English translation: Categorizing the two as different
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12:29 Feb 9, 2009
English to English translations [PRO] Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Indian/Malay culture
English term or phrase:meat vs. fish
From novel by South African writer Rayda Jacobs: "Confessions of a Gambler."
Context: "The Malays were never going to be easy about their daughters marrying
Indians, and the Indians were always going to think they were better than
the Malays. The term Malay is of course another carbuncle, but that´s a
story on its own. Let me just say this: My forefathers might´ve come from
the islands around the Indian Ocean, but I´m no Malay. The government did a
terrible thing in the nineteen forties when it made *meat of the Malays and
fish of the Indians*. And that´s how it has been since. There´s a rift...."
Does anyone know what "meat vs. fish" signifies here? Thank you very much in advance.
I think Manuel has a point there. I'm not sure what happened back in the 40s, but the government must have done something that put the Indians one step above the Malays, and further drove these two different cultures apart. (To a point of no reconcillation, perhaps?) And I don't think this is the only reason. The Indians are native of Indian Ocean regions, while the Malays are not, they immigrated to that region from South East Asia. This may have caused the Indians to look down on them in the first place. Another interesting fact is that in the Hindu caste system, the Brahmins - the highest caste - do not eat meat, they are totally vegetarian, and considered holy. While the meat eaters are considered unclean. I may be wrong, and in that case, I apologize :-)
is to maltreat (kill) someone or rather have some one killed. Making fish of... is perhaps a distortion of this saying. In other words the text in question could be conveying that both the Malay and Indians were attacked, beaten, descriminated by the government, only that they-the gov- used different means of descrimination in relation to the two cultures.
Automatic update in 00:
6 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +7
Categorizing the two as different
Explanation: I'm not sure but I think that this is what they mean.
Although the two are essentially the same they get categorized as different sorts.
Shai Navé Israel Local time: 10:43 Native speaker of: Hebrew, English PRO pts in category: 4