M.I.A. in 2008, photo by PrPhotos.com

Birth Name: Mathangi Arul Pragasam

Place of Birth: Hounslow, Middlesex, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 17 July, 1975

Ethnicity: Tamil Sri Lankan

M.I.A. is a British rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, visual artist, director, model, photographer, and activist. She came to prominence through music file sharing over the internet in 2004.

M.I.A. is the daughter of Kala (Kathirithamby) and Arul Pragasam, “Arular,” an engineer, writer, and activist. Her parents are Tamil Sri Lankans, who were involved in the Tamil independence movement. Her father co-founded the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students, EROS, in 1975 in Wadsworth, England; the group was affiliated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

M.I.A. spent part of her childhood in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Her name, M.I.A. (Missing in Action), is after a cousin, Janna, who went missing in Sri Lanka. M.I.A. has strong political views and voices them in her lyrics. Around 1986, her family returned to the U.K., where they were housed as refugees.

M.I.A. has a son with her former partner, Benjamin Bronfman, an environmentalist, who founded the Green Owl record label (his sister is DJ, model, and entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman).

Source: http://www.rollingstone.com


Curious about ethnicity

40 Responses

  1. JzJeff says:

    Shes not Indian, shes Sri Lankan. Different country, different culture, different ethnicty, different looks. enough with the Indian comments.

    • Jacklyn 224 says:

      Actually they just the same people,sri Lankan Tamils came to the island in the third century B.C.E,moving across the strait from India,as part of the expansion by India’s southern kings.But the vast majority of sri Lankan tamils,were imported by the British to work on the coffee and tea plantations,in the islands interior during the second half of the nineteenth century.

  2. gigi says:

    sorry to say this but indians are unfortunate looking people

  3. Daniel says:

    She has conviction and I admire that. The world was her stage and she made a statement, good for her. The world needs more people like this women.

  4. Myself says:

    i thought she was black when i firts saw her. she’s dark for an indian… i know they are dark but not as dark as mia is. she also has african features.

    • Myself says:

      first* Sorry..typo!

      • Jacklyn 224 says:

        She is black but she’s also Indian. She ‘s Dravidian Indian,they were never affected by the Aryan invasions hence retaining they’re black characteristics.She obviously descends from one of the cushite-bantu hybrid tribes just by look at her.

    • flower says:

      Well first you hve to understand the indian culture…MIA is a black indian …most indians are dark aka brown/blck ( however they don’t want to use the word blck) that’s why the upper class bleach their skin…N u only see the lighter or whiter ones on TV or MOVIES…Its funny becuz I dated indian men dark much darker thn myself but they wouldn’t call themselves blck but would call me blck instead they would call themselves brown…rllly N I’m 8 shades ligther thn them… (It makes me wonder shld I stop calling myself blck)

      • Marko says:

        @flower, indians are generally not black, and Mia is not even Indian he’s Sri Lankan!!! Indians are usually in various shades of brown, with minorities with white or black skin. Indians from the north like Punjab are rarely black or dark brown, usually light brown, and the whole world refers to Indians as Asian or brown people. They can’t be black, even the really dark ones because their facial and body structure generally is different, Indians actually fit into the caucasian category along with Middle Easterners and Europeans.

        • didi says:

          Marko the majority of Indians are of a darker hue. They are one of the first steps out of Africa. There are Afo-Indians….ppl who still have a very clear and distinctive tie to Africa…there are also “Indians” who have been out of Africa for thousands of years and still look African. You are right she is Sri Lankan…but the same thing applies to them. >>ever hear of the Sri Lankan kaffir people? Regardless of features (because every feature Indians have can be found in Africa as well), many Indians have a problem as the rest of the world with placing worth in their distance from their beautiful indigenous selves …..aka >>try to look as European as possible and put their own beauty and roots on the back shelf. Google: Kallar, Siddi, Jawara,Dongria Kondh, adivasi people and more>> learn.

        • MP says:

          Indians from India are not referred to as Asians….they are referred to as Indians.

          • Nathalie says:

            I disagree with that. In america, when people say “asian” they are very typically usually referring to east asians like filipinos, japanese, vietnamese, cambodians, koreans, etc. Indians are classifed as south asians. In the U.K., when they say “asian” they are usually talking about indians, pakistanis, iranians, etc. that’s the difference.

            I’m an american, and i look at indians as asian. i don’t understand how anyone could not look at them as asian. unless i’m getting the wrong idea?

        • Jacklyn 224 says:

          Dude Indians descend from the cushites of africa not Bantus,that’s why they got different features.Theyre only 3 black ethnic groups;bantus aka sub saharan africans,cushites and khoisan tribes.Its worth noting that they were cushite tribes that assimilated Bantus into their tribes hence why some cuahites would look like bantus.Cushite characteristics are dark skin,flat noses ,slimmer bodies and /curly/wavy jet black hair.There are two Indian ethnic groups indo Aryan and Dravidian, indo Aryan Indians are mixed with Arabian blood hence why they’re lighter skinned and have more prominent Caucasian features while Dravidian went unmixed hence why they have broader African feature and are dark skinned than the rest of Indian .They’re only 2 pure blooded cushite ethnic groups left in th e world;Somalis and Dravidian.the rest (horners and north indians)are mixed with Arabian blood hence being categorized as Caucasians.

    • mids says:

      no such thing as “African features” dumbass

  5. Samia_Kabullah_Bella says:

    Most of her songs seem politicaly motivated,especially her Born Free video (now banned in the US).

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