Imagine Branding ‘Thamizh’
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
I want you to close your eyes and think about “Made in China”.
Do the same, when I say “Scandinavian Design”. What comes to your mind?
Here’s what pops into my mind when I think about those two terms. Made in China sounds crappy. It sounds cheap, low quality and I think about ethical issues. And then when I think about Scandinavian Design I see sophisticated interior and design. I see quality. And I also see expensive stuff. This makes me wonder what ‘Thamizh’ stands for. How it’s branded or has yet to be branded.
When I started working on AnbudanSugi, it was overwhelming. What was the purpose? What is the vision? And what was the value in it?
The genuine desire to brand Thamizh. Whether it’s “Yaazh Design” or “Made in Vavuniya”.
Every single product on AnbudanSugi has a story. My inspiration for designing a particular item. And I’ll tell you about them along the way. It all connects to the proudness within me to be a Thamizh.
Branding Thamizh is about rewriting HERstory. It's about proud folk and heritage. It’s about ancient knowledge that has somehow gotten lost along the way.
So how do I see the brand Thamizh?
I see Dravidian inspired architecture, the lines flowing in interior design. I see the palmyra fence and think about recycling and sustainability. I see artisanship. I see proud womxn working in the fields and homemade spices.
And in 2020 I also see how my whole life I had it wrong. How western capitalism and the white man's story made me think that the Thamizhs back home weren’t developed, educated or efficient.
I dream of one day being able to support womxn back home in their own journey of independence. To work side by side with them. To send the money I make in the west back into the Homeland, where entrepreneurs and workers can work on their own terms. I see the field with 10, 20, 30 womxn making homemade spices to be sold in the west for a fair price. I see how every single product has a proud story behind it. How Thamizhs back home get a fair opportunity to thrive in this world.
I hope the very brilliant Thamizh entrepreneurs around the world can see the value in it too. And by doing so closing the gap between Thamizhs in the Homeland and diaspora Thamizhs.
To me the Thamizh brand comes down to this: It’s about preservation. Thus resistance.