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Where are you heading? (எங்க கெளம்பிட்டீங்க?)
It is inauspicious and impolite to ask someone எங்கெ போறீங்க or எங்க கெளம்பிட்டீங்க (where are you heading?) when they are going somewhere. If it is important that one should know where the other person is heading, the question should be framed indirectly in such a way that the question doesn't contain the word போ 'go', as in எப்போ திரும்பி வருவீங்க? 'when will you come back?' or திரும்பி வர ரொம்ப நேரம் ஆகுமா? 'will it take too long for you to come back?' and so on. எங்க கெளம்பிக்கிட்டிருக்கீங்க 'are you planning on making a move?' is considered alright, but not எங்க கெளம்பிட்டீங்க 'where are you setting yourself out?'. Similarly, it is not polite to say நான் போறேன் when leaving. Instead, one should say நான் போயிட்டு வறேன் 'I will be back' (lit. I will go and come back').
This is primarily because Tamil culture relates the idea of 'leaving' from a place with that of 'leaving the world for good' (dying). This is the reason why a Tamil, when leaving, would respond angrily to the question எங்க போறீங்க? 'where are you heading?', perhaps with a statement such as நான் என்ன போய்த்தொலையப் போறேனா, என்ன? 'Am I going to get lost, or what?'
Make sure no cat is on your way! (பூனெ கீனெ குறுக்கெ வரப்போகுது)
When Tamils leave the house, they make sure that no cat is on their way, nor a widow or single Brahmin is coming towards them. Such supersitions have no clear reasons, but are believed and passed on by orthodox Tamil Hindus. If, by accident, such events take place when someone leaves home, they return home immediately drink to a cup of water, relax a bit and set out again. This wipes the slate clean so to speak and allows for a fresh start. However, if anything bad happens later or one can't get anything done of what they intended for that day, blame would fall on their bad start. Many Tamils firmly believe that such a bad start always results in some unlucky event, no matter what type of remedies they try to counter it.
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