Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I recently finished reading Roots, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alex Haley.

It is the story of an African who was captured and sold as a slave in America and of his descendents. In case you didn't know, the story was made into the first week-long television mini-series and even ran on Malaysian TV.

In Melbourne I borrrowed the DVD collection from my sister. There were 5 DVD's in total. I didn't cry but I have to admit, it was quite emotional. We thought of watching only one DVD and the others later because it was quite late. Ended up watching all of them until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.

I decided to buy the book when I got back to Malaysia but my wife told me that her mother had a copy. And there it was in their bookcase, pages yellowed but still in a good condition. The book was much better.

The book has been published in 37 languages and also generated widespread interest in genealogy - researching family origins.

It really made me think about my own roots. Frankly, I don't know much beyond my own grandparents, where they came from or even their names.

Of course most people don't care. There are people who even reject their own roots. A good example are Malays who try to be more Arabanized than the Arabs. Banning Mak Yong is another.

Do you know your own roots?

Related Links:

- The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation



cheng sim said...

hmm. i would definitely buy them. i love reading bestsellers. maybe i should add pulitzer-prize books in it as well.

Jee said...

Wah.. reading so sophicated book arh?!!

Okie, let me go to MPH and have a peek at the book, see if worth buying or not.

Lucia Lai said...

i read the book many years back... you know the time when roots was shown as a mini-series on tv. it was after the show had been screened on tv that got me interested to buy the book to read. i bought the book while the mini-series was still on.

i would say reading the book is as good as watching the movie, if not better... because from the book, the description is more detailed.

sadly, no, i don't know my roots. especially since my father was an adopted child.

BabyPink said...

i remember seeing some parts of the tv-movie. my parents rented it back when betamax were still in. i was really young then, but i remember kunta kinte. i remember one scene very distinctly. the one where he was being lashed because theywanted him to say that his name was toby. i was really affected by that scene.

as for my own roots, the meranao culture is ver clanish so it is very important that a meranao knows his or her roots, far beyond grandparents, that is.:)

*lynne* (azlynne1972) said...

That's one of the books I tried to read when I was waaaay too young... dunno if I have the heart to read it again now; i prefer fantasy works since the reality in the world is kinda depressing :p

Anonymous said...

I watched the miniseries with my older sisters, think I was too young to comprehend everything. But, for sure the name Kunta Kinte has always been in my mind, unforgettable scene is also the one that shows he was being lashed.
I also don't know much beyond my grandparents, anyway got to know grandfather is Iban.

Mama22Beas said...

Ops sorry, the last message is from me, forgot to sign in!

narrowband said...

Sounds interesting, Adam. Frankly, I prefer reading this kind of book to fiction ones - although I don't avoid fiction books completely. I'll take note of this book you blogged!


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