…You know how your parents are always on your case to talk to them in Hindi or Urdu? Yeah, now you have a legit excuse not to bother.
Man questioned and misses flight for speaking Tamil
By Brad Wong
A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious.
The Port of Seattle dispatched its police officers to investigate the case, which occurred Saturday around noon, said Bob Parker, airport spokesman. The Chicago man was preparing to board an American Airlines flight to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The man was speaking Tamil, a language largely used in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, on his cell phone at the departure gate and on the aircraft. An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.
The man also apparently said something in English about a sporting rivalry at his alma mater.
“It’s a big misunderstanding,” said Parker. “He had a perfectly innocent explanation that all added up.”
Parker said it is incumbent on airport officials to investigate reports of suspicious activity.
“It’s hard to triage over the phone,” he said.
But Parker had no explanation as to why a man speaking Tamil, which is spoken worldwide, would be considered suspicious. The person who contacted airport officials could give an answer to that question, he added.
Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.
i love this line in the artice “But Parker had no explanation as to why a man speaking Tamil, which is spoken worldwide, would be considered suspicious.” the implication being, there are languages that when spoken, properly connote suspiciousness!