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Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in ‘Kaffir Culture’

Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture'

An insightful short documentary by Sri Lankan filmmaker Kannan Arunasalam, which tells the story of a small group of Sri Lankans of African descent, and their attempts to keep their culture alive in the face of falling numbers.

According to Arunasalam, 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.

And in case you weren’t aware, the term “Kaffir” is a racist slur used by whites towards blacks in Southern Africa (it was also in wide use among whites in the West in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century). It also means “unbeliever” in Arabic.

But in this specific case, in Arunasalam’s short film subject, it’s not the racial insult that it is in other parts of the world, notably South Africa, nor a racist word like “nigger” here in the USA.

Watch “Kaffir Culture” below :

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yes Sean that is a good question. the reason can be on daytime most men must have been engage with work i guess .

Sean Amos

I think when an interview is conducted exclusively with one gender, you miss out on important aspects within their culture. Its a lovely documentary yet it only interviews women. I would like to know why.

Raashid Sudin

Wonderful documentary about the African descent people of Sri Lanka…I have always heard that there was a village in Puttalam with lot of African Descent people and wanted to go and talk to them to find out more about their African descent and history….Nicely done document…Well done :)


Thanks for sharing.

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