CHENNAI: The first-ever conference of Tamil and Malaysian poets is seemingly aimed at promoting cultural and literary exchange between the two countries. Jointly organised by the University of Madras and the University of Malaya, in association with Kalaignan Pathipagam, Sri Ram Engineering College, PENA and ITBM, the two-day meet took off here on Tuesday.
A total of 52 poets - 24 Malay and 28 Tamil - will participate in the conference that may witness presentation of more than 50 papers on cultural similarities, differences, influence of Indian culture on the South-East Asian country and new avenues that could invigorate knowledge sharing between the two nations through literary works. Thematic seminars, performing arts and discussions will also be part of the literary event, organisers said.
Chitra Devi Ramiah, Consul General of Malaysia, Chennai, inaugurated the conference. “Social and cultural contributions help bridging ties between the two nations,” she said.
Pointing to the cordial ties existing between India’s and Malaysia’s edifying contributions, she conveyed that 2,000 visa applications from Indians were being processed on a daily basis for travelling to Malaysia.
Earlier, R Thandavan, vice-chancellor, Madras University, released a compendium of Malay and Tamil poems, Kavithaiyai Viriyum Vazhvu, and presented the first copy to the consul general.
IAS officers M P Nirmala and K Dhanavel said such literary events provided a platform for exchange of ideas between the countries and helped in tracing the evolution of Tamil poetry.