Our Vision

For all kinds of Tamil children to access their language globally.
To see no Tamil families struggle to pass down their language and roots to their children.
To increase representation and belonging of interracial & intersectional Tamils.
To tackle exclusion and insular narratives both about and within the community.
To assist and promote learning Tamil as a second language to non-native speakers.

Our Mission

Kelir Books creates bilingual Tamil resources #forallkindsofTamilar and promotes access to Tamil resources that are representative and inclusive of the complexities of socio-cultural identity in today’s world.

Persis Naumann

Founding Director I Editorial Thalai

As amma (mother) to her 2-year-old inter-racial ponnu (daughter), Persy identified a gap in the market for Tamil language and cultural resources, particularly, bilingual Tamil language children’s books that are representative and inclusive of different kinds of Tamil children – particularly Tamils living around the globe (away from a full immersion setting), inter-racial, mixed cultural, and non-speaking families. As a PhD student her research directly impacts Tamil women and the wider South Asian community. As a professor of Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh she focuses on the promotion of ethical values and cultural understanding. She advocates for ethical approaches in storytelling, representation, and business practice.

Persy wants to use Kelir for representation, diversity, and inclusion. Through compelling narratives and story telling she wants #allkindsofTamilar to know that no one group can monopolize or dominate the Tamil space and you don’t have to be an expert in the language or culture to feel like one is Tamil.

Hence, Kelir although in its conception started with one character, quickly realized that it is impossible to reduce the nuances of cultural diversity and accurately represent #allkindsofTamilar in a single character. Our 5 avatars, Theo, K, Puvi, Zoya, and Aadhi represent something as individuals and as a collective. They each have a story and we cannot wait for them to share that with the Kelir world.

Peniel Prabakaran-Elliott

Author I Publishing Thalai

👩👧👦athai 🤸🏿‍♀️chithi kadhai writing 🧠products moolaikari

Peny is one of 5 siblings born & raised in Chennai. She grew up in a full-immersion Tamil home and learnt English in school. She has travelled and lived amidst different cultures and is skilled in languages. She misses all things home and understands how hard it can be to stay rooted and connected while navigating the nuances in our cross-cultural, cross-border lives. She is determined to not let anyone be excluded, discounted or discouraged from their identity, culture, and language due to lack of access and regardless of their ethno-socio-religious-geographical diversity.

She wants to use her academic background in Public Policy, Social Policy, Leadership Communication, Theology and Languages to make a better world for the next generation.

She currently lives in Rotorua, New Zealand with her husband David, where she is also learning Te Reo Māori, the indigenous language of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Peny is an athai and chithi to 2 nieces and 2 nephews (hoping for more to come); who she adores and who are most likely going to end up in her will. Peny is also an aunty to many of her friends’ pasanga whom she loves and are the reason behind her commitment to the vision, mission, and values of Kēlir Books – for all kinds of Tamilar

Peniel Prabhakaran Elliott

Erin Dass

Artist and Illustrator Extraordinaire

 Hi, I’m Erin! I am from Malaysia, spent a portion of my childhood in Ethiopia, and I currently reside in Canada. Growing up, my parents’ work allowed me to meet people from all over the world & experience many different cultures, religions, and traditions. This allowed my siblings and I to appreciate differences, as well as grow fonder of our own South Indian heritage. My experience living in different countries made me a big fan of food, art, animals, nature, and people. Outside of my personal life, I am a clinical counsellor and photographer. I have a big heart for working with children, immigrants, and the deaf & hard of hearing community.

As someone who grew up as a third-culture kid, everything Tamil I knew I learnt from my family — from listening to my Tata tell stories about his life to learning to cook from my Parima. I did not have very many Tamil resources outside of movies so it is very special to be able to assist Kelir Books’ vision & mission. It is truly an honour getting to represent all kinds of Tamil children and families through the illustrations!

Advisory Team

We want to move away from working in silos. We are built for community which is a huge part of being a Tamilian. We want Kelir to be that beautiful, diverse, passionate community. So a team of #allkindsofTamilar who are fond of this mission volunteer to support this journey. Feel free to email us at community@kelirbooks.com if you’d like to join our team.

We highly value everyone’s privacy and preferences. So not all of our advisory team members are featured here on the page. We are, however, indellibly thankful for their  invaluable support.

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Kalaiyarasi Lloyd

My name is Kalaiyarasi, and I’m an IT Architect, lover of Tamil language, aspiring Psychologist. My job is to provide IT solutions for Customer Relationship Management product implementation. With my passion and love towards Tamil language which is also my mother tongue, I provide Kelir Books with expert advice on Tamil language-related topics. I read a lot and aspiring to be a people person. I strongly believe that Kelir Books provide extensive guidance and roots about one of the oldest languages of the world (Tamil) and hence I’m contributing to the vibrant group of Kelir Books to reach many other Tamil lovers like me and rest who would like to embrace this culture.

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Monisha Sathish Kumar

Hi, I’m Monisha. I hold a bachelor degree in electronic instrumentation engineering. I worked as a biomedical engineer for a brief period of time after which I focused on my passion and worked into becoming a full time kathak performer and teacher. I completed my course in kathak from Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society under able guidance of Guru. Jyotika Joshi. I co-founded Anga Taranga Pte., an art space dedicated to nurture kathak. I am one of the artistic directors here, and curate performing platforms for aspiring students and accomplished artists across Singapore. I enjoy teaching and performing kathak.