Posted: 13 Jun 2011 01:13 AM PDT
THE movement of the people of India across the globe has been recorded in various books and memoirs, as well as movies revolving around first and second- generation migrant communities, such as Mississippi Masala and Bend It Like Beckham.
In Malaysia, we take it for granted that the Indian migrant population has had a strong presence across the peninsula, as well as in Singapore, over a few generations.
But little do we learn of the Indian community's roots and history here.
This is the inspiration behind director N.S. Krishna's original idea more than 10 years ago to create a show that would highlight the origins of the Indian community in various countries.
Then still a young, independent director, he had to shelve his idea for a documentary series that would chronicle the migrant journeys and living experiences of the Indian diaspora in their adopted countries.
Last year, Krishna successfully represented his idea, and with the support of Radio Televisyen Malaysia, finally saw his 13-episode series, called Vanna Mayilgal, make its debut on April 4 this year on TV2. The programme is aired every Monday. The series takes a closer look at the Indian diaspora in four countries: Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia.
Vanna Mayilgal, which translates to "colours of the peacock", according to Krishna, is to highlight that the Indian communities spread colour into these countries as they enhance the socio-economic and cultural landscape.
The episodes highlight the origins of the local Indian population and features selected personalities who have made a name for themselves in various fields, including business, education, medicine, government and the performance arts or entertainment.
"I really feel there are a lot of stories that can further inspire the younger generation, regardless of ethnicity and background, in showing how these descendants of India migrated to their current country of domicile for various reasons.
"The beauty of how these Indian migrants maintained the essence of their origins through their language, religion, culture and traditions, in the face of some initial adversity, is something we can all take example from," Krishna said, adding that it took his team six months of research and four months of filming and post-production to complete the series.
The 10th episode, which aired last week, took viewers to Melbourne, Australia. The two main personalities whom the programme featured were Prof Madya Dr Siva Muthaly, a lecturer at the famous RMIT University, and Dr Mohan Dass, a lecturer at the Swinburne University of Technology.
The final three episodes bring the series' producers, SG Entertainment Sdn Bhd, full circle back to their homeland of Malaysia. Episode 11 (tonight) features N.S. Maniam, a social activist and former National Unity Department officer in Malacca, and Arunasalam Pillai, who is the official spokesman for the Chetti community in the same state.
Episode 12 looks at the background of the Sri Murugan Centre founder and president Datuk Dr M. Thambirajah, and his effort in helping thousands of local Indian students strive for greater academic achievement.
This episode also features a sub-segment on the Little India of Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur.
The final episode will highlight Kumaresan Karthigesu, an exponent of traditional Indian music, who teaches at the Temple of Fine Arts in KL. Also featured is Selvarajoo Sundram, the current chairman of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (Gopio) Malaysia chapter.
RTM has been impressed with the show's performance, stating that the ratings have been increasing every week. The station plans to re-run the documentary after its initial airing ends this month.
More good news has recently emerged for the producers, as two countries, in Europe and Asia, have already approached them with a request for syndication rights.
> Tamil documentary Vanna Mayilgal screens on TV2 today at 5pm.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
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