“Make a bad ting good”.

Rastamouse is currently one of my son’s favourite TV programmes. I must admit I too love the little rodent and his two trusty sidekicks Scratchy and Zoomer; together they solve mysteries and crime. however my favourite character is President Wensley Dale who at the beginning of every programme can be heard summoning the titled character by shouting “Rastamouse, cum een, cum een” via radio, this always leads me to laughter, partly because it is reminiscent of Charlie calling to he’s angels.

Rastamouse was first a book and was written by Michael Souza and Genevieve Webster. It was released in 2005 even though Khai was not yet born I had seen and heard about the Rastamouse books and was delight in January when BBC’s Cbeebies produced and started broadcasting the new animation series.
My son loves loves loves this show and it brings me great joy to see his glee at witnessing the little mouse and friends talking away in Jamaican slang and accent.

So you can image my shock when I discovered all the controvesery surrounding the TV programme, calls of racism due to the use of Jamaican slang words such as “Wa gwan” which means what’s going on how are you, so not sure what is racist about that; from what I understand there just seems to be a handful of non Jamaican people who are a little afraid their child may go up to a black child at school and use a Jamaican slang term and this may some how be deemed as racist,  I find this so odd because most of the children and teens mainly in England inner city’s these days have a very mashed up British accent of English, Jamaican and a few more.
Some claim alleged racist overtones considering the show to be a stereotype of Jamaican life, while others are even saying things like cheese is an allusion to cannabis, apparently there are strains of the drug/herb called “cheese” and “blue cheese”, despite actual cheese being seen in the series of course it couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the characters are mice’s and mice love cheese, no that would be way to simple.

I mean while looking at websites and researching these claims I even managed to find this comment in regard to the Rastamouse debate “Everything has become WAY too PC these days, my friends little boy goes to a primary school where they have to sing Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep instead….” Helen Hughes Williams
And I thought that Mrs. Rix who was my nursery teacher was the only crazed person because when I was four we had to sing baa baa white sheep as well as baa baa black sheep.
But the good new is that a poll showed that over 60% of viewers considered the show to be a positive programme and so do I and Khai,

You must check these out *

* Copyright – Rastamouse 2010 BBC

You can watch full episodes here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yfn03

The book link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rastamouse-Crucial-Plan-Michael-Souza/dp/0954609816/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300292848&sr=1-1

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2 thoughts on ““Make a bad ting good”.

  1. Isn’t it amazing what people will get all up in arms about? I was recently explaining the concept of racism to my 8 year old, who had recently been learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. You should have SEEN the look on her face. She couldn’t grasp the concept. She kept asking how anybody could think a skin color made them different. She couldn’t grasp it because she had no frame of reference! Now you can’t tell me that an episode of Rastamouse would make her suddenly racist. I’m sorry, but racism isn’t learned from television. It’s passed down by parents.

  2. Can I first say well done for tackling such an issue with your daughter I’m sure she’ll grow up to be an open minded and caring person!

    You are so right about this! It does come directly from the parents and the family environment. Hopefully this programme and others like it will encourage more shows to keep exploring differences, not just ethnicity but our differences.

    The children’s channels do a great job, I remember a year or so ago a children’s TV presenter Carrie, who lost one of her arms from the elbow down (in fact I think she may have been born that way) again there was an out cry from the parents claming she was scaring their children, when in actual fact had they sat down (like you are doing with your daughter) with their kids and tried to explain why Carrie’s arm is like that all the children’s fears would have been eliminate the truth of the matter is the fear is the parent’s not the kid’s.

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