Origins of Tamils?[Where are Tamil people from? PART: 30

Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam

Our oldest written records come from the civilization of Sumer, which arose in around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now southern Iraq. Sumerian cuneiform documents dating as far back as 3100 BC have been found and a flourishing literature developed, which reached its peak in the centuries around 2000 BC. This literature contains a large collection of love songs, most of them incorporated to annual fertility festivals. What were intense expressions of love between an individual man and a woman became wrapped into the larger context of the ceremonial union of male[Dumuz] and female[Inanna] fertility gods, a union considered essential to gaining flourishing crops and bountiful livestock.

The male god Dumuz appears to have originally been Dumuzi, a mythical Sumerian king of Erech[ Erech, Sumerian Uruk] who reigned sometime in the third millenium after Lugulbanda. In later times, the ceremony for ensuring the return of spring and successful farming required the local king to assume the role of Dumuz and a cultic priestess to take the role of Inanna. The sexual union of the two was the climax of climaxes in a city-wide celebration of several days at the New Year.The king’s performance in this Sumerian festival was essential for the well-being of an ancient community. The king should be demonstrably strong and virile, because he was the ceremonial link with the gods and the good harvests they alone could ensure.

Sexual love has been primarily responsible for the perpetuation of the human race,but it has also been responsible for the creation of literature-more so than any category of love except ,perhaps,the love of god.Hence the annual rite on new year day at sumeria developed two sets of most popular literature/poems ,namely -A long work celebrates the courtship & wedding of the sex goddess Inanna & her shepherd-lover Dumuzi,another,the mourning that attended his death.Elsewhere,lyrics lavishly praise the handsomeness of King Shu-Sin of Ur & the dutifulness of his queen.These two set of poems may indeed be related for an annual fertility festivals.

Such Love songs or poems are probably found in every culture.Also Sangam poems shows a regular alternation of male and female speakers as in ’courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi’.Similarly, the convention of lovers addressing each other as brother and sister appears here as normal terms of endearment. The similarities between these poems and those from southeast Asia and India suggests that songs of this type may have been part of the oral culture shared via trade routes between the regions in the second millenium BC.

We are giving below few such songs.Already one such songs,believed by archaeologists to be the oldest love poem found to date, with Tamil translation was given in part:15-"Man of my heart, my beloved man, your allure is a sweet thing, as sweet as honey." 

It was understand that the premarital courting and wooing of Inanna by Dumuzi which became a favorite subject of the Sumerian poets and bards. One of the most charming of these consists of a two-column tablet now in the Hilprecht collection of the University of Jena in East Germany, which may not inaptly be entitled “Love Finds A Way” or “Fooling Mother.” Its two main characters are the goddess Inanna “Queen of Heaven,” the Sumerian Venus, and Dumuzi (known also by names Kulianna, Amaushumgalanna, and Kulienlil), her mortal sweetheart and husband-to-be. The first stanza begins with a soliloquy by Inanna who says:
"Last night as I, the Queen, was shining bright,
Last night as I, the Queen of Heaven, was shining bright,
As I was shining bright, was dancing about,
As I was singing away while the bright light conquered the night,
He met me, he met me,
The lord Kulianna met me,
The lord put his hand into my hand,
Amaushumgalanna embraced me."
Then follows an amorous tete-a-tete between the two lovers with Inanna pleading:
"Come now, set me free, I must go home,
Kulienlil, set me free, I must go home,
What can I say to deceive my mother,
What can I say to deceive my mother Ningal?"
But this does not stop Dumuzi who has a ready answer:
"I will tell you, I will tell you,
Inanna, most beautiful of women, I will tell you.
(Say) ‘My girl friend took me with her to the public square,
There a player entertained us with dances,
His chant, the sweet, he sang for us.’
Thus deceitfully stand up to your mother,
While we by the moonlight take our fill of love;
I will prepare for you a bed pure, sweet, and noble,
The sweet day will bring you joyful fulfillment."
We also find a sangam poem,Kaliththokai 51, where the title  “Love Finds A Way” or “Fooling Mother.” fit as well & its also in the form of conversation between two.
"Listen my bright bangled friend! That wild brat
who used to kick our little sand houses
that we built, with his leg,
pull our flower strands from our hair,
and yank the striped ball from us,
and caused us agony,
came one day when mother and I were at home.
“O, people of this house,
please give me some water to drink” he said.
Mother said to me,
“Pour the water in the thick gold vessel,
and give it to him to drink,
my daughter with bright jewels”.
And so I went unknowingly,
that he had come there.
He seized my bangled arm, pressed it, and scared me.
“Mother, look at what he has done”, I shouted.
Mother came with a distress cry,
I said to her,
“he had hiccups while drinking water”.
Mother stroked his back gently,
and asked him to drink slowly.
He looked at me through the corners of his eyes,
smiled, and gave me killer looks,
And what a pleasurable union it was – that thief."