6.19.2011

The 'Kaffirs' of Sri Lanka


Kaffir culture from Kannan Arunasalam on Vimeo.
This short documentary has made its rounds across the interwebs and I believe it will be of interest to readers here.

Historians say that the Kaffirs of Sri Lanka started arriving from the eastern shores of Africa in the 1500s with the Portuguese, and later in more waves with the different colonizers of Sri Lanka.

'Kaffir culture' is a video portrait of one such community of Kaffirs and the struggle to keep their culture alive in the face of falling numbers.
The documentary is written and produced by Kannan Arunasalam and it is quite enlightening. I must add that the term 'kaffir' is regarded as an offensive term for a black person. Apparently the Kaffirs in Sri Lanka now embrace the term but I have to wonder if they have any other forms of self-identification.

13 comments:

  1. @EccentricYoruba

    You're a master researcher because this is a fantastic discovery. I can't help but wonder if the Sri Lanka guy I dated (yes, you Indra) knew of their existence and didn't tell me.

    More importantly, I'm overjoyed these people have taken back the term, kaffir, and now that that elders are getting on in years, they've decided to do more to save their culture. Preserving the language is practically everything. I hope to find more extensive information about them and how they self-identify.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Master researcher indeed, Eccentric!!!

    Amazing the things you learn on this blog. I didn't even know these people existed. This is mind-boggling.

    I too am glad that they are taking steps to ensure their cultural survival. Though I have issue with the word "Kaffir" I will not dictate identity to fellow POC. I'm looking forward to learning more about these remarkable people.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's really interesting, I love finding things like this - on that note, has anyone ever seen the Human Family Tree off of National Geographic? It doesn't target one group of course, but it mentions how all human life originated in Africa and how some people kept their African looks while others in the same area changed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here's part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7qtzGtzTo4

    ^^ I agree with Ankhensen, you learn so much from this blog that many others might not even hear about in their life time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wish people would stay away from the celebrity sites for just 30 minutes and look up interesting things like this for example.

    Oh and I found a Blasian Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxb-hEmYqmM

    Maybe you guys will post it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Umrao,

    You can post all the vids you want on our Facebook, just FYI.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Hateya

    Thank you so much for the kind words! Language is so important and I agree it is a great thing that they are preserving their culture.

    @Ankh

    I've always know that there were such people in South Asia since I found out about the Siddis of India. I don't think I put up the post on the 'Dutch Blackmen' of Indonesia here did I?

    @AikoVenus

    There's another great documentary like that but I don't think it is from National Geographic, I believe it was a British production but I can't remember the show's name right now.

    @Umrao

    Thanks! And for the link too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've always know that there were such people in South Asia since I found out about the Siddis of India. I don't think I put up the post on the 'Dutch Blackmen' of Indonesia here did I?

    Nope. You have more posts to do.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I saved a post in memories from my livejournal about the Sidis from Gujarat. It was a BBC production and pretty fascinating. Black folk are everywhere people. Better start checking your family tree and let the denial go.

    Sidis Gujarat

    Umrao - That's Crown J in the video. You know that the Korean authorities are gonna lock him up for possession of weed even though it happened in Atlanta, where he currently lives? It seems that those born/raised in Korea can never escape the long ARM OF THE LAW.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Once again, I'm in awe about some of the history that I'm learning off here. Like Ankh, I had no idea that these people existed in Sri Lanka as too often, African history/people in many non-Black countries seems to be brushed under the rug.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Like Ankh, I had no idea that these people existed in Sri Lanka as too often, African history/people in many non-Black countries seems to be brushed under the rug.

    For real. I mean, who knew?

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Ankh

    Yes I have a lot of posts to write! I'm working on one right now but it is along the 'China in Africa' theme. I'll crosspost the articles on the Black Dutchmen of Indonesia here soon.

    @Lenoxave

    Black folk are everywhere people. Better start checking your family tree and let the denial go.

    This is very true. There was/is a lot of activity going on between East Africa and the Asian continent so it shouldn't be a surprise.

    And is Crown J really going to jail? He's the same Crown J that was with Seo In Young on 'We Got Married' right?

    @M

    I'll be putting up more posts like these in the future.

    @modest-goddess

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.