Any member of a people originally of southern India who speak the Tamil language. The Tamil have a long history of achievement; sea travel, city life, and commerce seem to have developed early among them. They traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans. They have the oldest cultivated Dravidian language and a rich literary tradition. They are mostly Hindus (the Tamil area in India is a centre of traditional Hinduism). Sri Lanka has two distinct Tamil populations, the so-called Ceylon Tamil and the Indian Tamil. Tensions between the Ceylon Tamil and the Sinhalese Buddhist majority prompted a Tamil guerrilla insurgency in the 1980s that continued into the 21st century. The Tamil number about 57 million, with 3.2 million living in Sri Lanka.