Culturally Appropriate or Cultural Appropriation? A Few Thoughts

Sep 30, 2013
Culturally Appropriate or Cultural Appropriation?  A Few Thoughts

by Priya Chhaya In early April, pop star Selena Gomez incited media buzz when she appeared in public wearing a bindi. She is not the first celebrity to wear something Indian, but I have to ask: Should I feel offended that someone has chosen to appropriate a piece of Indian cultural identity for entertainment? Or […]

Diwali in the U.S.

Nov 13, 2012

Happy Diwali from the Indian American Heritage Project! Diwali is an auspicious and vibrant holiday for Indian Americans, marking the New Year and reminding us of the philosophical triumph of light over darkness. Here is a selection of images commemorating Diwali in the US. Some will be featured in our upcoming exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Indian […]

My Silver Gods Come to America

Mar 20, 2012

We are excited to announce that Lavina Melwani is a new blogger for the Smithsonian Indian American Heritage Project. By Lavina Melwani For many Indians living in America, India is the talisman, the sacred thread around their wrists, which connects them to the past and their changing tomorrows. Visit any Indian American family and there […]

The Salad Bowl

Mar 12, 2012

HomeSpun is proud to offer another guest blog, this time from the Bay Area. Shefali Razdan Duggal is a highly recognized member of the Indian American and broader American political landscape. Here, she shares personal thoughts on the potential within the South Asian American community. by Shefali Razdan Duggal As I have progressed in years […]

Happy Diwali!

Nov 2, 2011

Above: Diwali celebrations at the Mandir (Hindu temple) in Missouri City, Texas. Photo by Amyn Kassam (Flickr). Diwali, the festival of lights, was celebrated by more than 2 million American Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs on October 26, 2011.  It’s observed on the last day of the lunar calendar to celebrate the beginning of a new […]

Culture Sampling: South Asian Hip-Hop Concert Celebrates Desi Artists

Oct 18, 2011

by Aditya Desai The District’s cultural nerve center in the U Street corridor was host to a South Asian hip-hop concert last month, showcasing performances by Indian American MCs, rappers, beat-boxers, and dancers. The concert, dubbed Drift Elemental and hosted by local South Asian arts organization Subcontinental Drift, drew a heavy crowd on Friday, both […]

You Can Take It With You

Sep 9, 2011
You Can Take It With You

by Priya Chhaya Moving. A room once full of books, electronics, posters, and photographs now bare. Each item packed away into cardboard boxes that all look the same. Boxes, filled with nearly everything you own in two cars. Moving Out. Two words that mean so much more than just the act of packing up your […]

“Sim Sim Salabim!” Insight into Indian Mysticism

Aug 4, 2011

by Ted Young (Summer 2011 intern) If I relied on nothing else other than popular culture to inform me about Indians and Indian Americans I would think that they all have mystical powers somehow related to their religious beliefs… Oh yeah, also they love to dance. Until this summer, when I started doing research for […]

Preserving the Past in India and the United States

Jul 25, 2011
Preserving the Past in India and the United States

by Priya Chhaya My day job (when I’m not thinking about blog posts for HomeSpun) is working as an employee for the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). We’re a non-profit organization that works to preserve and protect the places that matter to all Americans—through advocacy work, education, and community development. Most recently we released […]

Come As You Are: Maximum India

Mar 24, 2011

by Priya Chhaya Suspended from the ceiling A map filled with arts Culture Symbols Dancing over a wheel, a chakra Calling for virtue from the people. And at the crowded, energetic stage Sounds of Rajasthan flow into the melody of the violin Embrace the dance styling of Punjabi rhythm Din. Dinaka. Din Din. Dinaka. Din […]