Society & Politics

12/06/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Double–edged Sword

A Double–edged Sword

By Rashida Murphy

 

July 1985. Sahar Airport, Mumbai: In the urgent business of holding a baby in my arms while negotiating the curly line towards the exit, to where a Qantas 747 waits to take me to Perth, I forget to look around one last time. I miss the sight of Mumbai or Bombay as it was then, saying goodbye. It was never my hometown anyway. It was just where I lived. And I was on the threshold of a new life, as a desirable immigrant with double degrees and English language skills. Australia, about which I knew little except that it had large reserves of underground water and farms the size of small countries in Europe, waited.

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09/06/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Hipstamatic filter won’t fix your Nostalgia

A Hipstamatic filter won’t fix your Nostalgia

There is much written about diasporic nostalgia for a lost homeland in literature, literary theory, and even media and cultural studies scholarship. As a first generation migrant from India to Australia, I also once longed for the smell of hot samosas on a rainy day, but that is only part of the tale.

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02/06/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , ,

’Why Do Indians Smell?’ The Case for the Self-Referential Racist Joke

’Why Do Indians Smell?’ The Case for the Self-Referential Racist Joke

By Sumedha Iyer

 

“Why do Indians smell? So blind people can hate them too.” My mother told me that joke when I was in my early teens. I was both offended and energised by it. This sucks, that smelly Indian person could be me! But it’s my mum too, and she’s telling the joke. Which is delicious. Like samosas and chutney. Wait, that’s a stereotype. Am I being racist? My head hurts.

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26/05/15 Arts & Culture , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , ,

The Thing About Cultural Appropriation

The Thing About Cultural Appropriation

by Gary Paramanathan

 

Cultural appropriation is rife these days, just about everyone from Miley Cyrus to your non-Japanese neighbour in her geisha outfit are edging on pushing some cultural politico over the edge. I was one of them, I was totally sold on cultural appropriation, and by that I mean how bad it was, how it needed to be stopped….etc etc. Then I started having my doubts.

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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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