In Pictures: Understanding Tamil (Indian) Culture

Films are best way to understand country’s colourful culture. Know basics of  Tamil (Indian) Culture  / Costumes / Architecture / Landscapes/ Local Dance / Traditions thorough various pictures from melodious song in Bollywood’s super-hit  movie Chennai Express (2013).

Photo Gallery: Introduction to Tamil (Indian) Culture

Understand Tamil Culture Through Pictures:

Tamil Namaste or Hello: Let’s start with “Vanakkam”. Hello in Tamil. See Prayers in Temple with traditional attire and beautiful stone temple behind.


“Vanakkam” i.e. Tamil Namaste or Welcome! Deepika as Tamil Woman in Chennai Express (2013) Photo: T-Series

Colourful Welcome to guests: Feel Special, feel like Princess! Showering colourful flowers by women in  colourful saris! 


Colourful Saris!! Guest Welcome by showing flowers Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Traditional Tamil House : Look at Landscapes and Flowers! I wanna move there! 🙂

Tamil House Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie


Inside House Architecture: It is always open from middle for sunlight, fresh air supply , cooking gas exhaust  and inside open garden space having Medicinal plant used for cooking/heath. See on right side, there are various traditional metal (brass/iron/aluminium) pots. Also, a traditional home hot water boiler.  You will find this open in the middle house Hindu architecture in all traditional houses across India (except near Himalaya due to cold).


Inside Traditional House Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Traditional Tamil Costume: Men wear Cotton Lungi (a cloth around waist) and Cotton Shirt.  Woman wear typical cotton or silk Sari (Each state has different styles of Sari in India) .

Why Bindi/Sindoor or Tilak on forehead? : Both Man & Woman put Tilak (medicinal property colour powder paste) on forehead between eyebrows (spot is a cross joint of Left & Right Brain blood veins). It keeps mind & body cool & healthy!  Tilak (for Men) , a sandal wood  paste  and Sindoor/Bindi (for Women) , typical herbal plant’s paste  as per different body structures in male & female. 

Yes, Spirituality, Rituals & Science can go together!


Tamil Attire (Men & Women) Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie


Tamil Colourful Saris with beautiful landscapes Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Togetherness Culture/Festival: Couple (or Individual) wishes good luck together by floating lamps on pond/river/lake and praying. Same thing is done all over India. You remember Ganga Prayers? People give tribute to their ancestors and ask for blessings by floating Diya (oil/ghee + cotton thread lamp + flowers) at Ganga River!


Good Luck Wish Lamp Floating in Pond/River/Lake Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Special Ritual for Newly Married Couple: Ritual symbolizes proving Love for your wife, which also make bond between couple stronger.  Husband is supposed to to lift wife and take her to a high hill temple for special couple prayers without stopping in the middle! It’s physically tough & gives pain to his body for a week! But, a Sweet pain!! 😛

You’ll see in song clip, Husband can not bend his both hands due to cramp/pain, so wife is giving oil message to his hands.


Ritual: Tamil husband taking Wife to high hill temple for special couple prayers Photo: Apunkachoice

Jasmine Flowers / Madurai Malli : Women put Jasmine Flower Garland to decorate their hairs, and as a fragrance/perfume called Malli or Gajra. This unique Jasmine flower garland/Malli has got International Geographic Indication (kind of patent/copyrights) due to its great inherent properties. Jasmine flowers from Madurai area blossoms at certain time of the day, can last highest for more than 36 hours, gives high intense fragrance which no other Jasmine flowers in the world can give, and after drying it doesn’t give an odour! Due to these characteristics it was awarded GI. Great international identity for local farmers and small flower businessmen ! List of other GI from India- here


Tamil Couple making Wish Together Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Local Dance : Bharata-Natyam , a Tamil Dance from State of Tamilnadu-India with typical traditional costumes.


Bharatnatyam Traditional Tamil Dance With Typical Costumes Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie


Bharatnatyam Couple Dance Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Colourful India!


Colours of India! Photo: T-series, Chennai Express movie

Indian Cinema Special:


Favourite Romantic Couple Pose! Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie


I wanna be like Butterfly….Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie


Actor Shahrukh Khan with his Signature pose! Photo: T-Series, Chennai Express (2013) movie

Watch Melodious  song ‘Becoming Butterfly, my heart has flown’ With English Subtitles (Chennai Express – 2013 movie)

(Click on ‘Captions’ on right hand bottom side for English & other subtitles)

Image Soruces: Still from T-Series , Chennai express (2013 ) movie and “”

Sources: Chennai Express movie, Titli song at Youtube, T-series, Rohit Shetty, Wikipedia, Google search, Youtube, and all other links in the post.


3 thoughts on “In Pictures: Understanding Tamil (Indian) Culture

  1. Pingback: basic photography in tamil « Learn photography

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