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    Learning to be an anthropologist 2

    When we went to the field to collect oral histories or stories or experiences of U Pein Bridge, we did not know how to explain our tasks or talk about them. Our group then applied what we had observed the foreign anthropologist do -  smile and make eye contact. We adopted this when we spoke to a fried-fish seller who we first thought may know about something of the U Pein Bridge. First, we bought a pack of fried fish with 2000 Kyat before asking her about U Pein bridge. So, we used our money to get data and we were very happy.

    Samen allen/ We are together

    One of the most useful Dutch words for all foreigners to learn the language has to be “gezellig”.  It seems, sounds and means cozy, close, comfort, accompanied, warm, etc. This “gezellig” is embedded deeply in the Dutch culture, so you can hear it often on many occasions.  For example, if you ask someone to join you for coffee, he or she will reply “gezellig”!

    Staying in the circle

    I am at an ATM cash machine at 9 pm waiting in my circle for my turn. Ayanagar, New Delhi. It was the first time i found myself physically disatanced in public place. A big change from the evening before where I was jostled as usual in a grocery shop by customers at 8pm. "I thought that you were not yet buying, only looking," said the only one who bothered to answer.

     

     

    Monitoring 'suspected' Covid 19 infected individuals

    A hovering drone being used to keep track of 'suspected' infected persons as they wait for their turn to be checked and processed, Nizamuddin, New Delhi, India. Standing in a line are members of a religious assembly awaiting testing and quarantine processing, who came from across India and Asia. This continued after lockdown started, and appeals to authorities to assist in evacuation initially did not get any response .

    Rice, women and local economy : Rethinking COVID-19 consequences

    The images are from Kokrajhar Town bi- weekly market. Every Thursday and Sunday people living in and around the District Headquarter of Kokrajhar in the BTC (Bodo Territorial Council) area visit the main market when the bi-weekly bazaar takes place. The bazaar is a huge affair where assorted items are sold and bought, and contribute to the local economy. From direct producers-to-middlemen-to-whole salers of innumerable products partake in the commercial exchanges here. There are dedicated lanes and by-lanes within the market area for different items sold.

    Staying in

    “I barricaded myself and stared out the window, without seeing anything but my own unhappiness.”
                                                                                     ― Thomas Bernhard, The Loser

    Independence and freedoms

    The whole Naga struggle, it is purely because of the invasion by India...this here is our land, this is ours. The coming of the English language too has given us new terms to describe us, including the word “indigenous” which itself is a way of saying that we are under India and it distorted our definition of who we are. After the British invasion, India too thought of us as a weak people and that it has a sense of ownership over us that led to the making of the state. It was an opportunity for Nehru to show a backup plan by giving us statehood which we didn’t ask for.

    Migrants' walk 1

    When on 25 March 2020, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced immediate lockdown in the country to stem the spread of Covid 19, without a forewarning, it left millions of migrant workers unemployed and no way of sustaining themselves. While thousands undertook walking on foot, many rushed to the inter-state bus terminals before they too were shut down.

     

    Migrants' walk 2

    Thousands of stranded migrant labourers and their families have been making desperate attempts to reach their villages amind the lockdown in India imposed by the Centre and state governments to combat Covid 19. The police in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, found at least 18 workers hiding inside a cement mixer bound from Maharashtra to Lucknow on 2 May 2020.

     

    Waiting for food

    With no forewarning of nation-wide locked as announced on 25 March 2020 amid the Covid 19 pandemic and no relief measures in place, millions of people, especially daily wage and migrant labourers, in India were caught unawares. Extention of the lockdown even while there were talks of relaxation further added to the woes of the people.

    Here one can see people hanging their utensils on railings, while they wait to collect food distributed by volunteers, at Mayur Vihar in Delhi.

    Planting and fellowship amid the pandemic

    Here in Taiwan, social networking has not totally retreated due to social distancing. Many things still move on ... just behind the masks and the precautionary measures.

    These pictures show the day when people came to build the cucumber shed together. This space is more than a farm. It's a public space that provides the healing effects of the collective work of nature and fellowship, especially at this time of pandemic.  

    Covid 19: Reflections from Gao, Mali 1

    Le Mali à l'instar des autres pays est touché par la pandémie Covid 19. Des mesures sont prises: le lavage des mains au savon, un respect de la distanciation d'au moins un mètre, l'utilisation du gel et un couvre-feu instauré de 21h à 05 h du matin. À Gao, comme partout la population est consciente de ce fléau et certaines organisations ont fermé et d'autres travaillent timidement.
     

    Taking the migrants home: Part 1

    Indian Railways announced operation of more Shramik special trains for evacuating stranded migrant workers, labourers, pilgrims, and students from various parts of the country from May 4. The decision came after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines for the movement of these groups of people on May 1, 2020... a decision that gave some glimmer of hope to the thousands of stranded migrant labourers across the country after the lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. 

     

    Taking the migrants home: Part 2

    Shramik Special trains were started to take home lakhs of stranded migrant labourers and their families to their hometown. Many of them have run of out of money and food because of the restrictions imposed to combat the Covid 19. The relief mesaures have been ill planned. Those coming from Surat in Gujarat have alleged that they were charged Rs 800 against a ticket with a printed cost of Rs 630. The labourers said they had no choice but to pay the money if they wanted to return. 

    Taking the migrants home: Part 3

    “These are people who have come to work in Bangalore. Once there is employment, normalcy will get established… so why go back then? Those who still want to go back can do so using their own vehicle,” said N Manjunath Prasad, nodal officer for inter-state travel from Karnataka. 

    The CM of Karanataka BS Yediyurappa met prominent builders and real estate firms who reportedly expressed concern over the mass exodus of labourers on 5 May.

    Taking the migrants home: Part 4

    Many migrant labourers and their families have started walking to reach their home towns after the uncertainities of train arrangements and costs. Among them was a group of 20 migrants who undertook the long walk home from Jalna (Maharashtra) to Bhusaval, 157 km apart. The group chose to walk on railway tracks in order to avoid the highway, where they could have been stopped. The group likely assumed that the trains were not running.

    Warding off the virus with Corona Drishti in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

    Floor drawings, especially those made by variously connecting a grid of dots using white rice flour powder or paste, are often seen at the entrance of people's homes in Tamil Nadu. Known as the kolam, these designs are typically executed by women as part of early morning household chores and renewed daily as a recurring motif of everyday life. This kolam depicts the coronavirus as the evil eye that will protect, but equally harm, if not heeded.

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