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Feature with Maangai Podcast


English translation from the German audio transcription

Feature with Maangai Podcast

♫ Musik Jingle ♫

Abilaschan Balamuraley:

Maangai, the community podcast for queer South Asian perspectives in German-speaking countries with your host Abilaschan and “raw sliced spiced” content.  

This is the podcast feature or feature podcast episode with Maangai, the community podcast for queer South-Asian perspectives in German-speaking countries with your Host Abilaschan and raw sliced spiced content. In this special mini-episode, I’m going on a quest with people from the community to find out about their personal hideaways as well as social communities and meeting spaces in Berlin. Especially for the diasporic South-Asian community. 

We’ll talk about questions like: What alternatives have developed over time? For example, have creative approaches been established online? I want to talk with people active in their communities about the projects they’re working on, about where they work and what their impact is. I discussed the existing South-Asian initiatives with the political scientist and activist Saboura Naqshband, but also the problem that there aren’t any fixed places to come together, like centers or ones that use of the official meeting places in Berlin.

Hello and welcome, Saboura. Glad you found the time. I’ll just get started and ask you which local South-Asian initiatives you’re active in, here in Berlin, as well as which others you know about.

Saboura Naqshband:
Off the top of my head, the Eelam Tamil community has a lot of spaces, also religious and cultural spaces so to speak, that the community has firmly established. But now with our generation of South Asians, there aren’t so many spaces where people come together and meet. Though in recent years, there’s been a development toward more and more people coming together, and also people having a stronger need to network beyond national borders.

For example, the first initiative that comes to mind is “Baithak” that has…. in the beginning, we used to meet at SAVVY Contemporary, the art and culture center.

♫ Intermission Musik ♫

Exactly, a kind of leftist protest movement formed against it and there were a lot of demonstrations, really quite regularly, for a while I think it was definitely every month. And we also made educational videos: What are all these protests about? What’s happening with the government in India right now? What’s the situation in Kashmir? And there we tried to deal with different leftist topics related to South Asia. Caste criticism and so on, and there were also overlaps with feminist groups. I think there is even a small group, maybe “Kali Feminist” or something like that, I’m not quite sure anymore. They also did some events in support of feminists in Kashmir and also together with other feminist movements.

♫ Intermission Musik ♫

What I recently discovered for the first time was a place to go in Schöneberg, a bookstore called “Hopscotch Reading Room” run by Siddharta. It’s a small bookstore where there are a lot of events about different political issues which often include South-Asian issues as well.

Outro Maangai Jingle 

This was the Maangai Podcast.

Concept, editing and moderation by Abilaschan Balamuraley.