Singapore awarded cultural medallion to Indian-origin novelist

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Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
NEW YORK, 7th Dec.
Singapore on Wednesday announced the most prestigious arts accolade, cultural medallion to an Indian-origin novelist Meira in support of her artistic pursuits.

Meira Chand has been honoured with the Cultural Medallion, Singapore’s most prestigious arts accolade, according to news media reports.

Chand was born to Swiss-Indian parents, Chand, 81, is the first English-language female writer to be awarded the Medallion since Ho Minfong in 1997.

She received the award from President Tharman Shanmugaratnam with fellow novelist Suchen Christine Lim and Malay dance veteran Osman Abdul Hamid, at a ceremony held at the Istana on December 5.

The award came with a SG$80,000 grant for each recipient, is an initiative by late president and then Minister of Culture, Ong Teng Cheong.

“Each of our three new Cultural Medallion recipients is being recognised for their explorations through life, and for inspiring many others, not least the next generation of artists,” Shanmugaratnam said in a statement.

Chand is known for her depiction of multicultural societies, and her book, ‘The Painted Cage’, is an award-winning novelist was longlisted for the Booker Prize.

She was born in London to a Swiss mother and Indian father, Meira grew up and was educated in the UK.

Merira’s writing career began in India where she lived for five years and described it as “a life changing experience”.

Chand wrote on her website: “For the first time in my life, I met a half of myself I had never known. There was simply no way I could understand that experience, but through writing”.

Her novels, ‘House of the Sun’, ‘A Far Horizon’, and ‘The Pink White and Blue Universe’, are a reflection of her time in India, and the indelible effect of the country upon her, according to her website.

The Cultural Medallion award has been given to 135 artists since its inception in 1979.

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