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Raags To Riches

But if Urdu is the refined language of power and privilege, Punjabi is the powerful words of the streets. And the streets are where lyrics overwhelmingly situate rap. Pakistani rap positions Punjabi as Ebonics is positioned in the U.S.
posted by reenum on Feb 25, 2014 - 12 comments

The cost of staging a modern World Cup

Qatar has proposed a bold vision of its future in 2022, but at what cost? In September 2013, the Guardian reported that up to 4,000 migrant workers would die during the construction process for Qatar's staging of the football World Cup in 2022. The Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, an advocacy group representing Nepalese and South Asian migrant workers, estimates that 400 Nepalese have died on Qatari construction sites since 2010. Nepalese make up around 20% of the migrant workforce. In the past two years 450 Indian workers have died on construction sites. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Feb 17, 2014 - 32 comments

The elephant moves

“Sexual orientation does make you poor,” says Manohar Elavarthi, a community organizer with Sangama in Bangalore. “Poverty is not just economic – you miss access to so many things: ration cards, inheritance rights, voter ID cards.” In several South Asian countries, there are reports that LGBT people have even been denied access to disaster relief. And homophobia is intricately connected with other divisions in South Asian societies, particularly around gender but also religion and caste. Yet I saw many signs of hope and change in both India and Nepal. Those transgender sex workers in Chennai have organized a coalition, called V-CAN, of every single community-based organization in the state of Tamil Nadu that serves homosexual or transgender people. Working with the NGO Praxis, they have been able to gain access to some public benefits, such as pensions and registering as “third gender” on government ID cards. Activists in Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society have achieved similar results and more. ~ World Bank blog post
posted by infini on Jun 3, 2012 - 9 comments

The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh

For your enjoyment: The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh
posted by reenum on May 5, 2012 - 3 comments

Gulf return

Emirati history would be incomplete without acknowledging the contribution of the country’s imported labour. Without them, the Emirates would not exist the way it does, nor possess the opulence or infrastructure it flouts. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 24, 2012 - 20 comments

"The biennial exposition, said to be the largest in Asia"

India's DEFEXPO 2012, is 'not a carnival in the truest sense', but rather ' the seventh in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Security Systems Exhibition . . . clearly steering the path of steady growth . . . receiving overwhelming and unprecedented international response.' As for arms dealers? 'On arms dealers, the minister [India’s Defence Minister AK Antony] insisted, “There are none I am aware of.”' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 12, 2012 - 3 comments

Make it yellow

When my mother whipped up a mixture of fresh milk, gram flour and turmeric in her kitchen today, to use as a herbal face pack, my curiosity led me to find out more about this ubiquitious yet medicinal spice. What is turmeric, the bright yellow powder common in Indian spice boxes that gives such a characteristic colour to everything from dhal to aloo to bhajis? What is its provenance and history? Is it simply a spice or a medicine? What happens when you try to patent it? (previously) Turmeric turned out to be far more romantic than you'd imagine - a prosaic kitchen spice immortalized in idiom, song and double entendre - all courtesy of amche Bollywood.
posted by infini on Dec 26, 2011 - 23 comments

Hindi Urdu Flagship Program

The Hindi Urdu Flagship Program at the University of Texas, Austin has a number of freely available online resources on Hindi and Urdu, including vocabulary exercises for beginners, video interviews with native speakers discussing various aspects of their language, a Hindi-language podcast on various topics and the ways one can discuss them in Hindi, and several downloadable books in PDF format. [more inside]
posted by skoosh on May 31, 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

"I started the movement with the firm resolve that I will never be caught alive by the enemy. That has spread down the ranks."

Velupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive and ruthless leader (timeline, short bio) of the violent separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been reportedly killed in battle by the Sri Lankan Army (self-loading video) [more inside]
posted by shoebox on May 19, 2009 - 57 comments

Tigers beat

Is this end for the Tamil Tigers? The Sri Lankan army have captured Elephant Pass, the latest in a string of victories against the guerrilla outfit. The army has pledged to avoid civilian casualties (which have caused India and other countries to intervene in the past) but there are still concerns with reports of artillery strikes on civilian centers in Tharmapuram [graphic], and serious human rights concerns. Though the military battle may be all but over the country is sure to face armed political struggle for some time.
posted by Artw on Jan 9, 2009 - 34 comments

Plants and peoples of Britain and South Asia

Plant Cultures - central aim ... is to convey the richness and complexity of links between Britain and South Asia, through the story of plants and people
posted by Gyan on Nov 12, 2005 - 2 comments

Kashmir

Has the US promised Kashmir to Pakistan? During his recent visit, Colin Powell named Pakistan a US ally. This move has people in India concerned about what the US is willing to give Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda. [The site has pop-ups. Sorry.]
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Mar 30, 2004 - 9 comments

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