Tamils are said to be religious and observe rituals and sacred performances on festivals that are celebrated with pomp and grander throughout the year.
Contrary to the political rhetoric of rationalism, families in Tamil Nadu believe much in destiny and lay emphasis on sound education with hard work to progress in life.
While liberalised attitude on societal norms can be perceived in cities and towns, villages have much stricter code of conduct as they are disciplined by regimented customs and beliefs.
Life in the capital Chennai has changed drastically over the decades with a demographic mix of various cultures, ethnicity and even immigrants from abroad finding the city a home away from their original homes.
Frenetic pace of industrialisation and families working overtime to earn wealth have shook the very foundation of the social fabric in Tamil Nadu.
The advent of software clusters and the profusion of high networth individuals (HNIs) have made socio-economic divide between the rich and poor more stark in Tamil Nadu as governance policies are framed to bridge the yawning gap between upper and elite segments on the one hand and the traditionally poor and disadvantaged groups on the other in the society.
While positive discrimination through reservation in government jobs and institutions is expected to continue for some more decades, it seems the government is unable to control the social unrest that is growingly menacingly because of the economic divide plaguing the society, especially between the urban and rural areas.
All families instil cultural and moral values in their children who are supposed to take education seriously for a bright career later on in their life.
It is a fact that caste and community affiliations do play a critical role in the life of 7 crore Tamils in the state. But the upwardly mobile and urbanised couples are changed even the social attitudes of the people.
Thanks to the profusion of social media and TV channels, a social churn for good is taking place which may be a forerunner to a casteless society in the future.
However, inter-caste marriages are a common thing in cities and towns, whereas a family is expected to fall in line with the caste norms and age-old rigidity during events like marriages and other social occasions.
Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are common in the menu of a Tamil's family with rice being the main course. Usually, food is served in a long, broad plantain leaf that has medicinal properties.
The vegetables have plenty of fibres, protein and vitamin that nourish the body. On the selection of rice, a household prefers raw rice (Ponni variety) for daily consumption. However, the modern day couples due to shortage of time go out to hotels for dining and try something fashionable like Chinese, Italian or Continental.
Earning wealth in a legitimate manner either by working in a concern or doing business has become the prime challenge for Tamils.
Some youths after higher education fly abroad in search of greener pastures and generate a huge amount of wealth too. But they don’t sever their umbilical cord with Tamil Nadu as they remit capital and take care of their parents back home.
With a globalised world view and liberalised thoughts, Tamil NRIs in the US, Canada, Europe, Malaysia and Singapore contribute much to the progress of TN in social and material dimensions.