lower caste than you right? You speak of "sense of security" in regards to staying in the same caste...move back to Sri Lanka if you're having problems integrating.

Mathan Bala
Mathan Bala

Sriram Pakeerathan Talk for you mate , I am a proud Vellalar.For me my caste is my pride . Vith Slk When considering strangers in arrainged marriages / marriage , caste seems to act as a cultural grouping, and so people marry within their culture so that they can eat the same food (veg/nonveg for example), have the same priorities and outlook on life, (education for kids, importance of money(or not)), etc. There are some problems which are always there in intercaste marriages..but the intensity of problem depends on person to person. Sometimes both of you may be in a situation where you feel that your caste is better or superior than other..it may then lead to arguments..and ultimately letting one feel offended.Esp if one of you is of lower caste then other. Thats very common...though sometimes its not done deliberatley. In same community or caste we have a sense of security but in new caste there is always a fear both families maynot get along that well. Problem comes when your kids grow up and then you think in which caste will you let them marry...these are long term probs.

Sriram Pakeerathan
Sriram Pakeerathan

Well, on behalf of everyone else, I don't think we'd want to be accepted in your family.

Neeganslk4ever
Neeganslk4ever

I am a vellalar born in Germany and I will only marry within my caste. Many of my Friends think the same.I love my vellalar privileges. most of people in Sri Lanka won't allow you to enter their house if your from the wrong caste. the Vellalr will not accept you in their family if your not one of us, the same thing can be said about the Brahmins from India we are the elite. We are so strict in avoiding intercaste marriages.


Generally speaking, a marriage is a union between two different individuals. Who have their different personalities,opinions,etc. So your entire lifetime will be spent in trying to handle your 'differences' and you both will be learning to live with each others 'differences'. 
Now add to that,other differences like caste, religion,region,mother tongue etc. It will be more than an average human can handle? And dont think these are minor. With difference in caste comes difference in traditions,cooking,way of life itself !!!

The caste system was a way to divide the responsibilities of people so they could know what they needed to do to contribute to the greater society. Later it came to the point where you had to marry within the caste so that your children would grow into responsible members of society. Nowdays is the same most of Tamils that are divorced are all from lower castes. I know it's harsh but it is the Truth.Most of the cultural Tamils are mostly all from Highter castes.And a marriage between a Vellalar girl and lower caste boy can make them face a lot of harassment, or worst. I have nothing against lower caste people but I will never accept one in my family.

JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@Neeganslk4ever you uneducated fool, only people who achieved nothing in their pity life  care abt castes.  Basically people who care abt castes are the new untouchables and should be abandoned from the society. If you have guts try to tell your opinion at a tamil function. Iam from Germany too, get the f... out of this country. We dont need ur retarded systeme.

dradzi_ubova
dradzi_ubova

@Neeganslk4ever Excellent reply


@JeeviSunthar 


I don't have too much time on my hands, ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vellalar_of_Sri_Lanka


Let me educate you, In Sri Lanka there is no untouchables and yes we can eat meat if we want....Vellalar always values education and Tamil culture which is why we are the elite In Sri Lanka and Europe. You can see that almost all Tamil criminals are all lower caste from Sri Lanka and India. Which is why we don't want them in the first place. Brahmin/Vellalar and other hight Caste Tamils are against interacaste because we have nothing to gain , we have our own culture/tradition that we must preserve.castes do influence habits, customs and social organization..


In fact; you would be surprised to know that in Eelam(Srilanka), Brahmins are Not the high caste!. Ask any Srilankan Tamil about it and they would agree with me!. The High cast are the "Vellala" community and they(and other Hindus) have clearly confined the Brahmin's priests to the temples. The Brahmin's have no say whatsoever in politics or the day-to-day social life of the Tamils in Eelam. 


But sadly, in India Brahmins who were supposed to be priests have practically twisted the system to serve their own ends(i hasten to add that not "all" Brahmin's are like that and i hate to generalize) .


Caste system is a form of tribalism with co-existence, rather than exterminating others 


Each caste, is a tribe, and specialises in certain works We Vellalars are proud of our history.


JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@dradzi_ubova  sorry but i know sri lankan tamil brahmins, and they laugh when i told them that vellalars consider them higher.  You cant eat meat and consider yourself high at all. You are not allowed into the space where brahmins do the puja. Caste System is not only about power its also about purity ! So that means according to you every caste can gain Power, by becoming rich and build temples and let Brahmins work? The vellalars are the biggest castegroup...more than 50 percent are Vellalars. Nothing to be proud abt.  

ArjunVe
ArjunVe

@Neeganslk4ever I also believe that marrying within one’s caste is essential to creating a world where a variety of cultures are preserved without being homogenized into a more dominant one.


As Vellalars, we share a common sense of identity, language and beliefs. Marriage is only the beginning in the long and continuous commitment to carry the Vellalar cultural legacy of our ancestors spanning thousands of years. Marriage is something beyond a man and woman living together jointly; it is a tradition involving the merging of two families and steeped in traditions and beliefs passed on for generations. Marriage within our caste group allows us to preserve these values and traditions as both couples cherish a common identity and culture.


As diaspora Vellalar, we have moved thousands of miles abroad in search of opportunity and to make a better life for ourselves. We have adopted foreign lands as our own, built places of worship, and formed cultural organizations and institutions to preserve our identity. One cannot deny that our unified Vellalar identity and traditional Tamil values imparted to us by our parents – a respect for elders, faith, traditions, education, marriage and family – form the foundation of the success that diaspora Tamils enjoy today. And in a marriage in which both partners are the same caste, we are in a much more advantageous position to preserve and transmit these values to our children.



 I prefer to live in a world where individual cultures and identities thrive, without being lost to more dominant cultures. To ensure that our Tamil language, culture, values and ancestral legacy – steeped in thousands of years of tradition – are preserved, marriage within our caste  community should be encouraged.

JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@ArjunVe OK First tell me what are the Vellalar traditions, which r only practised by Vellalar? I wanna know. "respect for elders, faith, traditions, education, marriage and family" is value of humankind not of vellalar. sorry but i cant take you guys serious. But you cant win against time , cause time says the last element of caste systeme , which is only marriage will be demolished soon.  Sorry Vellalars You are not on the top anymore. 


RakiThamizhan
RakiThamizhan

@Neeganslk4ever Well said bro I am born in France and in my familly (also vellalar ), we only marry within our own caste. Low castes are criminal mind I except my kids to only marry with HIGHTER CASTE TAMILS.

Vith Slk
Vith Slk

I am a vellalar born in Germany and I will only marry within my caste. Many of my Friends think the same.I love my vellalar privileges. most of people in Sri Lanka won't allow you to enter their house if your from the wrong caste. the Vellalr will not accept you in their family if your not one of us, the same thing can be said about the Brahmins from India we are the elite. We are so strict in avoiding intercaste marriages. Generally speaking, a marriage is a union between two different individuals. Who have their different personalities,opinions,etc. So your entire lifetime will be spent in trying to handle your 'differences' and you both will be learning to live with each others 'differences'. Now add to that,other differences like caste, religion,region,mother tongue etc. It will be more than an average human can handle? And dont think these are minor. With difference in caste comes difference in traditions,cooking,way of life itself !!! The caste system was a way to divide the responsibilities of people so they could know what they needed to do to contribute to the greater society. Later it came to the point where you had to marry within the caste so that your children would grow into responsible members of society. Nowdays is the same most of Tamils that are divorced are all from lower castes. I know it's harsh but it is the Truth.Most of the cultural Tamils are mostly all from Highter castes.And a marriage between a Vellalar girl and lower caste boy can make them face a lot of harassment, or worst. I have nothing against lower caste people but I will never accept one in my family.

Deva Siva
Deva Siva

There's a lot to take in, thanks. Clearly, there are new challenges ahead in this global world requiring new approaches, let's pick up on the strengths of systems for we are still here despite many hurdles throughout the ages.

Sharmilaa
Sharmilaa

 Well written article! I believe the whole caste system will be a concept of the past within years to come. We live in a world where interracial marriages are occurring and yet we are clinging onto the caste system. It's unfortunate that you had to let your relationship go because of this reason. I am all for continuing cultural and traditional practices, but the caste system is something I disagree with.

JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@Neeganslk4ever  you uneducated fool, only people who achieved nothing in their pity life  care abt castes.  Basically people who care abt castes are the new untouchables and should be abandoned from the society. If you have guts try to tell your opinion at a tamil function. Iam from Germany too, get the f... out of this country. We dont need ur retarded systeme.

ThamizhanOi
ThamizhanOi

@JeeviSunthar @Neeganslk4ever He is not a fool nearly every Vellalar and highter caste Tamils are against Intercaste with lower castes. Our caste is our history , people will make fun of you if you marry a lower Caste.Your rage indicate that you are a low caste, untouchables don't exist in Sri Lanka.Just ask any Tamil parents what they check before marriage most of them will tell you first Caste! We cannot deny our identity to make you happy.....

ThamizhanOi
ThamizhanOi

@Neeganslk4ever When considering strangers in arrainged marriages / marriage , caste seems to act as a cultural grouping, and so people marry within their culture so that they can eat the same food (veg/nonveg for example), have the same priorities and outlook on life, (education for kids, importance of money(or not)), etc.


There are some problems which are always there in intercaste marriages..but the intensity of problem depends on person to person. 


Sometimes both of you may be in a situation where you feel that your caste is better or superior than other..it may then lead to arguments..and ultimately letting one feel offended.Esp if one of you is of lower caste then other. Thats very common...though sometimes its not done deliberatley. 


In same community or caste we have a sense of security but in new caste there is always a fear both families maynot get along that well. Problem comes when your kids grow up and then you think in which caste will you let them marry...these are long term probs.I am also a proud Vellalar from France.


JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@ThamizhanOi @JeeviSunthar @Neeganslk4ever ya thats true. but iam from a mixed background having vellalar, and lower vaste parents. I know both sides. Vellalar dont have an own culture or own customs, both sides are exactly the same. Actually my lower caste family side is even wealthier and more progressive.  The Only reason why Vellar had power is because they make up 50 percent of the society, the rest are splitted in different castes and even they discriminate each other. Thats their fault. Its nothing else than Divide and Rule.  Only thing i accept, is when Brahmins are considered high. But only if they r clean , dont eat meat etc But Vellalars  nowadays eat steaks and drink and still they consider them higher. Thats the funny part of this story.

JeeviSunthar
JeeviSunthar

@ThamizhanOi @JeeviSunthar @Neeganslk4ever :  u should not call urself TamilzhanOi, call yourself VellalarOi .If you fell ashamed to stand for ur views in public(not internet), then you know you are on the wrong side.  Caste Systeme is highly anti-social and anti-patriotic , weakening the Tamil Society. 

sparda2020
sparda2020

@ThamizhanOi @Neeganslk4ever lol you are proud you are vellalar .... wow man you are pretty sad ... be proud of your accomplishments be proud of how you contributed to society be proud of helping someone in need ... Never ever be proud that you were born into something you did not have any control over ... smh well all I know is the old people who keep their old traditions are a dying breed the young educated youth will succeed and abolish this caste system I can hold my head up when that happens ... When discrimination amongst our own stops 

ArjunVe
ArjunVe

@Sharmilaa


I think you are a selfish and racist person as not only do you want a child to have no identity and country but you want genocide. I want what is best for any marriage and any child that results.


Sharmilaa
Sharmilaa

@Neeganslk4ever you can speak for yourself not for the whole caste. you're entitled to your opinion, but don't generalize it for the rest of us. 

Sharmilaa
Sharmilaa

@ArjunVe How am I selfish or racist? Or how am I promoting genocide or the discontinuation of a child's identity? You need to stop making accusations and learn to define specific words that you are using out of context. Ridiculous. Like I said, you are entitled to your OWN opinion. 

Neeganslk4ever
Neeganslk4ever

@Sharmilaa Interacial aren't accept by most Tamils. I can speak for the Vellalar people , we do not accept lower castes into our family.

dradzi_ubova
dradzi_ubova

@JeeviSunthar


Mixing with lower caste is wrong.They are not aware of true family values, traditions, history , there fore there hatred turn them to other cultures to be loved, Vellalat families are never against there kids or marriages its just they dont want kids mixing with other cultures that have no family values , no respect for parents , they need appointment to meet for dinners , they leave parents dying in old age homes and kids visit them once in 20 years lol , they leave there infants with young arrogant baby sitters so they can have fun at bar and party , i have seen Lower caste Tamil women crying cuz they are alone in end days living alone in some trailor or ditrty cheap appartment ,and there kids are not there for help they call there parents by names , IF YOU DONT HAVE HISTRY YOU DONT HAVE FUTURE , if you mix  caste what ever is born does not have history , pure blood , does not have culture , tradition , background , it will always be half and half


People who mix caste  have problems, its easy for them to hide behind political correctness but ultimately its nonsense and doesnt apply to the real world and when they have kids they essentially throw them under a bus and hope they deal with it somehow. 


when they teach mixed kids that casyr  is worthless, so worthless in fact that anyone who does value what they are Must inherently be racist... they immediately trap those kids into looking at people of a particular race who have issues as their parents did...as being "normal". they force their kids to dip into a small pool of broken people. 


and those mixed kids in turn help perpetrate the idea that the only 'problem' with Caste  mixing would be good old fashioned racism, rather than viewing interacial mixing as a social itself in and of itself. 

RakiThamizhan
RakiThamizhan

@Neeganslk4ever I agree. The only one who opt for interacial are the lower caste and the one who have sex before marriage.

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