14 May 2011

Listening to Friendly Dravidians

Dravidians are the speakers of the Dravidian languages in South India. There are c. 220 million native speakers of Dravidian languages. The name "Dravidian" itself is from the given in Sanskrit, and may not be what the Dravidian people have historically called themselves. The Dravidian languages with the most speakers are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. It is often considered that the Dravidian languages are a close-knit family, native to all over South India between Kanyakumari and Hampi.

© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, close-up, portrait, street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Kanyakumari, ghats, headshot, Hindu man, old man, pilgerer, white beard
close-up, portrait, © Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Kanyakumari, ghats, headshot, Hindu man, old man, pilgerer, conch shell
© Matt Hahnewald, Facing the World, close up, street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Rameshwaram, headshot, Hindu man, sadhu, red turban, white beard
Regardless of their mother tongue, almost all Indians love to fire immediately three nosy questions at you in English (... supposedly a typically Indian way of honouring another person):

"What is your good name?"
"What country do you belong to?"
"What is the purpose of your visit?"


The lively Chithirai Thiruvizha (a festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Chitirai) is an annual event celebrated in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India, during the month of April. It is one of the longest celebrations in the world and lasts for one month. The first 15 days of the festival are celebrated for Meenakshi and the next 15 days are celebrated for Alagar (a form of lord Mahavishnu); it's month full of opportunities to forget your official Hindi and to brush up all your Dravidian language skills.

street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Madurai, Chithirai festival, headshot, Hindu man, yellow painted face, Vishnu sign, Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald
street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Madurai, Chithirai festival, headshot, Hindu man, Vishnu sign on forehead
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Madurai, Chithirai festival, headshot, Hindu man, Vishnu sign on forehead, sunglasses, red turban
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, people, South India, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Chithirai festival, Hindu man, Dravidian people, sadhu
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, Dravidian people, South India, Tirupati, headshot, Hindu man, shorn, Vishnu sign on forehead
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, people, South India, headshot, Hindu man, beard, Dravidian people, Chidambaram, old sadhu
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, people, South India, headshot, Hindu man, beard, Dravidian people, Chidambaram, old sadhu
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, people, South India, Hinduism, Dravidian people, Karnataka woman, nose jewellery, tribal costume
Facing the World, © Matt Hahnewald, street portrait, people, South India, headshot, old Hindu man, white beard, Dravidian people, Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India


























Street portraits of sadhus from Nepal in Matt Hahnewald's

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