Tamil Sangam of Greater Washington,

American Tamil Academy(ATA),

and the Tamil Literary Study Circle of Greater Washington

join together to conduct

Thirukkural Essay Competition for High School Students

in the United States of America.

1.Rules for the Competition

    • This competition is limited to students in the USA studying in grades 9 through 12.
    • Essays can be written either in English or in Tamil There is no limit to the number of essays, a contestant can submit
    • Essays must be in Unicode font. 
    • Essays should be minimum of 1000 words and should not exceed 1,500 words in length 
    • Essays should be sent to kuralessay@washingtontamilsangam.org on or before January 31, 2021.
    • The contestants should submit the following information on a separate page:
      • Name of the Contestant;
      • Contestant’s email id;
      • Contestant’s mobile phone number;
      • If any of the above information is included in the essay, then those essays will be rejected.

2.Evaluation Process Award

The Selection Committee will evaluate the essays and select six to eight best essays. The authors of the selected essays will be interviewed by the Interview Committee. During the interview, the judges will try to assess the authors’ general knowledge about Thiruvalluvar and Thirukkural. The authors’ will be asked detailed questions regarding their essays. The authors will be asked to deliver a five-minute lecture based on their essays. The Interview Committee will try to assess that the essays were actually written by the authors.   

Scoring System:

  • Essay – 50 points;
  • Interview – 30 points;
  • Lecture – 20 points.
  • In order to be eligible for a prize, the essay must earn a minimum of 70 points.


  • First Prize – $1,000.00;
  • Second Prize – $500.00;
  • Third Prize – $250.00;
  • Special Prize* for the best essay written in Tamil – $250.00.

*A Special Prize for the best essay written in Tamil will be awarded only if that essay is not one of the three other prize-winning essays

The Award: The Prizes and the Plaques will be distributed at the Federation of Tamil Sangam of North America’s (FeTNA’s) Annual Function of 2021. It is our plan to publish the abstracts of the prize-winning essays and the photos of the authors in FeTNA’s Souvenir for the 2021 Annual Function. The prize-winning essays will be published in Thendral – Mullai, a quarterly publication of the Tamil Sangam of Greater Washington.

3.The essays should be on one of the following topics.

  • திருக்குறள் காட்டும் வாழ்வியல் / Way of life as described in Thirukkural
  • திருக்குறள் படிப்பதால் என்ன பயன்? / What are the benefits of studying Thirukkural?
  • வள்ளுவர் கூறும் அறம் / Valluvar’s concept of Virtue
  • நட்பைப் பற்றி வள்ளுவரின் கருத்து/ Valluvar’s concept of friendship
  • நான் மிகவும் விரும்பும் குறள் / The Kural I like the most
  • திருக்குறளின் முக்கியத்துவம் / Importance of Thirukkural
  • வறுமையைப் பற்றியும் அதை ஒழிப்பதைப் பற்றியும்  வள்ளுவரின் கருத்து / Valluvar’s ideas about poverty and his suggestions to eliminate it
  • திருக்குறளுக்கு எடுத்துக்காட்டாக வாழ்ந்த சில மனிதர்கள் Examples of a few people who lived according to Thirukkural
  • இன்னாசெய்யாமையைப் பற்றி வள்ளுவரின் கருத்துக்கள்/ Valluvar’s concept of nonviolence
  • அறிவை வளர்த்துக் கொள்வதைப் பற்றி  வள்ளுவர்/ Valluvar on the accumulation of knowledge
  • திருக்குறளில் மனிதநேயம் / Humanism in Thirukkural

4.Suggested reference materials for reading