'Period Paatu': Sofia Ashraf sings about menstrual hygiene in Tamil folk storytelling form

FP Staff

May 30, 2017 10:17:16 IST

What do you do when you see three young saree clad women with gajra in their hair and the one in the middle happens to be Sofia Ashraf? You click on it.

Sofia Ashraf, the rapper from Chennai who shot to fame after her song 'Kodaikanal Won't' went viral, is back with 'Period Paatu', a song on menstrual hygiene. The rapper, who also calls herself Sista From The South, made a video with Blush to mark World Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28.

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A still from the video. Screengrab from YouTube.

While a large portion of women in India continues to be fairly uninformed about period products, Sofia takes it upon herself to educate people about products available for women. Sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, she sings about it all through a quirky adaptation of Villu Paatu, a taditional Tamil storytelling form. Not merely products, she even discusses the pros and cons of these products in terms of health risks and environmental harm owing to insufficient dumping space.

The reactions to 'Period Paatu' have been surprisingly positive so far, with a few people crying cultural appropriation in the comments section of the video. "I can't bear the accent and I am South Indian," reads a comment. Remarks like these has a lot of people scratching their heads since Sofia herself is a Tamilian. One can't possibly appropriate their own culture in the sense that it starts coming off as an attempt of violation and trivialization of the original culture, right?

The sista from the south is well-known among millennials for her extremely creative yet political and deeply subversive work. She usually generously laces her songs with political allusions which depict her activism. Be it asking consumer goods giant Unilever to clean up their industrial mess in Kodaikanal in 'Kodaikanal Won't' or resisting political bullying in Tamil Nadu with 'Democracy is Dead', it is comforting to see young women expressing their opinion out in the open, when there are already so many forces silencing voices of dissent.

It's safe to say that this generation is, indeed, doing something right. Here's the video:

Updated Date: May 30, 2017 12:12:41 IST