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tea in India

Chai Why? The Triumph of Tea in India : "But whereas I initially supposed tea-drinking to be as Indian, and perhaps as old, as the Vedas, I have come to know that it is, in the longue durée of Indian history, a very recent development; one that (in many parts of the country) did not much precede my first visit, or that even followed it."
posted by dhruva on Apr 19, 2010 - 18 comments

 

words fail me

CK Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business in the University of Michigan passed away on 16th April 2010 after a brief illness. His core competency was strategic insight and vision and his legacy to the world, the concept of the Bottom of the Pyramid, which changed the way big business viewed the teeming, huddled poverty stricken masses of the former third world as micro-innovators, micro-producers and so, micro-consumers in their own right. Among others, his work inspired Ratan Tata as the Nano turned conventional wisdom of automobile manufacturing on its head and paved the way for Indian industry to focus on the high volume/low margin potential of their domestic market. In 2009, he was named the "world's most influential thinker" . Though not uncriticized for his theories on the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, one can acknowledge his role in overcoming the "tyranny of dominant logic" that the poor should not simply be recipients of charity but demanding customers in challenging environments. RIP, sir. {previously, previously}
posted by infini on Apr 17, 2010 - 14 comments

1837 illustrations of South Indian castes

"Seventy two specimens of castes in India". This illustrated manuscript made in southern India in 1837 consists of 72 full-colour hand-painted images of men and women of the various castes and religious and ethnic groups found in Madura, India at that time. Search or browse (recommended) all the images, in very good resolution, from Yale's Beinecke Library. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Apr 12, 2010 - 14 comments

colours of passion

Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), considered “the greatest painter of India,” “the father of modern Indian art,” and a “prince among painters and a painter among princes.” Varma became renowned both for his portraiture and his paintings of Indian mythology. The painter's life and times played a major role in the shaping of the women he painted and controversy over the way he painted them. Varma's images have not just survived, but due to his vision of making them accessible to the common man, they have thrived over a century and influence movies, television, the world's most expensive sari, theatre and everyday calender art.
posted by infini on Apr 10, 2010 - 7 comments

Passage from India

Lori Whisenant, who teaches business law and ethics at the University of Houston, has outsourced the grading of students' papers to a private company, Virtual-TA, who sends them to be marked in Bangalore, India.
posted by Rumple on Apr 7, 2010 - 66 comments

No More Island

An island in the Bay of Bengal, South Talpatti/New Moore Island, disappears under rising seas. The inundation settles a long dispute between India and Bangladesh over the island.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer on Mar 26, 2010 - 17 comments

Walking with the Comrades

Last month, Arundhati Roy decided to visit the forbidding and forbidden precincts of Central India’s Dandakaranya Forests, home to a melange of tribal people many of whom have taken up arms to protect themselves against state-backed marauders and exploiters. She recorded in considerable detail her face-to-face encounter with armed guerillas, their families and comrades.
posted by shoesfullofdust on Mar 21, 2010 - 11 comments

you forgot the parsi bawas, you madman

Jug Suraiya, famed middle of the editorial ha ha heh man of india's ridiculous prolific and noisy media takes a poke at stereotypes. All ring true of course.
posted by infini on Mar 21, 2010 - 18 comments

kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi...

Kabaddi is an ancient team sport, originating in South Asia, that requires nothing but an open area and a bunch of people [wikipedia]. It combines the skills of tag and wrestling with the ability to hold your breath while doing so: raid your opponents' side of the court, tag as many of the defenders as you can, and then run back to your side, avoiding the defensive tackler--all in one breath, while chanting "kabaddi-kabaddi-kabaddi". [extended rules].
Footage: [ 2006 World Cup (with music) • 2005 World Cup 1 2 320049 minutes of footage from a Tauranga, NZ tournament • From the USA 1 2 ]
"Kabaddi Kabaddi" by Babbu Mann from the film HasharAnother song
The British Army uses Kabaddi as a recruiting tool.Representing Team MeFi
posted by not_on_display on Feb 28, 2010 - 35 comments

The Champawat Tiger and Other Man Eaters Of Kumaon

Jim Corbett's Man Eaters Of Kumaon (1944) is a collection of true stories about the hunt for man-eating tigers and leopards in India. One of Corbett's most notable kills, the Champawat Tiger, was alleged to have killed some 436 people in Nepal and India. Similarly, the Leopard of Panar possibly killed some 400 people in northern India before she was hunted down herself. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Feb 25, 2010 - 26 comments

If it feeds, it leads

"..when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice"
posted by Gyan on Feb 12, 2010 - 4 comments

Paying Zero for Public Services

Protesting corruption with the zero-rupee note. Indian NGO 5th Pillar has a come up with a unique project to help India's poor fight against institutionalized bribery.
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 27, 2010 - 21 comments

Choosing Central Asia for a bride

Fascinated by the Orient An exhibition of the letters, photographs and maps bequeathed to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences by the great explorer, archaeologist, geographer and Sanskritist Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Journeyer in the footsteps of Alexander, explorer of Central Asia and West China, surveyor of the antiquities of India and Iran; after a long life of journeying through and studying central Asia, Aurel Stein found his final rest in Kabul. He is also remembered for rediscovering the oldest dated printed book still in existence, a copy of the Diamond Sutra in the caves at Mogao. That the latter and many thousands of other manuscripts collected by Stein now reside in the British Library is of course, like his other 'treasure hunting', not without controversy.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 4, 2010 - 4 comments

Head hunters

The Naga, from North-East India and Burma, were headhunters. [more inside]
posted by stonepharisee on Jan 4, 2010 - 14 comments

To dye for

Best known as an Indonesian handicraft, batik is a distinctive technique for textiles that has been used for millennia and can be found as far away as Egypt, Ghana, China and India. An integral part of daily life in Java, batik has spread around the world as a wellknown artform as well as clothing. From its hippy heyday to the smart couture outfits of the Singapore Girl, batik is still daily wear for many and the equivalent of black tie in the ASEAN. [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 19, 2009 - 13 comments

"Error is Horror": The Dabbawallas of Mumbai

Follow that Dabbawalla For nearly 130 years, Mumbai's Dabbawallas have been delivering lunches from customers' homes to their workplaces and taken the empty tiffin boxes back again. The service, with its origins in the mid 1880s when a single textile mill worker paid an errand boy to bring him his lunch from home, is a complex system with in which color coded lunch boxes are passed from Dabbawalla to Dabbawalla to reach their destination, creating a network that, in many ways, resembles the Internet itself. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 17, 2009 - 40 comments

Picturing Climate Change

Ahead of the global climate talks, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of that carbon culture. Warming threatens lifestyle of Russian herders | Refugees flee drought, war in East Africa | Greenland’s shrinking ice hurts natives [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 10, 2009 - 3 comments

All you need is a little bit of faith.

Indian Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Dec 10, 2009 - 4 comments

Hai Hai!!!

The Hijras of India. Their community, their life and dreams.
posted by hadjiboy on Dec 8, 2009 - 8 comments

A long article about the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26th, 2008

It has been nearly a year since the Mumbai terror attacks. Journalist Jason Motlagh has written a four part article about them for The Virginia Quarterly Review. The first part is about the initial attacks and the history of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist organization responsible. Part two continues describing the events of the first night as well as police and media responses. The third is about the events of the second day and includes intercepted phonecalls between the gunmen and their handlers as well as recounting the initial interrogation of the sole terrorist captured alive. The last part is about the last day of the attacks and the aftermath. The article has a large number of photographs and is a harrowing read.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2009 - 14 comments

Madam

Today would have been Indira Gandhi's 92nd birthday, had she not been assassinated by members of her own guard in her own backyard on October 31st, 1984 (I was there in New Delhi in a cab when the driver suggested it might be safer if he turned around and took me straight home). Often confused as a relative of the more famous Gandhi, fashionable, stylish and well groomed Indira was actually the daughter of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and used her married name, although divorced from her Parsi exhusband. Daughter and mother of Prime Ministers of India, she herself held office with an iron fist, remembered for the "Emergency", a brief period of martial law often overlooked in the democratic vibrancy of Indian politics. Will Mrs Gandhi's legacy of dynasty be continued by her half Italian grandson?
posted by infini on Nov 19, 2009 - 27 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Are nuclear weapons safe in Pakistan?

Defending the Arsenal: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?
posted by homunculus on Nov 10, 2009 - 21 comments

Not a Halloween Post.

The Maskatorium: hundreds of masks collected from around the world over the past 20 years.
posted by gman on Oct 30, 2009 - 6 comments

The Charlie Doctor

An Indian Doctor's Cure-All: Charlie Chaplin "Aswani's pushing sixty. He's not in great physical shape, thanks to a bad motorcycle accident years ago and also arthritis but he can do the funny walk beautifully." In a story about movies that seems like it would make a good movie itself* (or at least a moving story on This (Non-)American Life), Ashok Aswani, a practitioner of ayurvedic medicine in Adipur, India has taken the phrase "laughter is the best medicine" to its logical conclusion and hands out free DVDs of Chaplin movies to cheer up his patients [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara on Sep 29, 2009 - 26 comments

Premanand will not recant

Basava Premanand, rationalist and founder of The Indian Skeptic, is dying. [more inside]
posted by vanar sena on Sep 28, 2009 - 17 comments

It is the season to be jolly!!!

Navratri = Nine Nights of Garba and Dandiya on the eve of Dussehra and Diwali.
posted by hadjiboy on Sep 26, 2009 - 3 comments

Hindu festivals

The Big Picture: Recent Hindu festivals and rituals. "Many Hindus throughout India recently celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi, a 10-day festival celebrating the birth of Ganesh, their supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, is rich with traditional festivals and rituals, celebrated in many ways and locations around the world. Collected here are a few photographs from recent Hindu festivals and of Hindu devotees worshipping and practicing ritual ceremonies in India, England, Nepal and Indonesia."
posted by homunculus on Sep 9, 2009 - 25 comments

World appears slightly less bad due to supply and demand

The government of Delhi is claiming success in reducing female infanticide by a recent scheme to pay the school fees of poor girls. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Sep 1, 2009 - 19 comments

Bollywood Gastronomy

Kuchh Kook Hota Hai is an all singing, dancing (and possibly epileptic fit inducing) Indian cookery show (without much cooking), featuring two sassy assistants 'salt' and 'pepper'. To whet your appetite – Mutton Burger and Carrot Roll.
posted by tellurian on Sep 1, 2009 - 25 comments

At the Roof of the World...

The beautiful artwork of the Tibetan people.
posted by hadjiboy on Aug 12, 2009 - 7 comments

Dear Mandir

When you think of Hinduism, you probably don't think of suburban Lilburn, Georgia, yet it is home to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, at over 30,000 square feet the largest Hindu temple in the world outside of India. The beautiful temple was assembled from 34,000 pieces of Turkish limestone, Indian pink sandstone, and Italian Carrara marble hand-carved by some 1500 craftsmen in India, then shipped to Georgia, where about 900 volunteers put in over a million man-hours to bring the architects' vision to fruition (YT), at a cost of about US$19m. [more inside]
posted by notashroom on Aug 12, 2009 - 36 comments

Living Root Bridges

The Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji, India. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 8, 2009 - 32 comments

Sacred Groves

UC Scientists Determine That Ancient Maya Practiced Forest Conservation — 3,000 Years Ago. "As published in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, paleoethnobotanist David Lentz of the University of Cincinnati has concluded that not only did the Maya people practice forest management, but when they abandoned their forest conservation practices it was to the detriment of the entire Maya culture." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jul 29, 2009 - 9 comments

Namaste Spiderman!

Jyothi Raj [it gets cool at :50], a real life Spiderman.
posted by nickyskye on Jul 29, 2009 - 24 comments

Boy meets guru, boy loses guru

An American Sadhu - A seeking of holiness, resulting in disillusionment and abandonment. A very good read about one man's experience meeting a guru and his disciple, and ultimately coming full circle to "you get the guru you deserve".
posted by Kickstart70 on Jul 26, 2009 - 11 comments

‘Everyone has a jet’ : Scenes from the new New Delhi

"‘You have to have at least, like, a BMW or a Mercedes to join. They meet at midnight and they race their cars. The Prime Minister’s office is always calling us to complain.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because the Prime Minister can’t sleep. These engines make so much noise they keep him awake...." (via Ultrabrown)
posted by sk381 on Jul 24, 2009 - 24 comments

Playing with fire

"Its the story of our own village" ~ A journey in Indian street theatre (PDF of article) share's author Joel Lee's experiences wandering around India with three street theatre troupes. Also called the "theater of social change" this grassroots artform has become a powerful means of communication across the barriers of language, literacy and culture in both rural and urban India. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 16, 2009 - 6 comments

Ourgothlaundry?

The Art & Life of Annie Truxell [via mefi projects]: Annie Truxell is a well known painter who has lived a long and fascinating life. Her adventures have been legendary, encompassing Greenwich Village in the 50s, London in the 60s and India in the 70s. She was friends with Franz Klein, Bill de Kooning, Truman Capote, Terry Southern, Mati Klarwein & many other wild & woolly people.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 12, 2009 - 11 comments

Indian High Court Says Ban on Gay Sex Unconstitutional

New Delhi legalizes homosexuality. In a landmark ruling, the Delhi High Court has for the first time in India declared the British-era law against homosexual sex unconstitutional. Is this India's Stonewall?
posted by Azaadistani on Jul 2, 2009 - 22 comments

Nice weather for protests.

June has been a good month for political upheaval and mass protest. Peru (update), China, and Iran were discussed here previously. But how many of the following were you aware of: Canada, Thailand, Honduras, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Pakistan, and India? The latter four reflect a quite serious electricity shortage throughout the Indian subcontinent, during a record-breaking heat wave that has caused over 100 deaths. But don't worry, not everyone is dealing with life-threatening problems. In Israel 30,000 turned out to protest a parking lot. Meanwhile, Indymedia continues to cover all the bourgeois first-world protests you've never really wanted to know about.
posted by shii on Jun 30, 2009 - 8 comments

Van Shipley and slide guitar music in India

Van Shipley was the first electric guitarist in India. The name Van Shipley is Methodist, he [was] from Lucknow [Uttar Pradesh, India]. He designed his own electric eight string steel guitar in the 1940's. The reason he did this was that he'd studied Indian classical music under Ustad Alaudin Khan, the leading classical musician in India, who was also a contemporary of Ravi Shankar. He also studied the violin with a German teacher... so he made an eight string guitar, instead of a five string. His guitar was a solid guitar, designed to his style at the time, it was futuristic. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jun 14, 2009 - 10 comments

Choog, Choog, Choog, Choog... Tweeeeeet!

Come, take a Train Ride through India. You could take the Palace on Wheels, and opt for a Luxurious Travel. Or, you can take one of the Super-Fast Trains here, according to Indian standards that is. And hey, while you're at it, how about taking a train ride to one of our Hill Stations? [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Jun 13, 2009 - 36 comments

India and South Asian resources

Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, has created a superb online collection of resources, all about India and South Asia, its art, history, literature, architecture and culture. Her Indian Routes section (the Index page) is a particularly rich resource. Her vast, colorful and informative site also has many great images. Check out her "scrapbook pages" on the Princes l the Ghaznavids l British Rule l Women's Spaces l Perspectives on Hinduism. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jun 9, 2009 - 14 comments

Wait For Me (3 Minute Documentary)

Wait For Me (3 Minute Documentary)
posted by stbalbach on May 26, 2009 - 4 comments

Carvaka

Atheistic Materialism in Ancient India. Interesting piece on the ancient Indian philosophical school of Carvaka.
posted by homunculus on May 25, 2009 - 12 comments

A holiday we will go!

Welcome to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located to the right side of India, where you can take a ride on an Elephant on the Beach, swim with the local Fauna, and snorkel or scuba dive to your merriment. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Apr 26, 2009 - 10 comments

Entropic Evidence for Linguistic Structure in the Indus Script

Scholars at odds over mysterious Indus script. The Indus script is the collection of symbols found on artifacts from the Harappan civilization, which flourished in what is now eastern Pakistan and western India between 2,600 and 1,900 B.C. A new analysis using pattern-analyzing software suggests that the script may constitute a genuine written language. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 23, 2009 - 20 comments

Life Among the Africans in India

Sidi or Siddi is a "community of the descendants of African slaves and seamen, the ancestors of the Sidis came to India and Pakistan through sea trade with East Africa and the Persian Gulf around the 12th century." The slave trade between India and Africa predates the more infamous transatlantic slave trade by at least six centuries. They have a rich history which included controlling the only fort never to fall against the efforts of the British, Dutch and the Mughals. They have now, however, fallen into hard times . [more inside]
posted by Lucubrator on Apr 21, 2009 - 11 comments

X marks the spot; 700 million might

Between 16 April - 13 May the worlds largest democracy will go into action. Being India the logistics are mind boggling. Over 700 million eligible voters who will vote in over 700,000 polling stations for 1,055 political parties. The BBC goes on to explain what makes Indian elections special. University of Maryland has Forecasts and Analysis and Trends in Indian Election Politics has both insight and an interesting blog roll. As Indian Politics are more than usually corrupt and thuggish there is website dedicated to information about candidates with a criminal history. Sadly in spite of this great democratic exercise, repression of speech and miscarriage of justice will probably still be around for a while.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 3, 2009 - 6 comments

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