Perhaps a rose by any other name would indeed smell as sweet, but a lot of people might be upset if they suddenly had to call a rose by something less familiar. How they might feel may be measured by the emotional controversies that continue to swirl around the appropriate names for certain forms of Asian theatre. ATJ has more than once discussed the problem with regard to traditional Chinese theatre. In the present article, Hanne M. de Bruin examines the issues surrounding the name for the folk theatre of Tamil Nadu, India--usually known as terukkuttu (one of several possible spellings), but which some now prefer to call kattaikkuttu. De Bruin's position as a theatre researcher not only gives her firsthand insights based on her own participation in the debate but, as she notes, also clouds the issues because of her status as a foreign scholar. In her essay, De Bruin closely examines the sociopolitical ramifications of the naming problem.
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 1, 2000