Are Malagasys racist?


One reason I chose to live in an ‘exotic’ country is because I enjoy getting to know people from different cultures. But I’ve found a society so obsessed with race and ethnicity that I often long for the interracial mixing of Britain (and if you disagree that races mix in Britain – you want to see it here!).

Economic, religious and social lives in Madagascar are all divided along fairly clear racial lines.

It’s an Indian!

Western tourists are often offended to be referred to and treated first and foremost as a Vazaha. But, what they don’t realise is that, in Diego, your race is the most important piece of information about you. When my partner was in England, we couldn’t see somebody of Indian origin without him commenting, “It’s an Indian.” Every single time. I tried to stop him doing it but it was an unstoppable reflex.

Race and…

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Film music, Films

My name is Anthony Gonsalves

In my childhood I thought the song “My name is Anthony Gonsalves” was a catchy ditty created primarily to showcase Amitabh Bachan’s sartorial exuberance in the film Amar, Akbar, Anthony. It turns out there was an actual Goan musician named Anthony Gonsalves, who tutored music director R.D.Burman and Pyarelal of Laxmikanth-Pyarelal music director duo; the song is widely considered a tribute to Mr. Pyarelal’s guru who taught him how to play the violin.

In 1965, Mr. Gonsalves quit the film industry, travelled to the United States sponsored by a travelling grant from Syracuse University in New York. He became a member of the American Society of Composers, Publishers and Authors, and later in returned to India, settled in his ancestral village of Majorda in Goa, and continued composing music, though he never joined the Hindi films again. Read the story here

Films, Malayalam

Lisammayude Veedu (Malayalam film)

This is writer Babu Janardhanan’s directorial debut and is a sequel to Achanurangatha Veedu. Whilst not a brilliant movie, Lisammayude Veedu (Lisa’s House) has a strong theme and an undercurrent of hope that makes watching the film enjoyable.

It is the story of a girl who is now an adult, making her way through the life with the burden of a traumatic, exploited past.

The protagonist, played by Meera Jasmine, is a wordly-wise, somewhat cynical and capable woman, a harder version of her younger sexually exploited self. The film spans her lifetime and the narrative takes great leaps across several decades on more than one occasion. This makes for a disjointed viewing on a few occasions. Nevertheless it is a capable directorial effort – which is complemented by great camera work and simple music, scored by newcomer Vinu Thomas.

The romantic aspect of Lisamma finding a husband is badly treated and is a missed opportunity for what could have been an inspirational interlude to the main story.

Perhaps the most engaging part of the film is the ageing of Meera Jasmine as the narrative proceeds. Salim Kumar, as her father, does not have as prominent a role as in the original film. Thankfully this film is not as melodramatic as the original.

I liked it better than Achanurangatha Veedu.