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While there is burgeoning scholarship on the transnational lives of Nepali Gurkhas and their families, research on their migration history and lived experiences in Asian contexts is few and far between. Building upon Vron Ware’s concept of Gurkha families as ‘military migrants’ and using an inter-Asia approach as a framework, this article foregrounds the interconnections between military service and migrant pathways during the period of decolonization, particularly in Southeast Asia, and in so doing, offers a gendered perspective on labour migration. Drawing on multi-sited archival and ethnographic research, it seeks to argue that from 1948 to 1971, the Asian region(s) were a dominant feature in the global migration process of Gurkha families who circulated within the arc of a declining British empire. The article further advances that their gendered mobility patterns problematizes the ‘migration–left behind’ nexus as binary opposites as Gurkha wives and children engaged with mobility and mediated their transnational lives in complex ways. It also expands upon the notion of dukha—meaning ‘sadness’ or ‘suffering’ in Nepali—as an analytical theme to yield further insights into their lived experiences and to revisit colonial historiography about Gurkha society.
In 2013, the Malayalam film Drishyam, a suspenseful story of the cover up of an accidental murder, became a huge hit in India that inspired remakes in many regional languages including one in Hindi that, as with other recent Bollywood hits, traveled to China. This time, though, instead of screening the Hindi film in theaters, the narrative reached Chinese audiences with a Chinese language remake, titled Sheep Without A Shepherd《误杀》. The original film has been accused of lifting its story from a popular Japanese detective novel, The Devotion of Suspect X, which was also made into films in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. This essay traces the many versions of the narrative to explore how comparing the Indian and Chinese films can recenter our understanding of global cinema and film circulation. When considering the many version of Drishyam, instead of focusing on tensions between center and periphery, we can examine both the anxieties and the creative power of cultural borrowing and the retelling of narratives in an increasingly inter-connected Asian film market
This introduction discusses the benefits of a mobile approach to the history of sites, archaeology, and heritage formation in colonial and post-colonial Indonesia. Starting at Hindu–Buddhist, Chinese, Islamic, colonial, and prehistoric sites of heritage in Indonesia, the monograph will focus on people’s encounters and knowledge exchange taking place there, across colonial and post-colonial regimes. It follows site-related objects travelling, like the famous Buddhist statues from Borobudur temple, gifted to King Chulalongkorn of Siam, to gauge how and why these objects have transformed in meaning and play a role in parallel processes of heritage formation inside and outside Indonesia. With this site-centred and mobile approach, we can explain the relationships between heritage formation and religion, violence, and regime change over time, and show the concerns of local subjects and elites, of scholars, pilgrims, and tourists, entering colonial and post-colonial Indonesia and moving out of state-centred archaeology and transnational cultural associations, and of global (UNESCO) politics.
This study offers a new approach to the history of sites, archaeology, and heritage formation in Asia, at both the local and the trans-regional levels. Starting at Hindu-Buddhist, Chinese, Islamic, colonial, and prehistoric heritage sites in Indonesia, the focus is on people's encounters and the knowledge exchange taking place across colonial and post-colonial regimes. Objects are followed as they move from their site of origin to other locations, such as the Buddhist statues from Borobudur temple, that were gifted to King Chulalongkorn of Siam. The ways in which the meaning of these objects transformed as they moved away to other sites reveal their role in parallel processes of heritage formation outside Indonesia. Calling attention to the power of the material remains of the past, Marieke Bloembergen and Martijn Eickhoff explore questions of knowledge production, the relationship between heritage and violence, and the role of sites and objects in the creation of national histories.
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