The Dance of Destiny
by Raja (Arasa) Ratnam
Trafford Publishing

" personal river of Destiny took me to where I had to go, no matter how hard I paddled to change directions."

What path does a man's life take, and why? This nonfiction narrative is the author's personal account of his journey. Born into a Ceylon Tamil family living in British-colonized Malaya, he was used to a multi-cultural environment. As a young man, all of his school teachers were Asian but had been trained in the United Kingdom. English was the language used for teaching. That was before World War II.

He was having a violin lesson one day when he first heard bombs exploding a few miles away. This was the Japanese invasion in 1941. As the war progressed, his family's situation changed from a comfortable lifestyle to living temporarily with other families and having to scrounge for food. After the war, he was accepted to school in Australia and later had a distinguished career working with refugees and immigrants in the midst of racism.

This 411-page work does not get bogged down. Ratnam gives enough explanation to keep his story flowing without belaboring the issue. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 is about his life, and Part 2 focuses on his experiences with racism in Australia. However, it is not only the author's life that is interesting, but it is how his background mixed with the larger significance of events happening around him that makes this book stand out. Ratnam discusses both harmony and prejudice based on race, religion, language, and customs, providing insight for any college student of sociology, race relations (including job discrimination), history of Malaya and Australia, Hinduism, or migrant settlement policies.

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