India

14/08/17 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some observations in three colours on ‘Beyond Tick Boxes’

Some observations in three colours on ‘Beyond Tick Boxes’

By Roanna Gonsalves

(This is a reworked version of the summary observations I was invited to present at the conclusion of ‘Beyond Tick Boxes’, a symposium organised by Diversity Arts Australia, or DARTS, at Casula Powerhouse, on Thursday, June 29, 2017)

 

Good afternoon everyone. I’d also like to acknowledge the indigenous people of this country, the Cabrogal Clan of the Darug Nation, on whose land we have gathered today. I would like to say thank you to Lena Nahlous and Kevin Bathman for inviting me to give you a very short and incredibly opinionated summary of my observations today.

I have three main observations. They are colour-coded: red, black and yellow.

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14/08/17 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whose culture is it anyway?

Whose culture is it anyway?

By Rashida Murphy

 

When the editors of Southern Crossings invited me to write about the idea that migrant writers use their cultural history, ethnicity and language to mobilise the ‘exotic’ nature of our cultural cache, I was keen to explore this idea further. The notion that what was previously considered a handicap is now desirable, catches me by surprise and brings to mind the (in) famous question asked by Jana Wendt of Toni Morrison in 1998.

 

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22/07/16 Arts & Culture # , , , , , , , , , ,

Does Alex Bhathal represent us?

Does Alex Bhathal represent us?

By Ruchira Talukdar

 

It’s been two weeks since a close and confusing federal election vote. My electorate of Batman in north-east Melbourne is still decked in large green corflutes with the smiling face of Alex Bhathal, a second generation Sikh Immigrant and a long-running Greens candidate for this seat.

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16/06/16 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Five Ingredient Fix:  A no-fail recipe for making documentaries about India

Five Ingredient Fix:  A no-fail recipe for making documentaries about India

By Nisha Thapliyal

 

How many different ways are there to tell the story of Indian arranged marriages to an Australian audience? The answer depends on whether you plan to entertain or inform.

 

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10/11/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , ,

The Trudeau Effect – Diversifying Australian Arts and Culture

The Trudeau Effect – Diversifying Australian Arts and Culture

If you are anything like me, your social media feed for the past couple of weeks has probably been a Justin Trudeau fest. The video of his recent swearing-in ceremony, with the most diverse cabinet in Canadian history, has been re-posted so many times that I am beginning to wonder if any of my Facebook friends really voted for Tony Abbott (or Stephen Harper, or Narendra Modi). Then there is that charming YouTube video of Trudeau performing Bhangra at what appears to be an Indian community event in Montreal, which already has over a million views.

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05/11/15 Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , ,

What’s my beef? I’ll tell you…

What’s my beef? I’ll tell you…

by Meeta Chatterjee Padmanabhan

One of our friends told us this joke a decade or so ago: ‘Two Indian friends went to a restaurant and ordered steak. One friend asked the other, “So you are eating your mother today?” The friend promptly responded, “No, I am not. I am eating your mother”.’ It was one of those jokes that generated uneasy laughter and led to the suppression of unfunny questions. Were both of them Hindus? Which restaurant was this? The joke links two taboo topics into one: the embargo against eating beef; and cannibalism. Not to mention that eating anyone’s mother in any culture or country would be very bad manners.

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09/10/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , ,

Reflections on the awkwardly knotted hyphen

Reflections on the awkwardly knotted hyphen

By Meeta Chatterjee-Padmanabhan

 

While rearranging book shelves at home, I came across old notebooks with Hindi and Tamil alphabets in my children’s handwriting. Each carefully formed letter triggered memories. I remember the smug satisfaction that my husband and I felt as we helped our girls connect with their heritage languages. The girls, on the other hand, barely suppressed their annoyance at not being able to join their friends leaping around with water guns in their hands and screaming with delight just outside our door. Many years later, reading Sticks and stones and such like, Sunil Badami’s phrase ‘the awkwardly knotted hyphen’ that inscribes the uneasy yoking of two distinct national cultures: ‘Indian-Australian, Australian-Indian depending on the day’ intrigued me. I have wondered, how awkwardly knotted can a hyphen be before it stops being a hyphen?
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16/08/15 Australia , Society & Politics # , , , , ,

At the Laundromat after the Day of Freedom

At the Laundromat after the Day of Freedom

By Sukhmani Khorana

So it is a sunny-enough Sunday with a cool breeze
and a short stroll to the local laundromat
with its chained antique television set
and its stash of women’s magazines.

Do only women come here?

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15/07/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On not fitting into boxes: An exploration of borders and border-crossers

On not fitting into boxes: An exploration of borders and border-crossers

By Sukhmani Khorana

 

Born in Jammu, the winter capital of the northernmost state of India, I felt rather like the character of Lenny in Deepa Mehta’s film, Earth. For those who may not be familiar with the text, Lenny is a Parsi girl living in Pakistan at the time of partition whose life is thrown asunder as she plays neutral witness to the growing feuds among her erstwhile neighbourly Hindu, Muslim and Sikh friends and carers.

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16/06/15 Arts & Culture , Australia , Diaspora & Travel , Society & Politics # , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Making a Scene: A review of Kiran Nagarkar’s ‘Bedtime Story’

Making a Scene: A review of Kiran Nagarkar’s ‘Bedtime Story’

By Sumedha Iyer

 

As we took our seats in the theatre, the actors were on the stage chatting amongst themselves, rehearsing lines and practising their blocking for the evening’s performance. There was no cocoon of darkness for the audience to make themselves comfortable in as the show started – the lights stayed on even as the sutradhar/chorus A.A. Larry ordered the actors into their places. This departure from the usual theatregoing experience was intentional; the audience was to be involved in the ‘bedtime story’ to come.

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