Religion, Health and the Hindu Woman in Mauritius: Ananda Devi's Le Voile de Draupadi
AbstractThis study will explore the theme of transculturation in Francophone Mauritian writing through a critical reading of the metaphor of 'le voile' in Ananda Devi's Le Voile de Draupadi. At one level, the study will examine the myth of Draupadi's veil within the cultural context of Hindu mythology and its interpretation and contribution to the constitution of a Hindu identity in Mauritius. At another level the reading of the veil will be juxtaposed against the wider linguistic and literary context of Francophone literatures where the term 'voile' takes on a different religious, cultural and political significance. Ananda Devi's narrative is a site of creative contestation and exposes the complex and dynamic nature of exclusion and marginality in the multi-lingual, multi-racial and multi-religious Mauritian society. The essay will argue that 'le voile', a metaphor for women's oppression in literary convention in Francophone writing, is translated by Ananda Devi into a metaphor for regenerative tension in the construction of a Hindu identity in Mauritius.