Research usually begins with a quest to learn something about others. But in my case, I learned something about myself at the same time.
In the third year of her International Development degree, Chloe Zivot was offered a unique opportunity, to become an intern at the Office of the Advisor to the Supreme Court of India appointed Commission on the Right to Food. She had the opportunity to live in India’s capital, New Delhi, for four months, and truly immerse herself in Indian culture.
The search for new knowledge often takes a researcher down a fascinating path. For example, when feminist Geography and Development researcher Dr. Josie Wittmer was in India gathering information for her doctoral thesis, Women's work in the 'clean city': Perspectives on well-being, waste governance, and inclusion from the urban margins in Ahmedabad India, she expected to engage with women waste-pickers on their own perceived wellbeing (in contrast to accounts of waste worker’s biological determinants of health). Women waste-picker participants in her study also wanted to talk about changes in their everyday work activities, which were resulting from emerging policies and urban planning initiatives.
Water is an element, so its scarcity is more likely due to poor management than it simply disappearing. Dr. Bharat Punjabi, a Research Fellow at the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, ponders India’s growing water scarcity at a picturesque, lush and expansive farmland outside Mumbai, India, where problems stemming from uninformed policy and governance is affecting farmers’ livelihoods.
Social change conjures up an array of topics: politics, activism and development, among them. But what about music, or theatre? How do these art forms connect with activism and social change?
When G. A. Easwar first arrived in Canada 26 years ago with his wife Shagorika and his two young sons, he was astonished at the vast differences that separated the Canadian landscape from his home in India. During his early years in India and later in Dubai, Easwar was surrounded by local members of the Indian community – a stark difference to Canada, where the South Asian community was much smaller in the mid-1990s.
Growing up in a Canadian Punjabi community, Ashna Jassi was quickly exposed to differences in expectations for sons and daughters within South Asian households including expectations around elderly care. Being attentive to these differences would prove to be more than fruitful for Ashna, a second-generation Punjabi Canadian, as it would guide her PhD research and dissertation focus at the University of Guelph.
The Guelph & District Multicultural Festival, held annually since 1978, is one of the City of Guelph’s biggest outdoor events. More than 50 cultural backgrounds are represented and an average attendance of 25,000 people at this event. Among the booths of sizzling food, crafts, and cultural dance performances, Guelphites can travel the globe from the comforts of Riverside Park.
Like many South Asians, I grew up watching Bollywood movies. When I first arrived in Canada in 2013, they were like a piece of home for me. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn about women in film, working behind the camera as writers, producers and directors, when I enthusiastically signed up for the Research Assistant position with the Canada India Research Centre for Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). My role was to assist with the conference "Women in Films and Media Conference" funded by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
An exhausting travel schedule awaited Dr. Karine Gagné when she arrived in Delhi, India, after a 14-hour journey from Canada in April 2019. Her destination, Zanskar in the Himalayan Mountains, was still a full two days away, in a bumpy truck over very rocky roads. And while the heat of Delhi gave way to more moderate temperatures in higher elevations, it was a gruelling trip nonetheless.