the first South Asian LGBTQ hotline has been launched to help gay South Asians/Desi youths and their families.
This has already been launched on October 11. Please repost widely to the South Asian/Desi community in your area. Dhanyavad.
Announcing the Launch of DeQH!
a Desi lgbtQ Helpline
On National Coming Out Day, Thursday, October 11th, 2012, a coalition of South Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations and individuals in the U.S. will launch DeQH, the first South Asian LGBTQ national helpline.
DeQH offers free, confidential, culturally sensitive peer support, information and resources by telephone for LGBTQ South Asian individuals, families and friends around the globe. The intent is to provide a safe and supportive ear for callers to share their concerns, questions, struggles or hopes through conversations with trained LGBTQ South Asian Peer Support Volunteers.Callers can reach the helpline at (908) FOR-DEQH (908-367-3374) 8pm-10pm on Thursdays and Sundays, Eastern Standard Time [5-7pm PST]. Days and times will expand over time.
DeQH is a collaboration of South Asian LGBTQ groups and individuals around the nation including AQUA North Carolina, Hotpot! in Philadelphia, SALGA NYC, Satrang in LA, and Trikone San Francisco. Please contact us if your group is interested in joining our effort, and/or if you are interested in becoming a general volunteer or would like to be trained as a peer support volunteer.
DeQH operates with support from NQAPIA. Trikone is a fiscal sponsor of DeQH.
Adam Grabowski (misterzumbi) created Lego art inspired by Pakistan.
I love how he gave extra attention to the certain type of art (coins, chains, self-portraits, landscapes, lights and a lot more) we decorate our trucks with in Pakistan. Zabardast!
"People in the Third World are viewed as having too many children because they are ignorant and irrational; they exercise no control over their sexuality, and “breed out of control.” However, in many Third World societies, having a large family is a completely rational strategy for survival. Children’s labor is a vital part of the family economy… quite early in life, children’s labor makes them an asset rather than a drain on family income. Also, because the vast majority of people in Third World countries do not have access to insurance, pension plans, and social security, having a large number of children insures that there will be someone to take care of or provide for the family, especially aging parents… As long as the vast majority of people in the Third World countries remain impoverished, uneducated, and unhealthy, the large family will provide the only real source of social security. Birth control programs will fail to reduce fertility rates, as they have in the past, when there is no motivation on the part of poor families to limit their size, unless coercive methods of population control are used."
Against the British Empire
afraid-to-run asked: can you please recommend good books to recommend to ignorant english folk about the british empire in all it’s disgusting glory?
Good question. I can speak from the South Asian experience of it; the Subcontinent - present day India, Pakistan, and to an extent Afghanistan. Before getting in the books I’d recommend, you should tell those who support British imperialism that life back then wasn’t as glorious as historians make it look like. With the basics:
- Indian economy was the second largest economy in the world until the British came. During British rule (1857 to 1947) Indian economy grew at zero percent. That India did not grow for 90 years (when Industrial revolution was rewarding Europe and the US) is a tragic outcome of colonial rule’s lack of interest and incompetence. Credit goes to laissez faire capitalism pursued by India after 1992 and American capital market’s confidence and investments in India for India’s emergence as the second fastest growing economy in the world today.
- The subcontinent suffered too many famines during the British rule mostly attributable to mismanagement by the Empire.
- The British Empire encouraged biased stratification in the subcontinental societies based on caste, color and creed. This continues to exist in modern day South Asia where social markers like these control the fates of many.
- Many pro-Empire theorists argue that the British built modern cities with modern conveniences but it should be noted that these were exclusive zones not intended for the “natives” to enjoy.
- There is another popular belief about British rule: ‘The British modernized Indian agriculture by building canals.’ But the actual record reveals a completely different story. “The roads and tanks and canals,” noted an observer in G. Thompson’s “India and the Colonies”, ”which Hindu or Mussulman (Muslim) governments constructed for the service of the nations and the good of the country have been suffered to fall into dilapidation; and now the want of the means of irrigation causes famines.” Montgomery Martin, in his standard work “The Indian Empire”, in 1858, noted that the old East India Company “omitted not only to initiate improvements, but even to keep in repair the old works upon which the revenue depended.” They screwed the natives over again.
- In the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of 2-4%! As a result, British imports of cotton manufactures into India increased by a factor of 50, and Indian exports dropped to one-fourth. A similiar trend was noted in silk goods, woollens, iron, pottery, glassware and paper. As a result, millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters and smiths were rendered jobless and had to become landless agricultural workers. They screwed us over again.
- Reactionary borders.
- And many other reasons why you should logic-slap those who support Empire(s).
The books I would suggest are: M. M. Ahluwalia’s Freedom Struggle in India. Shah, Khambata’s The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India. G. Emerson’s Voiceless India.Brooks Adams’s The Law of Civilization and Decline. J. R. Seeley’s, Expansion of England. H. H. Wilson, History of British India. D. H Buchanan’s Development of Capitalist Enterprise in India.
Slightly unrelated but you should Gender and Community Under British Colonialism: Emotion, Struggle and Politics in a Chinese Village by Siu Keung Cheung as well. Hope this helps.
Sabina England is a self-described ‘deaf punk Muslim playwright’ who has found community and feminism in the Muslim punk movement tacqwacores, which started in reality as a reaction to a 2003 novel of the same name. Read about her upcoming film and the tacqwacores in general in Sara Yasin’s piece ‘Muslim Feminist Punk: Helping Destroy Stereotypes of Gender, Religion and Race.’
check out my website
Urdustan is now out, available for $9.00 in PRINT only. It is a collection of short stories about South Asians—punks, vampires, deafies, etc. There are seven stories in total. Please visit Urdustan for a summary and a short review by Jean-Marc, a musician based in Brussels, Belgium (the world’s very FIRST review of Urdustan).
Seven stories, four nations, one people.
Whether it’s a slaughterhouse in the East End of London or a run-down hotel in the holy city of Al-Madinah, a tiny township in Northern Michigan or a fishing village on the Bay of Bengal in India, people yearn for the same thing in common–life–to experience life and to feel alive.
Urdustan tells the stories of North Indians and Pakistanis; Muslims and Hindus; Desi Americans and British Asians. All come from the same land yet each leads a different life and tells a different story; each shares the desire to experience love and friendship, the insatiable urge to connect to others on a human level.
Urdustan reveals multiple personalities of the South Asian diaspora that are often ignored. The stories are richly interwoven with different characters from many walks of life–Hasidic Jews, African Americans, punks, deaf teens, gay males, and even supernatural creatures such as vampires and angels. Romance, horror, racism, homophobia, audism, love, death, spirituality, fantasy, friendship all play important factors in the storytelling of Urdustan. Each story is a small reflection of the greatly diverse world we live in and call our home.
# REPPIN D.I.Y SELF-PUBLISHED DESI / DEAF / MUSLIM / PUNK AUTHORS
On the notion of “Honor” and Masculinity
I speak from a South Asian perspective. The idea of “saving” a woman’s “honor” is not a man’s job. It is highly complicated in the sense that when a woman is sexually assaulted or harrassed, she is seen as a lesser being because her “honor” has been “stolen.” The attacker against that honor is often a man. The guardian of that honor is, erroneously so, a man again. Therefore he has to “save” her and “protect” the “sanctity” of her reputation from that criminal not because he believes that women deserve equal rights and access to the same privilege he has, but because the honor of the woman - an object under him - has been violated. The running emotion behind it is often misguided in that instead of making it her issue, he makes it his own. He finds himself less masculine if his sister, wife, mother or daughter is assaulted. He blames himself. She becomes a fragile, easily-broken, easily-tainted object. The concept of “Ghairat” that continues to thrive in the minds of men in our society is also endorsed by many women. To believe that it is only men perpetuating this mindset, is overly simplified and flawed. I do encourage men and women to protect each other but also to view each other as equal human beings, that an assault on a woman’s body is not supposed to undermine a male relative’s honor but that it is inherently the attacker’s fault, the shame should be thrown upon him. When a man is assaulted, his ‘honor’ isn’t fretted over upon by a woman. His issue is his alone, his body belongs to him. But when a woman is assaulted, the related man believes he has been insulted. Her body becomes a battlefield. Another problem that arises is that instead of holding the male attacker responsible for the crime, the woman is instantly hidden from public view. The belief is that by hiding her, the problem goes away. But it doesn’t; it grows stronger, angrier and more dangerous for the woman. Silence implies complicity in this case.
Many people forget during feminist discourse on patriarchy that while patriarchy oppresses women, it also defines hyper-masculine, rigid requisites for men. “He must not cry, he must not express emotion, he must be strong every single day of his life.” Men should not define their masculinity by narrow concepts of “honor” but by supporting the idea that their masculinity is defined by the noble drive to hold women’s status and respect equal to that of men. A real man is the one who respects the individual space and voice of a woman. A real man does not define honor for a woman. That her issue is hers alone and that the help and protection offered is not out of upholding his sense of ‘ghairat’ or honor but because it is her right to be safe from assaults. It is her right to be treated with respect.
WHY THE FUCK DOES SHE HAVE TO BE SO GODDAMN FAIR SKINNED? MOST SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLE ARE NOT THIS PALE.
AND IT’S FINE IF YOU’RE PALER SKINNED. I AM ACTUALLY ON THE FAIRER SIDE MYSELF. BUT WHY DOES THIS DOLL CREATE THIS FALSE IDEAL FOR YOUNG GIRLS WHO ARE PROBABLY NOT AS FAIR? WHY THE FUCK CAN’T SHE BE DARKER SKINNED SO THAT LITTLE SOUTH ASIAN GIRLS CAN IDENTIFY WITH SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND FEEL BEAUTIFUL INSTEAD OF FORCED INTO THINKING THEY’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
I’M PRETTY SURE THAT THIS IS THE ONLY COLOR OPTION ON THIS DOLL. SHE DOESN’T COME IN ANY OTHER SHADE THAN ‘ASHWAIRYA RAI EURO-CENTRIC WITH LIGHT EYES’.
DO YOU KNOW WHY THE FUCK PRODUCTS LIKE FAIR AND LOVELY EXIST?
BECAUSE OF THIS DOLL. BECAUSE OF THIS FUCKING DOLL.
Okay, Kiskolee is done. Gah. Just. THIS ANGERS ME SO MUCH.
I wanted to bold the important parts, but realised I’d be bolding all the commentary. So yeah.
“IF YOU DON’T LIKE MY CURRY, THEN GET THE FUCK OUT OR ELSE I’LL BEAT YOUR FACE WITH MY CHAPPAL!!!!”
homemade shirt I made
BHAGO BHOOT AAYAA (1985)
UHHH… WHAT IS A BHOOT?
A bhoot or bhut (भूत or بهوت) is a supernatural creature, usually the ghost of a deceased person, in the popular culture, literature and some ancient texts of the Indian subcontinent. Interpretations of how bhoots come into existence vary by region and community, but they are usually considered to be perturbed and restless due to some factor that prevents them from moving on (to transmigration, non-being, nirvana, or heaven or hell, depending on tradition). This could be a violent death, unsettled matters in their lives, or simply the failure of their survivors to perform proper funerals.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF SOMEONE IS A BHOOT?
However, their feet often reveal them to be ghosts, as they are backwards facing. As the earth is regarded as sacred or semi-sacred in many traditions of the Indian subcontinent, bhoots go to lengths to avoid contact with it, often floating above it, either imperceptibly or up to a foot above.Bhoots cast no shadows, and speak with a nasal twang. They often lurk on specific trees and prefer to appear in white clothing. Sometimes bhoots haunt specific houses (the so-called bhoot banglas, i.e. bhoot bungalows), which are typically places where they were killed or which have some other significance to the bhoot.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM A BHOOT?
In many regions, bhoots are supposed to fear water and steel or iron objects, so keeping those nearby is believed to scare them off. The scent of burnt turmeric is also said to ward them off. As is typical of ghosts throughout the world, invoking the name of holy figures and deities is also said to repel bhoots. In some regions, sprinkling earth on oneself is said to shield against bhoots.
Before TAQWACORES was born, there were already South Asian punks, Muslim punks, and the whatnot, you know, only that the world ignored them. There was an excellent short story called With Your Tongue Down My Throat (published in 1987/88) written by Hanif Kureishi, which involves British Asian youths (Pakistani and South Asian), punks, and South Asian immigrants, set in England during the early 1980s. Read it or die.
I HAVE TO FIND & READ THIS
In Italian Heartland, Indians Keep the Cheese Coming
PESSINA CREMONESE, ITALY — Alongside common local last names like Ferrari and Galli, the telephone directories for the province of Cremona have been registering an increasingly present surname: Singh.
For the past 20 years, Indian immigrants from Punjab have been settling in Italy’s agricultural heartland to work primarily on farms, often as bergamini, as dairy workers are known in the native dialect.
It has been said that if the Indian workers went on strike, production of Grana Padano, the hard, grainy, spaghetti-topper that this tract of the Po Valley is known for, would shut down.
“Well, I don’t know if production would stop, but it would certainly create many difficulties,” said Simone Solfanelli, the president of the Cremona chapter of Coldiretti, Italy’s largest agricultural organization. “I can tell you that they are indispensable for farming,” and for the milk produced in the province — at one million tons per year, about a tenth of all milk produced in Italy, he added.
The Indians, many of whom are Sikhs, first arrived in the area just as a generation of dairy workers was retiring, with no substitutes in sight.
“They saved an economy that would have gone to the dogs because young people didn’t want to work with cows,” Mayor Dalido Malaggi of Pessina Cremonese said. Though the dairy industry is mostly mechanized today, human labor is still necessary 365 days a year, he explained.
The work is split in two four-hour shifts per day, about 12 hours apart. “Young Italians don’t want to work those kinds of hours,” he said. “They’d prefer to work in factories and have evenings and weekends free.”