• M.I.A has been awarded an MBE meda. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
"Today I'm accepting this in honour of my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life," the singer and rapper wrote on Instagram.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

16 Jan 2020 - 11:03 AM  UPDATED 16 Jan 2020 - 11:03 AM

In some wholesome news today, singer and rapper M.I.A. (Maya Arulpragasam) has received an MBE (which stands for Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), an honour bestowed upon British nationals who have made major contributions to local society and culture.

As if the moment wasn't already special enough for the artist, her ribbon was hand-sewn by her mother, Kala Pragasam, a refugee from Sri Lanka who was granted asylum in the UK back in the 1980s. Pragasam began working for the Crown in 1986 and sewed thousands of identical ribbons for the Queen. The exact ribbon is reportedly no longer made.

Sharing photos on social media, M.I.A. reflected on the significance of her mother's sacrifice in carving out a better life for her family.

"Today I'm accepting this in honour of my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life," she wrote on Instagram.

"As a working class first generation immigrant it's great to be recognised for my contribution," she added.

"Having freedom to speak my truth and to do it through music has helped me speak for those who do not have those privileges. I will continue fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others."

She concluded the caption by writing: "Btw mum loves the new saree pin that she made with my cousin."

"My mother was extremely proud of the job she had," M.I.A. wrote in a post last year, reflecting on the news that she would soon be honoured with one of her mother's ribbons.

"It's a very unique situation for me where I get to honour her most classiest minimum wage job ever."

In England, receiving an MBE is pretty uncommon - but not as uncommon as receiving one that your mum handmade decades earlier.

Congrats to M.I.A. and her family on the well-deserved recognition.

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