Maya Arulpragasam (aka MIA) is an MBE
The British-Sri Lankan musician MIA– real name is Mathangi (shortened to Maya) Arulpragasam was awarded an MBE from Prince William at Buckingham Palace on the Thamil New Year’s Day of 14January 2020) in recognition of her “services to music.”
MIA attended the prestigious ceremony on Thamil News Year’s day along with her mother Mrs Kala Arulragasam, who was previously one of two women tasked with making the MBE medals each year.
“Having received this medal means so much on so many levels,” MIA wrote in a statement on Instagram.
Although MIA was born in Hounsow (UK) she grew up in Jaffna, the Capital City of Thamil Eelam attended the famous Holy Family Convent in Jaffna before returning to UK as a Political Refugee along with her parents in 1986
“My mother, a working-class refugee who received asylum in England in the Eighties, along with my cousin, are the only two women responsible for hand-stitching these medals for the palace.”
Both her mother and cousin took up their roles of medal stitchers back in 1986, holding their jobs for three decades.
Today I’m accepting this in honour of my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life. As a working class first generation immigrant it’s great to be recognised for my contribution. Having freedom to speak my truth and to do it through music has helped me speak for those who do not have those privileges. I will continue fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others. By the way mum loves the new saaree pin that she made with my cousin.
The entire Thamil Community is very proud of her achievements and we all wish her well