British Tamil

British Tamils (Tamil: பிரித்தானியத் தமிழர், [pirittāṉiyat tamiḻar]) are British people of Tamil origin. The term is used to denote people who have their homeland in Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

However, "Tamil" is not one of the predefined tick-box answers for the ethnicity question on the UK Census. The tick-box options under the "Asian" category include "Indian", "Pakistani" and "Bangladeshi", but respondents can also tick an "Any other Asian" box and write in their own answer.[1]

In the 2011 Census, the number of respondents writing in "Tamil" was 24,930 in England, 128 in Wales,[2] 99 in Scotland[3] and 11 in Northern Ireland.[4] The number of people in England and Wales that speak Tamil as their main language was recorded as 100,689.[5]

In 2008, community estimates suggested that 150,000 Tamils lived in the UK,[6][7] with a 2006 Human Rights Watch report putting the number of Sri Lankan Tamils in the UK at 110,000.[8] A 2009 article in the FT Magazine put the figure at up to 200,000.[9]

British Tamil
"பிரித்தானியத் தமிழர்"
Regions with significant populations
London
Languages
British English · Tamil language
Religion
Hinduism · Christianity · Islam
Related ethnic groups
Tamil people · British Asian

History

Immigration of significant numbers of Tamils to the United Kingdom (UK) started with labour migrants in the 1940s. These were joined by students moving to the UK for education in the 1970s, and by refugees fleeing the Sri Lankan Civil War in the 1980s and 1990s.[6]

Demographics

The UK has always had a strong, albeit small, population of Sri Lankan Tamils deriving from colonial era immigration between Sri Lanka and the UK, but a surge in emigration from Sri Lanka took place after 1983, as the civil war caused living conditions deteriorate and placed many inhabitants in danger. It is now estimated that the current population of British Sri Lankan Tamils numbers around 100,000 to 200,000.[10]

They are spread out throughout the country. The largest population of British Sri Lankan Tamils can be found in London, chiefly in Harrow (West London) and Tooting (South London).[11] The community generally has far lower birth rates in comparison to other South Asian ethnic groups, with one child for two parents being the norm.[12]

Socioeconomics

Unlike immigrants to countries in Continental Europe, the majority of Sri Lankan Tamils that went to live in Anglosaxon countries achieved entry through non-refugee methods such as educational visas and family reunion visas, owing to the highly educated in Sri Lanka being literate in English as well as Tamil. This resulted in the first generation diaspora falling into highly professional jobs such as medicine and law after studying at British educational facilities.[13][14]

The result was that the community was perceived as being similar to the rest of the Indian community (see:Ugandan Indian Refugees) and therefore also gave them a more middle class image. [15] The community, for the most part, did not suffer from the problems with criminality, anti-social behaviour, or poor socioeconomic demographics that have plagued other immigrant communities, although there are small Tamil criminal gangs present in London.[16]

The Tamil Chamber of Commerce (TCC), for example, estimated in March 2011 that there are five thousand Tamil-owned businesses in UK with a turnover of 1 billion GBP[17].

Percentage of children gaining 5 'A* to C' grades[18]
Ethnicity Difference from average (%) in 2011 Difference from average (%) in 2003
Chinese +38% +11%
Sri Lankan Tamil +32.5% +8%
Indian +29.9% +7%
Average 0 0
White British -2.3% +1%
Pakistani -8.6% -11.3%
Somali -23.7% -22.3%

Politics

The Sri Lankan Civil War has played a crucial role in the political actions of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. A number of activist organisations have been established by first generation immigrants in order to represent the voice of the Sri Lankan Tamil community on the island, and several major protests have been held in order to forward various viewpoints surrounding the civil war, most notable of which was a mass demonstration in April 2009 which drew nearly 100,000 protestors.[19]

The second generation have, however, generally been more emotionally detached from the politics of the civil war, giving more priority to the issues in the United Kingdom and European Union, and preferring to refrain from involving themselves into the more extreme activism surrounding the civil war.[20]

Culture

The second generation generally do not speak Tamil fluently enough to relate to South Asian culture and media, beyond news and politics, and therefore have traditionally avoided popular Indian culture like Kollywood (music and films) and literature. A number of scholars have suggest that this points to a relative success of integration by the community.[21]

Social values

The community, while in theory should be more liberal than other communities in Southern Asia, has some paternal aspects that clash with liberal western youth values. A number of second generation have commented on how their first generation parents tend to look down on many elements of western youth culture (binge drinking, illegal drugs, promiscuity, etc.), and issues such as mental illness, homophobia, and misogyny have often received minor vocal opposition from first generation Sri Lankans.[22]

However, there are elements of Sri Lankan Tamil culture that are markedly more liberal than other South Asian communities. There is widespread tolerance towards the concept of love before marriage and the majority of Tamils are not subject to forced marriage (arranged marriages are always optional), and women are often encouraged to participate in the education and labour market prior to marriage.[22]

Religion

Sri Lankan Tamils are mostly Hindu, albeit a large Christian population also exists; much of Sri Lankan Tamil traditional culture is rooted in Hinduism and Christian Tamils find it increasingly difficult to maintain a cultural identity that is separate and distinct from Hinduism. As a result, many Christian Tamils and Hindu Tamils are culturally similar and often identify most strongly as Tamils rather than with their respective religious communities. 'Raj' argued that there has been a 'Hindu resurgence' in the UK, whereby the young second generation living in the Hindu diaspora are reconstructing and realigning themselves with the faith of their parents, although religious adherence has largely declined over time in the United Kingdom as a whole.[23]

Chakravoty discusses how British Sri Lankan Tamil youth often carried forward elements of Tamil culture from their parents into their own daily lives, such as the widespread practice of religious rituals such as the Bharatnatyam.[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ethnic Group". Office for National Statistics. 2011-11-02. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Table CT0010EW 2011 Census: Ethnic group (write-in responses), local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Ethnic group (detailed): All people" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Ethnic group - Full detail: QS201NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  5. ^ Gopal, Deepthi; Matras, Yaron (October 2013). "What languages are spoken in England and Wales?" (PDF). ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b Dissanayake, Samanthi (8 December 2008). "UK Tamils polarised but powerful". BBC News. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  7. ^ Beeston, Richard (13 June 2008). "Stop Tamil Tigers raising money in UK, says President Rajapaksa". The Times. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Funding the 'Final War': LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  9. ^ Asokan, Shyamantha (16 October 2009). "Young Tamils swap bombs for BlackBerrys". FT Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Sri Lanka: Mapping Exercise: London, February 2007" (PDF). International Organization for Migration. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011.
  11. ^ "The Economist". The Economist. 2010-01-21.
  12. ^ "The Sri Lankan Population of Great Britain" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-19.
  13. ^ "Children of Refugees" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-14.
  14. ^ "FT on Sri Lankan Tamils".
  15. ^ "Unique Socioeconmic Positioning of Sri Lankan Tamils" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Children of Refugees" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-14.
  17. ^ "Tamil Chamber of Commerce".
  18. ^ Rutter, Jill (2003). Percentage of Children Gaining 5 A* - C at GCSE. ISBN 9781447314615.
  19. ^ "Political Identity of the British Tamil Diaspora" (PDF).
  20. ^ "The Sri Lankan Tamils" (PDF).
  21. ^ Bloch, Alice; Hirsch, Shirin (2017). "Refugees and the Second Generation". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 40 (14): 2444–2462. doi:10.1080/01419870.2016.1252461.
  22. ^ a b Cowley-Sathiakumar, Shanthini Rebecca (August 2008). The Sri Lankan Tamils - A comparative analysis of the experiences of the second generation in the UK and Sri Lanka (PhD). University of Leeds.
  23. ^ "Sandhya Marla".
  24. ^ Chakravorty, Pallabi; Gupta, Nilanjana (2012-08-21). Dance Matters: Performing India on Local and Global Stages. Routledge. ISBN 9781136516139.
Affiliates to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist militant organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka, had various organizations affiliated to it. These include charitable organizations, political parties, state intelligence organizations and even governments of Sri Lanka and other countries. Although the LTTE was militarily defeated in 2009, the Sri Lankan government alleges that a number of foreign-based organizations are still promoting its ideology.

Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam (Tamil: பரதநாட்டியம்) also historically called Sadir, is a major genre of Indian classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, Bharatanatyam has been a solo dance performed exclusively by women, and it expressed South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism.Bharatanatyam's theoretical foundations trace to the ancient Sanskrit text by Bharata Muni, Natya Shastra, its existence by 2nd century CE is noted in the ancient Tamil epic Silappatikaram, while temple sculptures of 6th to 9th century CE suggest it was a well refined performance art by the mid 1st millennium CE. Bharatanatyam may be the oldest classical dance tradition of India.Bharatanatyam style is noted for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out combined with spectacular footwork, a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands, eyes and face muscles. The dance is accompanied by music and a singer, and typically her guru is present as the director and conductor of the performance and art. The dance has traditionally been a form of an interpretive narration of mythical legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu texts. The performance repertoire of Bharatanatyam, like other classical dances, includes nrita (pure dance), nritya (solo expressive dance) and natya (group dramatic dance).Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century. It was banned by the colonial British government in 1910, but the Indian community protested against the ban and expanded it outside the temples in the 20th century. Modern stage productions of Bharatanatyam have incorporated technical performances, pure dance based on non-religious ideas and fusion themes.

British Tamil Association

British Tamil Association (BTA) is a Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora group in the United Kingdom. The VIGIL Network, in its October 2006 report LTTE "Tamil Tigers" and its UK-wide network, described the organization as "LTTE's de facto headquarters in London".According to a 2006 Human Rights Watch report titled "Funding the Final War: LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora", the group acted as a front organization for the LTTE: a separatist militant organization, which waged a war against Sri Lankan state. The charitable group solicited funds to assist civilians affected by the war, but on most occasions, a significant amount of the funds raised were channeled to the LTTE for its military operations. And on a number of occasions, BTA had extorted money from Tamil people living in western countries by threatening the safety of their relatives back in Vanni, the northern part of Sri Lanka.

In June 2007, the founder of BTA, Krishanthakumar alias Shanthan was arrested by Metropolitan Police Service. In April 2009, he was found guilty of supplying bomb-making equipment for the LTTE and receiving documents for the purpose of terrorism. BTA is the successor to the United Tamil Organisation, which was proscribed in 2001.

British Tamils Forum

British Tamils Forum or BTF, is a largest organisation representing the Tamil Community in the United Kingdom. The BTF intends to be the voice of the Tamil Community in the UK by raising the issues on Tamils in UK and to bring awareness to the issues affecting Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka and around the world. The BTF's work is focused on addressing the root cause to the conflict through an international justice mechanism to bring truth and justice to all victims of war and to bring end to the entrenched culture of impunity in Sri Lanka.

The BTF's vision for a lasting peace and security through a negotiated political settlement to the Tamil national question by recognising the Tamil people’s right in the North-East of the island of Sri Lanka and hope to bridge the voice between the British Tamil Community and the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan government banned the organization as a front for the LTTE and was considered a terrorist group. However the lack of evidence to link the BTF and with the LTTE and terror activities resulted in the ban eventually getting lifted in 2015 as a bid to achieve reconciliation.

Elastic Love

"Elastic Love" is a song recorded by American recording artist Christina Aguilera, taken from her sixth studio album, Bionic (2010). The song was written by Aguilera, M.I.A., John Hill and Switch, while production was handled by the latter two. Originally, "Elastic Love" was recorded by M.I.A., but later it was given to Aguilera. However, M.I.A. was disappointed when Aguilera didn't want to do her "trademark warbling" in the studio. "Elastic Love" is an electro and electropop song with strong elements from 1980s new wave music. Lyrically, Aguilera compares her love to office supplies, from paperclips to rubber-bands.

Upon its release, "Elastic Love" received favorable reviews from music critics, who praised the track's composition, its musical style and M.I.A.'s appearance on the song. Most of them praised it as the stand-out track on Bionic, while some of whom compared Aguilera's vocals on "Elastic Love" to those of M.I.A. and Gwen Stefani. The track was listed as the twelfth best song of 2010 by Amazon.com. Following the release of Bionic, "Elastic Love" peaked on the Gaon International Digital Chart and the Gaon International Download Chart at number 78 and 59 on June 6, 2010, respectively.

Gangs of Tooting Broadway

Gangs of Tooting Broadway is a 2013 British-Tamil crime drama film directed by Devanand Shanmugam. The film features Nav Sidhu and Kabelan Verlkumar in lead roles. It released on 4 February 2013. The story is based on gang wars between Tamil people and Black people living in Tooting Broadway.

Getatchew Mekurya

Gétatchèw Mèkurya (Amharic: ጌታቸው መኩሪያ ወልደተክሌ; 14 March 1935 – 4 April 2016) was an Ethiopian jazz saxophonist.

Jan Jananayagam

Janani (Jan) Jananayagam (Tamil: ஜனனி (ஜான்) ஜனநாயகம்) is a British Tamil banking professional, activist and politician. She was an independent candidate for the London region in the 2009 European Parliamentary elections.

Nishan Canagarajah

Professor Cedric Nishan Canagarajah (born 1966; known as Nishan Canagarajah) is a British Tamil academic and one of the pro-vice-chancellors of the University of Bristol.

Protests against the Sri Lankan Civil War

Between 2008 and 2009, major protests against the Sri Lankan Civil War, often referred to as the Tamil protests by news media, took place in several countries across the world, urging national and world leaders and organisations to take action on bringing a unanimous cease fire to the Sri Lankan Civil War, which had taken place for over twenty-five years. Tamil diaspora populations across the world expressed concerns regarding the conduct of the civil war in the island nation of Sri Lanka. The civil war, which took place between the Sri Lankan Army and the separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is believed to have killed over 100,000 civilians. Protesters and critics of the Sri Lankan government alleged the civil war to be a systematic genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Sri Lankan Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.While historical opposition to the Sri Lankan Civil War by Tamils existed at various stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War since 1983, opposition gradually intensified in January 2009. Protesters appealed to political leaders, asking to promote a ceasefire in the Sri Lankan Civil War and establish a ceasefire, requested humanitarian aid organisations to provide resources to Northern Province, promoted the creation of Tamil Eelam, and called to remove the LTTE from lists of terrorist organisations. After the government of Sri Lanka declared defeat over the LTTE on 18 May 2009, protests continued, accusing then-Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa of war crimes. Protests took several forms, including human chains, demonstrations, rallies, hunger strikes, and self-immolation.Following increasing protests in Chennai and other cities in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, predominantly peaceful demonstrations were held concurrently across the world by the Tamil diaspora, mainly in national capitals, central business districts, near embassies and high commissioner offices, and sites of national or supranational government. Protesters ranging from several dozens to several thousands gathered in the cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, The Hague, Zürich, Geneva, Bern, Oslo, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, New York City, Washington D.C., Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Auckland, Wellington, and Durban.

The protests invoked "anti-Tamil" protests by the Sinhalese diaspora and racial clashes between the two in certain cities, especially in Colombo.

Ravi Varman

S. Ravi Varman, ISC is an Indian cinematographer, filmmaker, producer and writer. He has predominantly worked in films of Indian languages such as Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. Known for his realistic and poetic framing sense, Ravi Varman began his career in Malayalam films. He has directed a romantic film in Tamil titled Moscowin Kavery and also filmed the music video for the song "Bird Flu" by British Tamil songwriter M.I.A..

South Asian ethnic groups

South Asian ethnic groups are ethno-linguistic composition of the population of South Asia, that is the nations of India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka is highly diverse. The majority of the population fall within two large linguistic groups, Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. Indian society is traditionally divided into castes or clans, not ethnicities, and these categories have had no official status since independence in 1947, except for the scheduled castes and tribes which remain registered for the purpose of affirmative action. In today's India, the population is categorized in terms of the 1,652 mother tongues spoken.

These groups are further subdivided into numerous sub-groups, castes, and tribes. Indo-Aryans form the predominant ethno-linguistic group in Indo-Gangetic Plain (North India, East India, West India, Central India), Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Dravidians form the predominant ethno-linguistic group in southern India and the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka, and a small pocket in Pakistan. Certain Iranian speaking peoples also have a significant presence in South Asia, the large majority of whom are located in Pakistan, with heavy concentrations in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Dardic peoples form a minority among the Indo-Aryans. They are classified as belonging to the Indo-Aryan language group, though sometimes they are also classified as external to the Indo-Aryan branch. They are found in northern Pakistan (Northern Areas and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) and in Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Minority groups not falling within either large group mostly speak languages belonging to the Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burman language families, and mostly live around Ladakh and Northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. The Andamanese (Sentinel, Onge, Jarawa, Great Andamanese) live on some of the Andaman Islands and speak a language isolate, as do the Kusunda in central Nepal, the Vedda in Sri Lanka, and the Nihali of central India, who number about 5000 people. The people of the Hunza valley in Pakistan are another distinct population. They speak Burushaski, a language isolate.

The traditions of different ethnic groups in South Asia have diverged, influenced by external cultures, especially in the northwestern parts of South Asia and in the border regions and busy ports, where there are greater levels of contact with external cultures. This is particularly true for many ethnic groups in the northeastern parts of South Asia who are ethnically related to peoples of the Far East. The largest ethno-linguistic group in South Asia are the Indo-Aryans, numbering around 1 billion, and the largest sub-group are the native speakers of Hindi languages, numbering more than 470 million.

These groups are based solely on a linguistic basis and not on a genetic basis.

Susheela

Susheela or Sushila (Telugu: సుశీల) is an Indian name. People with the name include:

P. Susheela, Indian playback singer

Susheela Raman, British Tamil musician

Susheela Gopalan, Indian Communist leader

Susheela Laxman Bangaru, member of 14th Lok Sabha

Sushila Ganesh Mavalankar (1904–95), Indian freedom fighter

Sushila Nayyar, personal secretary and physician to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Sushila Kerketta, member of the 14th Lok Sabha

Kalluri Sushila, Indian business tycoon

Sushila Tiriya, Member of the Parliament of India

Sushila Swar, Nepalese politician

Sway (musician)

Derek Andrew Safo (born 5 September 1982), better known by his stage name Sway or Sway DaSafo, is an English musician of Ghanaian descent. He is also a producer, having established Dcypha Productions, signed to Island/Universal (label founder). Safo's 2008 track "Black Stars" gave kudos to popular Ghanaians across the diaspora. Sway's first big track, "On My Own" was released under the name Sway DaSafo.

Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation

The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) was established in 1985 in Tamil Nadu in southeastern India by Tamil refugees fleeing the violence in North and East Sri Lanka. Its initial operation was to provide relief to the refugees in India. After the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and the subsequent fighting between the LTTE and the Indian Peace Keeping Force, TRO moved its operation and headquarters to Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka.

The headquarters moved again to Killinochchi after Jaffna was taken by Sri Lanka Armed Forces in 1995. After the signing of the ceasefire agreement in 2002 between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka, TRO was recognised by the Government as a legitimate NGO and was granted NGO status. During the period 2002 to 2005 TRO operated from offices across Sri Lanka in both Government and LTTE controlled areas providing post war and post tsunami relief and rehabilitation to Tamil community.

On November 15, 2007, the United States Department of the Treasury designated the TRO under Executive Order 13224, aimed to financially isolate US designated foreign terrorist groups and their support network. Under this order, the Department of the Treasury froze all assets held by the TRO and its designees in US territories, and formally prohibited US citizens from transacting with the TRO or its members.The Department of Treasury stated that "T.R.O. passed off its operations as charitable, when in fact it was raising money for a designated terrorist group responsible for heinous acts of terrorism ... in the United States, T.R.O. has raised funds on behalf of the LTTE through a network of individual representatives. According to sources within the organization, T.R.O. is the preferred conduit of funds from the United States to the LTTE in Sri Lanka".

Thaandavam

Thaandavam (English: Rage) is a 2012 Indian Tamil action thriller film written and directed by A. L. Vijay, starring Vikram, Jagapati Babu, Anushka Shetty, Amy Jackson and Lakshmi Rai. It is produced by UTV Motion Pictures and features music composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar. Thaandavam was released worldwide on 28 September 2012.

The New York Times

The New York Times (sometimes abbreviated as the NYT and NYTimes) is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

The paper is owned by The New York Times Company, which is publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896; A.G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, and his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper.Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record". The paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page.

Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has greatly expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials, sports, and features. Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York (metropolitan), Business, Sports of The Times, Arts, Science, Styles, Home, Travel, and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review (formerly the Week in Review), The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. The Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, and was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography, especially on the front page.

Tooting

Tooting is a district of South London, England, forming part of the London Borough of Wandsworth and partly in the London Borough of Merton. It is located 5 miles (8 kilometres) south south-west of Charing Cross.

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Americas
Asia
Europe
Oceania
See also
Migration to the United Kingdom from Asia
East Asia
South Asia
Southeast Asia
West Asia

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