KELING: Explorative Art That Aims To Challenge The Derogatory Term & Gender Stereotypes


“I am a Keling too”.

The word ‘Keling’ was earlier defined as reference to people who origin from the historic Kalinga Kingdom. In modern colloquial usage, the word is considered a derogatory term used in the Malay archipelago.

Perassath Servai Vedagiri is a Malaysian performing artist who has used the power of movement, music and emotions to challenge social constructs, stereotypes and biases. With an aim to desensitise the derogatory word used towards people of Indian origin, Perassath has created a 11-minute long video featuring Indian women and children. The video also shows him dressed in traditional Indian clothing such as sarees and salwar kameez to challenge gender stereotypes.


Perassath has been actively involved in the performing arts in Malaysia for many years nows, including the 2014 d’Next Artist Project (d’NA) Season Two. Some of his work include  Silk & Strings – the Truth of Bullying and PILLS, that also won 3rd place in Astro Vaanavil’s Short Film Contest.

Watch KELING right here: