Society & Politics

23/05/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Meddling Maami , Society & Politics # , , , , ,

Here comes Meddling Maami!

Hey you’all, stop stop! Don’t start the party without me. I know, I know, I’m late, but that’s no reason for you to finish all the love cake and mango mousse! Not to mention the sandesh and jeris and swaaris. You know how long it takes for your Maami to look her gorgeous self and I didn’t want to turn up at the shinding to see my favourite nephews and nieces without putting on my heirlooms, no?

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19/05/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

India’s Daughter v/s Struggle Street: The uses of documentary in a parochial and globalised world

India’s Daughter v/s Struggle Street: The uses of documentary in a parochial and globalised world

By Mridula Nath Chakraborty

 

Imagine this: a documentary titled Australia’s Children is broadcast on free-to-air television channels in seven countries around the world on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Australia protests against such high-handed parachute solidarity by the well-meaning international community and bans the doco in this antipodean nation. The popularity of the doco rises hundred-fold with millions of people watching it anyway on YouTube. Is there anything wrong in this picture?

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12/05/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , ,

An Ivy League Race Riot: A Review of Dear White People

An Ivy League Race Riot: A Review of Dear White People

By Sukhmani Khorana

 

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently declared that Indigenous people living in remote communities were making a ‘lifestyle choice’, he was rightly rebuked by both sides of politics for undermining Aboriginal sovereignty and spiritual connection to land. What was seldom brought up, however, was how his curious phrasing assumed that there is a norm that the ‘choice’ was deviating from. This led me to wonder about a hypothetical scenario where all of the nation’s Indigenous citizens walked the white-laced path – mortgaging an over-priced suburban house, working a 9 to 5 job in the big smoke, commuting to workplaces and shopping centres. Would that help us ‘bridge the gap’? Would that also be the end of race-based prejudice? Chances are they could still encounter casual racism and institutional stasis.

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02/05/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , ,

The Dancer’s Diamonds: A review of Raghav Handa’s Tukre’

The Dancer’s Diamonds: A review of Raghav Handa’s Tukre’

By Roanna Gonsalves

 

There was once a little boy who watched his grandfather at work in India, as he cut diamonds by hand in his workshop. The boy watched as his grandfather looked intently at the diamond in his fingers, then turning to look at him, again and again. That little boy was Raghav Handa. The memory of the movement of his grandfather’s hands and head as he shifted attention from the diamond in hand to the face of his grandson, became the heart of Tukre’, a contemporary dance show choreographed and performed by Handa, now on at Riverside, Sydney, Australia.
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28/04/15 Arts & Culture , Society & Politics # , , ,

Vaani Rani

Vaani Rani

By The Drama Queen.

Since December 2014, I have been following Vaani Rani, and Thamarai, two South Indian Tamil dramas from Radaan Media.  Let’s face it, for a 600-episode series, Vaani Rani is rather, for the lack of a better word, lame.  This may be the style of a Tamil serial. This could also very well be what the locals enjoy. But for someone who lives in Sydney, who understands Tamil, and wants to improve on my Tamil language skills, I find this a little too rudimentary.  Of course, you could say “stop watching and do what other Australians do”. But I would be lying if I didn’t say how much I enjoy hearing a familiar language played over YouTube.  Let’s just say, it’s my link to South India.  What would I like to see?  Something more substantial, something that we could all relate to, simply because I know that there are more intelligent and creative story writers in Tamil Nadu.

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21/04/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , ,

Are We Legit?

Are We Legit?

By Roanna Gonsalves

One rainy Mumbai day, sitting in an Udipi restaurant, chai cup in hand, I told a dear friend I would soon leave for Australia.

“I’ll never leave India and be a second class citizen in another country”, my friend said. My chai turned colder and a crinkly skin formed on its surface.

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18/04/15 Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics

Silence of The White Lambs

Silence of The White Lambs

By Gary Paramanathan

So I found myself in Portland, the supposed land of the liberal and free, and definitely not Liberal with a capital L (Australians know what I mean). Portland is where you find hippies and hipsters alike, a place where you can be whoever you want to be, you can wear the most extravagant outfit and walk down Broadway or Burnside, and no one would blink an eye lid, they may even smile. There is one condition though; you kinda have to be white and preferably wealthy. Welcome to the world of new liberals, where ethnic food, energy efficient homes, arcade bars and a general sense of ‘I am better than the rest of the whites’ is what makes the world go around, and when it comes to coloured, it’s best saved for the vintage Pendleton sweaters. Continue reading

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18/04/15 Society & Politics

Teachers Day

Teachers Day

By Mridula Chakraborty

In September 2014, my niece sent me some photographs of herself dressed in a sari, taking up her role as ‘teacher-for-the-day’ at a prestigious school in New Delhi. Apart from the pride I took in my niece’s moment of honour, I was transported back to that pleasurable time decades ago, when I too had donned such a mantle and experienced, for a few hours, what it is that teachers commit themselves to, day in and day out. Continue reading

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