Other Spellings / Synonyms : Tamilian, Tamilians, Tamilars
Religion : Hinduism. Some Tamils follow Christianity, Islam, Jainism
Language : Tamil
Regional Spread : In India Tamils are mainly found in Tamil Nadu. A significant Tamil population is also found in union territory of Pondicherry, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. Outside India, Tamils are spread in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, South Africa, Guyana, R-union, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago.
Traditional Occupation : Agriculture, Fishing
Population : 74 million (1997 estimate)
Food Habits : Tamil people savor both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. A typical Tamil meal consists of rice, lentils, grains and vegetables. Tamil cuisine is full of spices and condiments. Coconut, tamarind and asafoetida goes as a ritual in almost all vegetarian recipes. Coconut oil is normally used as the medium of cooking.
Marriage Preference : Marry strictly within their caste and community.
Related Ethnic Groups : Dravidian people, Brahui people, Kannadigas, Malayalis, Tamils, Telugus, Tuluvas, Gonds
Tamils are ethnically, linguistically and culturally related to the other Dravidian peoples of South Asia. The Tamil identity is primarily linguistic, with Tamils being those whose first language was Tamil. In recent times, however, the definition has been broadened to include also emigrants of Tamil descent who maintain Tamil cultural traditions, even when they no longer speak the language. The oldest Tamil communities are those of southern India and northeastern Sri Lanka. A number of Tamil emigrant communities are scattered around the world, especially in central Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius and South Africa. Tamil emigrants are also found in Australia, Canada, and parts of Europe. Tamil people have an established caste system. The traditional differentiations in them are a lot more pronounced than in many other communities of the country