The South Asian stories you need to know

Smart journalism on South Asia and South Asians around the world.

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Editor's Picks

August 30, 2021

How the Brown Mom Became a Diaspora Comedy Favorite

As South Asian entertainers — from Lilly Singh to Poorna Jagannathan and Pinky Patel — pay homage to Brown moms, can they overhaul cultural stereotypes without reinforcing them?

August 16, 2021

How “Harold & Kumar” Sold a Way Chiller American Dream

The stoner buddy comedy starring John Cho and Kal Penn changed the way Hollywood looked at “model minorities.”

August 17, 2021

Our Stories on Afghanistan

As we work to center Afghan voices and commission pieces with their words, revisit our stories from our archives.

August 14, 2021

Disney Channel’s “Spin” Makes Culture Clash a Thing of the Past

The network’s first TV movie to feature an Indian American lead says that it’s OK to be unapologetically cool.

Business & Tech

September 08, 2021

The Evolution of Eyebrow Threading Salons

For years, threading salons served as an economic lifeline for immigrant women. Today, a new wave of first- and second-generation women are still looking to make it in the industry, on their terms.

August 18, 2021

Controversial Sabyasachi H&M Collection Sells Out — What Gives?

The luxury Indian designer garnered criticism for partnering with the Swedish fast fashion label. His ready-to-wear collection sold out anyway.

August 24, 2021

How Two Pakistani Brothers Created the World’s First PC Virus

The 1980s Brain virus made its creators Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi infamous, and made John McAfee a billionaire.

August 04, 2021

How Nykaa Built a Billion-Dollar Beauty and Fashion Empire

The female-led unicorn is set to make history as one of the few profitable Indian companies to IPO later this year.

Crossword

August 28, 2021

"Across the Pond"

Our August 2021 crossword.

June 25, 2021

"Flying Colors"

Our June 2021 crossword.

July 30, 2021

"Inner Child"

Our July 2021 crossword.

May 12, 2021

"Oh ya!"

Our May 2021 crossword.

Culture

September 23, 2021

Opinion: Why I Hate Seeing Diversity on Dating Shows

The Bachelor in Paradise’s Serena Pitt is set to become the first ever South Asian origin person to be in a successful couple on the long-running franchise. But it’s too little too late in an industry that still makes people of color feel unwanted.

September 21, 2021

Prateek Kuhad Isn’t Obsessed With Being “Different”

We spoke to the global music sensation, who has just signed on to an international label and counts Barack Obama among his fans, about what hasn’t changed with fame.

September 22, 2021

South Asians in Therapy: Challenging Norms and Taboos

For decades, therapy was frowned upon in many South Asian families. Now, a new generation is reclaiming their mental health.

September 20, 2021

How 'Made in India' Made us Thirsty Forever

We talked to Milind Soman and Ken Ghosh about how their now-iconic music video ushered in a sexual awakening for an entire generation in mid-1990s India.

Fiction

November 06, 2020

Fiction: It Started with a Dream

In the winner of our spooky horror fiction contest, at a family get-together, the line between Maya’s recurring nightmare and reality blurs.

Film & TV

September 23, 2021

Opinion: Why I Hate Seeing Diversity on Dating Shows

The Bachelor in Paradise’s Serena Pitt is set to become the first ever South Asian origin person to be in a successful couple on the long-running franchise. But it’s too little too late in an industry that still makes people of color feel unwanted.

September 10, 2021

In “Mogul Mowgli,” the Beat Breaks Down

In director Bassam Tariq’s first narrative film, Riz Ahmed’s Zed struggles with his immigrant identity and rap career while an autoimmune disease attacks his body.

September 14, 2021

The Rise of Anti-Pakistan Bollywood

Patriotic movies used to evoke national unity. Today, films such as “BellBottom,” “Bhuj,” and “Shershaah” focus on settling scores with Pakistan.

August 31, 2021

How Mani Ratnam’s Terrorism Trilogy Stoked 1990s Nationalism

Though critically acclaimed, the director’s “Roja,” “Bombay,” and “Dil Se...” pushed jingoistic narratives that persist in Bollywood today.

Food

September 15, 2021

How a New Generation in India is Reclaiming Gin

Once a remnant of colonial times and consumed primarily by an older generation, gin is now enjoying a revival as cool, young, and uniquely Indian.

September 02, 2021

Why India isn't Known For its Alcohol

France has champagne, Japan has sake, Scotland has whiskey. So, why isn't India famous for an alcohol of its own?

September 09, 2021

The Sri Lankan Hopper is Going Global

The quintessential island snack is making its way around the world, appearing on menus from the U.K. to Australia and beyond.

August 27, 2021

Opinion: The Audacity of Culinary Caucacity

Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post article isn’t the first time mainstream media has tried to pass off racist commentary as satire, humor, or harmless.

Opinion

September 23, 2021

Opinion: Why I Hate Seeing Diversity on Dating Shows

The Bachelor in Paradise’s Serena Pitt is set to become the first ever South Asian origin person to be in a successful couple on the long-running franchise. But it’s too little too late in an industry that still makes people of color feel unwanted.

August 20, 2021

Opinion: As Afghanistan Falls, What Happens to its Artists?

A musician remembers an Afghanistan brimming with creativity and energy. Now, he fears what might be extinguished.

August 27, 2021

Opinion: The Audacity of Culinary Caucacity

Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post article isn’t the first time mainstream media has tried to pass off racist commentary as satire, humor, or harmless.

July 13, 2021

Opinion: Kumail Nanjiani and the Hollywood Gaze

Nanjiani is the latest to go through a physical transformation that seems like a requirement for Brown men in Hollywood to get mainstream roles.

Politics

September 17, 2021

The Cultural Appropriation of Dalit Music

For Dalit artists, music and performance have been tools of cultural resistance. But mainstream Indian media has glamorized and sanitized this history.

August 26, 2021

“We Have All Failed the Afghan People”: A Conversation on Afghanistan

We spoke with political analyst Mariam Jalalzada and migration expert Shahla Naimi on what comes next for the nation and its people.

September 16, 2021

How Gen Z is Fighting for Afghanistan’s Future

A generation of Afghans born after 9/11 have no memory of life under Taliban rule. They are now speaking up and pushing back.

August 23, 2021

Thuggee: “The Cunningest Robbers in the World”

In the 1800s, the British claimed to have vanquished a secret cult of Kali-worshipping murderers in India. But did they ever exist?

Profiles

September 21, 2021

Prateek Kuhad Isn’t Obsessed With Being “Different”

We spoke to the global music sensation, who has just signed on to an international label and counts Barack Obama among his fans, about what hasn’t changed with fame.

June 02, 2021

“Femininity with a Bite”: Why Prabal Gurung Gets Political

The Nepali American fashion designer sat down to chat about dressing everyone from Kamala Harris to Deepika Padukone, why strong women inspire him, and the enduring fashion of 'Rangeela.'

July 08, 2021

“An Icon, A Star, A Diva”: How Priyanka Made Drag History

We talked to the reigning queen of “Canada's Drag Race” about her drag, coming out to her dad via the show, sharing gowns with Priyanka Chopra, chicken nuggets, and changing the world.

March 23, 2021

Talking Shop with Ankiti Bose

The co-founder and CEO of Zilingo talks about her startup, sustainable supply chains, and of course, Sabyasachi.

Science & Technology

July 19, 2021

How Amar Bose Engineered Today’s Sound

A curious Bengali American kid with a love for tinkering built a multi-billion-dollar company and changed the way we listen to music.

May 06, 2021

“Be Careful”: WhatsApp Forwards Spread Fear and Misinformation

Messages intended to increase awareness of potential COVID transmission among South Asian Americans, but the impact has been more alarming.

May 11, 2021

“The Great Escape”: Sri Lanka and the Maldives Bear the Brunt of COVID Vacations

India’s elite continued to vacation in the island nations amid a raging pandemic.

May 05, 2021

To Be a Non-COVID Patient in India Right Now

With the country’s overburdened healthcare system focused on fighting COVID, non-COVID patients assume lowest priority.

Sports

August 05, 2021

India’s Siddis and the Olympic Dream

India has won only 33 Olympic medals since 1900 — none in track and field. Now, new local sports programs are working with Siddi athletes to produce Olympic glory.

April 13, 2021

How India Made Chess and its Champions

The country that invented the ancient game is now producing some of the world’s biggest chess champions.

June 14, 2021

How Dream11 Became India’s First Gaming Unicorn

India's fantasy sports platform has captured the attention of the country's rabid cricket fandom. Now, it wants to be India’s only answer to sports.

December 15, 2020

All Punch, No Pay: The Story of Pakistan's Female Boxers

Once lauded internationally, Pakistan’s best female boxers are fighting to make ends meet.

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