I think this is important to put out in the light of what i see as migrant crisis porn. As a second gen migrant with active work and family links to both the Gulf and Singapore i can feel the pain of a genuine migrant in trouble. I have not been paid my former employers whom i have taken to court and have got my pending salaries. I have absolutely no hard feelings for them, rather a sense of gratitude as salaries is not the only element we earn at work. These are skills, ideas and life long networks too. I work with non profits and write on migration issues regularly. In the pandemic i have pitch in to many civil society micro initiatives. As a migration researcher, i speak multiple languages including Bangla and see a lot of unnecessary banter of migrants playing the victim card. Singapore has done the maximum in this crisis as have other Gulf countries even more than passport countries, ask anyone from India or Nepal. There needs to be gratitude. If the elevator in your dorm is not working, complain to the dorm management rather than defame the country.
If things were that great back home, you would not have mortgaged your family land to pay the broker to arrive in Singapore. Get a sense of proportion. Do not blame the host country for your migration debt when the bribe was paid to your relative for the IPA?Many migrant workers have done really well for their families as well. Let these stories also come out.
The devotional music paying homage to Sabrimala and Lord Ayyappa sonically enveloping the community centric diaspora store with a Puja offerings section and the spices section stocking up on MDH and Shan opens the possibility of the transnational as a local site of familiar sensibilities. The emotional switchboard in the words of Prof Ato is electric and immediate and transports me to temple town Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu being present physically in Singapore, which is a global site for Tamil Culture.Cultural bubbles in the everyday are the placeholders of the creole in the multicultural global city.
Congratulations to the Le Thinnai Kreyol Project Team, @banglarmeyeajk Prof Ananya and Ari Anna etc on one year of globally remote yet intimate conversation on Creole circulation. I have learnt so much over the past year from Pune and now Singapore. As a writer and now as a PhD scholar at NUS it does matter.
The project now has a holding page and journal- Thinnai Revi which will be a fascinating site for knowledge production and dissemination.
It is a fascinating online community of thinkers which is creative, critical and analytical. The founders I may add are very kind!
I plan to scribble on Kreyol Muscat\Khaleej soon! Creole is a concept which is interesting to frame the Gulf, often seen from a linear lens.
Thank you for the shout out, as a second-third generation migrant it means a lot to write about the places I write on from Dubai to Singapore which do not find a spot in the archive.
Congratulations once again ! Be ambitious, please!