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A society is a group of people who form a semi-closed system. At its simplest, the term society refers to a small group of people sharing their own cultures and institutions. A society, then, is a network of relationships between people. The English word society is derived from the French société, which, in turn, had its origin in the Latin societas, a "friendly association with others," from socius meaning "companion, associate, comrade or business partner." Thus, the meaning of society is closely related to what is considered to be social. Implicit in the meaning of society is that its every members may share some mutual concern or interest, a common objective or common characteristics. The social sciences generally use the term society to mean a group of people who form a semi-closed social system, in which most interactions are with other individuals belonging to the group. More abstractly, a society is defined as a network of relationships between social entities. A society is also sometimes defined as an interdependent community, but the sociologist Tönnies saw a contradiction between “society” and “community”. An important feature of society is social structure, aspects of which include roles and social ranking.

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Tamil people are a Dravidian people from the Indian subcontinent with a recorded history going back more than two millennia.The oldest Tamil communities are those of southern India and north-eastern Sri Lanka. There are also a number of Tamil emigrant communities scattered around the world, especially in central Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, and Mauritius with more recent emigrants found in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, and Europe. There are an estimated 77 million Tamils around the world.

The art and architecture of the Tamil people encompass some of the greatest contributions of India to the art world. The music, the temple architecture and the stylised sculptures favoured by the Tamil people are still being learnt and practiced. The classical language of Tamil, one of the oldest languages in India, has the oldest extant literature amongst other Dravidian languages.

Unlike many ethnic groups, Tamils were not governed by a single political entity during most of their history; Tamilakam, the traditional name for the Tamil lands, was politically united for only a brief period, between the 9th and 12th centuries, under the Chola Empire. The Tamil identity is primarily linguistic, although in recent times the definition has been broadened to include emigrants of Tamil descent who maintain Tamil cultural traditions, even if they no longer regularly speak the language. Tamils are ethnically, linguistically and culturally related to the other Dravidian peoples of the Indian subcontinent. (more...)


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Eduard von Grützner Falstaff.

Eduard von Grützner - Falstaff
Smiling often reflects a sense of pleasant humour and amusement.


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"Democracy doesn't mean much if people have to confront concentrated systems of economic power as isolated individuals. Democracy means something if people can organize to gain information, to have thoughts for that matter, to make plans, to enter into the political system in some active way, to put forth programs and so on. If organizations of that kind exist, then democracy can exist too. Otherwise it's a matter of pushing a lever every couple of years; it's like having the choice between Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola."

--Noam Chomsky, Intervention in Vietnam and Central America: Parallels and Differences (1985)




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