Lethica Nair


You must not be misinformed.
We didn’t come here by choice.
When the British came
My ancestors knew what to do.
They filled our hair with as much culture as possible- thick
They bridged the ocean in between.
We came with our agarbatti and bhindis
Our traditions and myths
“Do not walk under a mango tree at night with your hair loose.”
“Turn salt seven times to remove the jealous eyes”
We came with our home remedies
“Chew bitter leaf to get rid of a cough or drink russo.”
“Burn sambrani”
“Put coconut oil in your hair.”
“Leg baths for new borns by an elder.”
We came with our Gods
“Lakshmi prayers, porridge prayers, Kavady, Raksha Bandhan, Diwali.”
We came with our bhajans and marigold garlands.
We came with our intricate languages
And broke English so rigidly, only we understand each other.
“Thava(homonym), hava, warrapen”
A rope.
A root.
When the British came
My ancestors knew what to do
They filled our hair with as much culture as possible-Thick.

IMG_7288

-Indian hair

Illustrated by Moipone Tsaoane


Name:Lethica Nair

Medium:Poetry

Location:South Africa, Chatsworth.

About the Piece:

This piece is titled Indian Hair. It is speaks about the misrepresentation of the Indian community living in South Africa. It talks about what is means to leave your country to be an immigrant in another and how that affects the next generation. It’s speaks to a yearning of belonging so you try and use what you have in a foreign place and make it your own e.g the English dialect.

 

Contact:lethicanair@gmail.com

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