ILCAA Home > Essays > Monthly Photos
Font Size : [Larger] [Medium] [Smaller]

Monthly Photos

Photos taken by ILCAA staff and associates are posted here once a month; most of them are taken during their field research in Asia and Africa.

(The copyright belongs to the photographers.)

Reunion's Rhum

Reunion Island's primary economic activity is sugarcane monoculture and the production of sugar and rum. Rhum Charrette (meaning cow-cart) is the island's most famous brand of rum. Despite its high alcohol content (49%), it is drunk neat by many islanders. This picture is of a painted board on sale in a gift shop in the town of Cilaos (one of cirques). It contains a couplet written in Reunionese Creole, which I have translated as follows :



I give up That


Rum is not good even,
But everyone drinks all the same.
Reunion Island

*974 are the first three digits of Reunion Island's zip code

This couplet contains six syllables and precisely two "MEM" rhymes. This picture imitates the Charrette label, although it is not well done. It is interesting to note that, while the folktales and music of the islands of the Indian Ocean are amazing, painting, as an art form, is not as well developed. One of the reasons for this is believed to be the fact that nature is all around and ever-present for one to see.

Charrette label

6 Aug 2019
Cilaos, Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean
Photograph by Jun'ichi ODA

Copyright © 2010 Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. All Rights Reserved.