Indian Music and Arts in Malaysia Have Many Roots

By Paul Augustin, Duraagashini Kathigesu

April 2022 FEATURE
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Susila Thiruselvam with producer Nadarajan (second from left) at a Tamil Radio drama recording session. Photo by: Lathah Thiruselvam.
INDIAN MUSIC IN Malaya before the 20th century was mainly of the Indian Classical and Carnatic modes, and these were performed in temples for religious celebrations and festivities by classical musicians brought in from India.This was a boon for many in the local Indian community who also benefitted in receiving a musical education.Beyond Temple Walls Around 1920[1], estate worker Kaliya Perumal Devar Vathiyar[2] founded Tamil Street Theatre. Its plays, inspired by the Purana Tales, were staged and performed in Sungai Rambai...

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Paul Augustin

is the director of Penang House of Music, and founder and festival director of the Penang Island Jazz Festival.

Duraagashini Kathigesu

has just completed her internship at Penang House of Music and is currently still attached to the organisation as a part-timer doing documentation and research work.