Tamils are natives of South Asia. They are among the oldest surviving indigenous groups, with a history that dates as far back as 1,500 B.C. They value their language so much that the Indian government considers it as one of the classical languages.
Tamil was one of the dominant languages used in trade in the pre-colonial era. In ancient days, the Tamil land had three lines of kings as rulers: Chera, Pandiya and Chola. In modern days, they live in several geographical regions including Tamil Nadu in the southern parts of India, northern Sri Lanka and Singapore. From the beginning of the 18th century, several poor Tamils migrated to other countries of the British Empire such as Mauritius, South Africa and the Caribbean as laborers. Most of them still live in these countries.
The exact origin of Tamil people greatly varies, with some historians believing that they migrated to India around 6,000 B.C while others linking them to the Elamite people in Iran. The people mostly engage in three main forms of art: architecture, painting and sculpture. Their art carries aspects of the Hindu religion, although some Tamils are Christians and Muslims.
Tamil people are renown temple builders and their main region, Tamil Nadu is famous for a large number of marvelously constructed temples. Their diet mainly consists of rice, potatoes and buttermilk.