Tamil events such as charity galas, formals and weddings are generally really fun. You’ll find a lot of dancing, amazing food and an unpretentious vibe which most people can appreciate. However, there are a few things that routinely occur (not all the time, but often enough to take notice) which can be downright terrible to deal with.
1. Background buzz during speeches
You could be the most important person in the world, but that may not be enough to engage a large, Tamil audience. You will be given a few minutes of courteous silence, but don’t be surprised if you start to hear the buzzing of side conversations happening throughout the room as you make your speech. Why does this happen? Perhaps item 2 below can explain.
2. Speeches galore
Speakers at Tamil events, especially the influential older crowd, really like to use their public platform to say many , many words. Their messages are usually positive, however, due to the sheer will power needed to sit silently through 45 minutes of talking from one individual, most attendees tune out and the background chatting mentioned above kicks in. A kind suggestion to event planners: cut down the number of speeches and ask the speakers to keep their presentations short and concise – your audience will be much more engaged and the message will be delivered!
3. Line? What’s that?
Whether it’s to wait in line for the delicious buffet table, or to take pictures with the bride and groom at a wedding, you may feel like you’re about to experience a stampede. People will cut in from all directions (otherwise lovable aunties over 60 are regular culprits), and what you expect to be a 5 minute wait will eventually become 20 minutes – unless you step up your game and defend your position aggressively.
4. Women get stared down for hitting up the bar in their Saris
You will seldom see a bunch of women in Saris near the bar. Those that do take the leap will surely experience deadly/shocked stares from aunties, uncles and young people who strongly feel that a female in a sari has no place being near the bar, or alcohol for that matter.
5. Parking lot drinking
As the event progresses, you’ll start to notice empty seats being left at the table by men throughout the room. Are they all going to the washroom to take selfies together? No! Step outside and you’ll witness huddles of men around cars socializing in spirit with spirits. The event could be held at a fancy place like the Ritz or a dinky neighbourhood banquet hall, but the parking lot gathering will be inevitable.
6. Male/female segregation
The events usually kick off with everyone mixing and mingling during the cocktail hour. But eventually, you’ll look up and notice that somehow all the men have gathered around the bar (or have gone to the parking lot), leaving the women to chat with one another. Maybe this will change once the dance floor opens? One can wish. You may witness some major pelvic thrust action as groups of men get down to Gaana beats.
7. No one shows up on time
Don’t be surprised if you showed up on time to a Tamil event, only to find yourself wandering around aimlessly for another couple of hours before the event actually started. Furthermore, it’s not unusual to have dinner served at 10:30PM, even if the itinerary said otherwise (refer to point #2 for reasons). If you’re a punctual person, you might want to change your ways, or bring light snacks and entertainment to deal with the wait.
Have you experienced any of these things? Comment below!