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How Avvaiyar Aathichudi Teaches Alphabets And Moral Values To Children?

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How Avvaiyar Aathichudi Teaches Alphabets And Moral Values To Children?

athichudi

Those days when students had access to neither pen and paper nor moral education classes, Avvaiyar Aathichudi formed the foundation of their Tamil language learning. While attempting to teach young children, Avvaiyar a poetess who lived during the Chola dynasty rule composed Aathichudi, single line verses beginning with alphabets (Uyir ezhuthukkal, Mei ezhuthukkal and Uyirmei ezhuthukkal) in the same sequence.

Unlike other languages where alphabets are taught with association to materialistic values and  things (like A for Apple), Aathichudi teaches Tamil alphabets by linking each of them to moral values. Aathichudi is an epitome of the paramount importance that the Tamil language attaches to cultural and moral upbringing. Isn’t it the most creative way to teach language to young minds?

Aathichoodi refers to Lord Shiva who garlanded (choodi) himself with flowers from the Aathi plant. Aathi also means wealth. Thus it has become a moral code of conduct with high spiritual acceptance. The verses are short and simple, presented in an easily readable, perceivable and understandable format. By ingraining this to children from a young age, they become accustomed to the moral significance of the Tamil language and culture. 

There are several versions and the following verses covering the 12 set of Tamil alphabets (Uyir ezhuthukkal) forms the basis for others.  

    1. றம் செய்ய விரும்பு – Aram Seiyya Virumbu meaning ‘Always yearn to do righteous deeds’
    2. றுவது சினம் – Aaruvadhu Sinam meaning ‘Exert control over your anger’    
    3. யல்வது கரவேல் – Iyalvadhu karavel meaning ‘Help others in every possible way’ 
    4. வது விலக்கேல் – Eevadhu Vilakael meaning ‘Never stop the philanthropic deeds of others’
    5. டையது விளம்பேல் – Udaiyadhu Vilambael meaning ‘Never boast or brag about what you have done to others’
    6. க்கமது கைவிடேல் – Ookamadhu Kaividael meaning ‘Never give up confidence, enthusiasm, and hope’
    7. ண் எழுத்து இகழேல் – Enn Ezhuthu Egazhael meaning ‘Respect what you learn and never despise learning’
    8. ற்பது இகழ்ச்சி – Yaerpadhu Igazhchi meaning ‘Accepting alms from others is despicable’
    9. யமிட்டு உண் – Ayyamittu Unn meaning ‘Share your food with the needy, and then proceed to eat for yourself’
    10. ப்புர வொழுகு – Oppuravu Ozhugu meaning ‘Act morally, gracefully and virtuously’
    11. துவது ஒழியேல் – Odhuvadhu Ozhiyael  meaning ‘Never ever stop learning’
    12. ளவியம் பேசேல் – Oviyam Pesael  meaning ‘Never talk bad, speak envy, or gossip about others’
    13. ஃகஞ் சுருக்கேல் – Akkam Surukael meaning ‘Never cheat others while selling something to someone’

Overall, Aathichudi covers the significance of obtaining fulfillment in one’s own basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter as well as attaining eternal supremacy by emphasizing wealth, happiness, and virtue. Beyond moral, cultural, and spiritual significance Avvaiyar Aathichudi holds phonological significance and competence in the Tamil language. Because each verse in Aathichudi are Trisyllabic or polysyllabic, and are short and simple, they improve the linguistic comprehension of the child. 

It is also easy to memorize for young children and tune their brains, as the rhythmic words and phrases create a soothing yet vibrant musical effect in Tamil language. At PowerKid, Tamil language courses start with basic levels to advanced levels, and we emphasize imparting the values and language comprehension through various versions of Avvaiyar Aathichudi. 

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