Mathangi Arulpragasam—commonly known by her stage name M.I.A.—was recently named a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), one of the highest honors that a British citizen can achieve. Arulpragasam was one of several inducted into the order during the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours which observe those who have made significant strides in areas such as medicine, philanthropy, and the arts with the “Paper Planes” rapper award being a result of her contributions to music.
Arulpragasam accepted the award in dedication to her mother according to a statement posted to her Instagram:
“I’m honoured to have this honour, as it means alot to my Mother. I want to honour what my mum spent many hours of her life doing!
She is one of the two women in England who hand stitched these medals for the last 30 years”
Other notable names honoured this year included television personality Bear Grylls and the legendary New Wave singer and songwriter Elvis Costello.
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I’m honoured to have this honour, as it means alot to my Mother. I want to honour what my mum spent many hours of her life doing! She is one of the 2 women in England who hand stitched these medals for the last 30 years. After receiving asylum my mum and cousin took this job in 1986, because it was the only non English speaking manual labour she could find. She spent her life in England hand sewing 1000s of medals for the Queen. No matter how I feel or what I think , my Mother was extremely proud of the job she had. It’s a very unique situation for me where I get to honour her most classiest minimum wage job ever. #TAMIL #UKTAMIL #REFUGEE survival story. #LIFECYCLES. #whomademymedal
Photo Credit: Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.