When historians talk about India, the word ‘Subcontinent’ and the phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ would be inadvertently used. These two are the simplest ways to define India which is inarguably the Cradle of Civilization.
Economic migration is unavoidable in today’s globalized world and Indians are no exceptions. Indians migrating to Germany started as a trickle in the late 1960’s and has been growing exponentially. As of 2009, it was officially estimated that around 100,000 people of Indian descent live in Germany.
Indians and Tamilians in particular have always been entrepreneurial for Ages. There is a famous Tamil saying “திரைகடல்ஓடியும்திரவியம்தேடு(ThiraiKadalOdiyumThiraviamThedu)” which when translated means, Go beyond seas and seek fortune. Tamils from India have migrated across the globe for political and economic reasons and Germany is no exception. Although there is no official estimate on the number of Tamil Speaking Indian Diaspora, there has been a gradual increase in the influx since 2000. particularly Automobile and IT Engineers in the Rhine-Ruhr urban areas comprising the cities of Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Leverkusen. The Universities like Aachen, Essen, Bonn have also been a magnet for the Tamil speaking students who wish to pursue Post Graduation.
What started as an informal bi-annual get together, a couple of years back, with few Tamil speaking families from India joining to celebrate the Tamil New Year and Deepavali festival, has now given birth to the Rhein Tamil Association(RTA).
Rhein Tamil Association (RTA) is a non-profit, non-political, and non-partisan organization. The aim of RTA is to have a formal entity to unite people of Indian origin living in and around Cologne, Bonn, Leverkusen and Düsseldorf. Although, primarily intended to promote the Indian Culture and Tamil Language there are no barriers, in terms of Nationality or Language or Religion, to join RTA. And to the people of Indian Origin, more than anything else, to give them a feeling of being at home.