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Hamsa Ramesha

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New takes on old media

I previously discussed the burgeoning market of ethnic media, which got me thinking about different storytelling methods. Lo and behold, what I found were unique ways in which ethnic media and/or their audiences were taking steps to change news.

Take a look at the models I found: Read the rest of this entry »

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Urban Desi Radio

Get ready to jive to the beat of tablas while rocking out to hard metal. That is, only if you live in the Bay Area.

Since Aug. 12, South Asians in the Silicon Valley have been able to tune into KLOK 1170 AM every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Urban Desi Radio. The show features music from around the world, with a South Asian focus, and plans for guest speakers and discussion topics on entertainment and lifestyle are in the works. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bollywood the American Way

All it took was a dash of insomnia, a long plane journey and a big helping of boredom for Jennifer Hopfinger to get hooked on the world of Bollywood.

Listening to her relate the experience of watching her first mass dance sequence, the lip-synching stylings of actor Shah Rukh Khan, or the sultry moves of actress Rani Mukerji is an out-of-body experience for me – having grown up watching Amitabh Bachchan and Brad Pitt on screen (although not together… yet!)

But while most fans would keep their obsession limited to the couch and perhaps a cup of steaming chai (maybe a bhangra lesson or two), Hopfinger turned it into a full-time project and created  The Bollywood Ticket. Watch the video and see what I mean: Read the rest of this entry »

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Jennifer Hopfinger works on her blog, The Bollywood Ticket. PHOTO BY HAMSA RAMESHA

Bay Area Filipino newspaper reaches for the stars

In the face of today’s recession, the poor health of mainstream media, and the general decline of print outlets, one San Francisco-based newspaper is given a strong bill of health.

The FilAm Star expanded circulation on August 13, from a bimonthly to a weekly, based largely on audience demand, said the paper’s editor-in-chief, Jun Ilagan. “The complaint we have been receiving from our readers and consequently from advertisers, is we have a visibility problem,” he said. “It takes us about three days after the issue comes out to the press and we distribute to the outlets. When all those copies are gone it takes about 11 to 12 days to come out with another issue.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The San Francisco-based FilAm Star began in December 2007. It became a weekly paper Aug. 13.

I am proud to be South Asian because…

So I took a hike to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. for the South Asian Carnival on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16. In light of India Independence Day and Pakistan Independence Day, I thought it’d be neat to ask people there just why they were proud to be who they are. Listen to their responses and share your own below.

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Hindu mythology + Twitter = Philosophical musings of the 21st century

When Lord Ganesha (the elephant-faced Indian deity who removes obstacles) wrote the Mahabharata as dictated by Sage Veda Vyasa, it was probably written on the 4th century BCE equivalent of bamboo paper.

These days, you can follow140-character pieces of this Sanskrit epic on Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Follow the tweets of @epicretold to partake in this project. This version of the Mahabharata is a retelling of the epic poem by Prem Panicker, tweeted by Chindu Sreedharan.

Despite Khan-troversy, Bollywood ‘Badshah’ keeps his cool

By now you may have heard the story of how Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, also known as ‘King Khan,’ was questioned by airport security for 66 minutes (previous reports say two hours) at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday. Khan’s name reportedly appeared on a security checklist, and he wasn’t released until after Indian diplomats intervened.

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Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan entertains the crowd during a South Asian festival at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. PHOTO BY HAMSA RAMESHA

Happy Independence Day, India

In honor of tomorrow, here’s a little something for today.

I’ll be attending the South Asian Carnival this weekend at the Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill (also in Houston at Reliant Park this weekend). If you haven’t heard, it’s the first-ever carnival of its kind, featuring Bollywood celebs like Shah Rukh Khan and Bipasha Basu. There’s also a fashion show, wedding expo, food booths, jewelry bazaar and more!

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Calling all California Republicans: Step up!

When I tell people I’m from California (and very proud of it) I get one of two reactions: A nod of understanding and jealous delight at meeting someone from the Golden State, or a wary smile and disbelief at everything I say henceforth.

California is a great place to live, especially if you fall in a minority group. Because in California – particularly in the Bay Area and Los Angeles – you won’t feel like a minority. Read the rest of this entry »

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Break down of California registered voters and their affiliated parties by ethnic group. Data is based on the 2009 study by The Field Poll.

Coming to America: A Bollywood story

I’ve never quite understood why it took the fame of Slumdog Millionaire to put India, much less Bollywood, on the map here in the States. It’s not even Indian! It’s British!

What really tipped me over the edge was watching the Pussycat Dolls’ remix of “Jai Ho,” the hit song by A.R. Rahman from Slumdog. At first, I was fascinated to see Nicole Scherzinger and the other Dolls dance in Indian-inspired clothing with khol-darkened eyes. Then, I heard the lyrics, some of which were literal translations from Hindi, and was incredibly confused. So much is lost: the subtle meanings and layers of context make a literal translation sound absurd and tacky. And finally came frustration and disappointment at the jazzed up “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)” that was more a failed imitation than a successful remix. Read the rest of this entry »

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Does a diverse nation need a diverse media?

Hamsa Ramesha by Hamsa Ramesha

We’ve all heard the doom facing mainstream media: the downfall of print, the flawed money-making model of online, and the get-it-free attitude debate over the future of print and the Web. Still, even with today’s financial woes, one part of the journalism business is poised to thrive – ethnic media.

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A new frontier for ethnic media

Hamsa Ramesha by Hamsa Ramesha

The Good: Ethnic media readership is growing

The Great: Which means ethnic media can reach more people and grow too

The Even Better: Which means more coverage of issues related to these minority groups

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South Asian Journalism Convention

Hamsa Ramesha by Hamsa Ramesha

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