EAST OF HOME by Santha Rama Rau


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Those who remember with warm affection a little book called Home to India (1945) will welcome this charming, rather rambling account of her slowly awakening realization that she is not only an Indian but an Asiatic. A period of teaching English in a girls' school in occupied Japan, a deepening appreciation of the classical Kabuki Theatre, with its revelation of the common basis of much of the folklore and legend of the East, combined to make the first dent. Then came a leisurely trip with Occidental friends through China's distant interior, through beautiful and little known Cambodia (part of Indo-China) with its temple dancers and inspiring ruins, and again recognition of the close tie with legends and religions familiar to her as an Indian. Finally Siam the only far eastern country to have escaped foreign dominance. She watched foreigners in various places visited and sensed the malaise between them and the natives, the lack of understanding and sympathy on the part of westerners towards the land and peoples from whom they derived a livelihood. Born a Brahmin, educated in both England and America, Santha Rama Rau has known and absorbed qualities of East and West. This is an interesting and revealing journal, both as a travel record and a searching of the mind.

Publisher: Harper