CULTURAL IDENTITY & IDEOLOGY - IV

COMMUNITY APPEARANCE & INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION

TMYS Review March 2023

in collaboration with

                                                    

 

 

 

For the year 2022-23  TMYS Review is working on the theme of CULTURAL IDENTITY & IDEOLOGY. 

Under this context, TMYS Review March 2023 will explore the role of Community Appearance & Individual Presentation in shaping cultural identity and ideology, focussing on three sub-themes:

  1. Religious Identity and Freedom
  2. Clothes, Jewellery and Accessories
  3. Language and Provincial Narratives

 

Call for Submissions   

Stories, Poems and Essays on

COMMUNITY APPEARANCE & INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION

Based on any of the three sub-themes defined above.

Selected contributions will be compiled into Ebooks & paperback publications for TMYS Review March 2023.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

         A significant part of dressing styles, living practices and appearances forms unique cultural identities which are actually metaphors of communication. Choices, habits and practices of the people collectively or their personal responses to body size, shape and colour thus exert their belonging in the social environment surrounding their race, gender, sexuality, religion. Individuals choose their way of dressing based on comfort, conformity, sociability, decoration, insecurity, submissiveness, or economy (Rosenfeld & Plax, 1977). Clothes are not only objects which are worn on or around to enclose or envelop the body. Dresses, dressing sense, jewellery, accessories and the way individuals choose to present themselves, form the medium of ideologies at the micro as well as the macro level. The similarity in the choices of a group of individuals get transported to the world as the non-verbal communication of a community.

          In India, traditional attires mark regional identities. Where sarees are worn by women across the country, North Indians prefer to wear churidars and salwar kameez. Men generally wear pants, shirts, dhoti and kurtas. Assamese women wear mekhela chaddar and the North Eastern hill states have their own way of dressing. In South India, the half- sari is popular among women and white dhoti or colorful lungis can be seen as the desired attire of men. However, South Silk sarees are not only famous in the South but are famous in the worldwide. If South pride Kanjeevaram has kept its admirers enchanted till date Dhakai jamdani which is one of the finest handwoven silks, patterned saree of Bengal has been its glory since ages.

          Colours have different meanings across diverse cultures and religions. Colours have been the symbols of a community’s norms and beliefs, and perceived ideologies of religion. Red has been associated with passion, love and patriotism world-wide, in most of the Asian communities, the colour red symbolizes good luck, good fortune and celebration. Asian brides often wear red on their wedding day. However, in Africa, red is the colour of mourning and in South Africa red represents violence. Saffron has been very significant for the Hindus. Moreover, the yellow colour has been seen as a symbol of knowledge and learning. Lord Vishnu's dress is yellow symbolizing his representation of knowledge. Lord Krishna and Ganesha also wear yellow dresses. Green represents growth, evergreen nature and many Western cultures associate the colour green with luck, money and ecology. For Muslims, green is a colour of utmost importance as it is associated with Prophet Muhammed PBUH. When the colour white symbolizes purity, elegance and peace in the West, it is common for brides to choose to wear white for their wedding. But, in much of the East, white is the colour of mourning. In India, white or other pale colours are traditionally preferred by (or should we say, for) the widows.

          Since India is a conglomeration of different races and cultures, the pattern within is very dynamic as different variables affect social ascription of the differences based on complexion. Caste, class, religion, region, gender and economics are a few of these variables.  Suiting the interest of the colonizers, India was divided on the basis of the racial affiliations and cultural differences into Aryans and Dravidians with an emphasis on the differences of the skin colour, causing the great Indian divide, ‘North and South dichotomy.’

           India has a history of celebrating complexion disparities where we can see the glorification of the dark-skinned Lord Krishna’s complexion which is similar to the freshly formed monsoon black clouds along with Radharani’s molten gold complexion. But, this exists alongside colourism and antiblackness that are conjoined with racism and casteism.

           However, the common people do not restrict their judgements only to each other’s choices, circumstances, shapes or complexion defining the composite appearances. Added to these are the collaterals like body odour, the visible or perceived hygiene, age, marks on the skin and such-like. Practically, a lot of the social judgement is dependent on the comfort one feels at the sight of someone, the basis of comfort often being a result of severe conditioning imposed by family and peers.

            Fredric Jameson's characterization of all Third World literature as "national allegory" has been masterfully criticised by eminent critic and Marxist, Aijaz Ahmad by demolishing the First World characterization of nations like India collectively as the "Third World" and then proceeding towards investing the notion of the nation itself with a radical ideogogical value which post-structuralist discourse had sought to drain it of.

            The best part is that India is not a land of one language but is a conglomeration of many. But the worst part is that, this diversity also sparks language debates based upon power equations. Often, the expression of writing and speaking process drive strong social judgements. Today, social media acts as a catalyst to further influence the interaction and understanding (sometimes conflicts too) between the users of various Indian languages. Translation is a converting process that has been helping global citizens to understand each other’s perspectives and be able to maintain communication. In a multicultural society, be it national (like in India) or global, translation has been promoting growth, carrying, transferring ideologies and discourses of indigenous literature and wisdom to showcase the rich and varied cultural ethos to the global audiences.

             TMYS Review March 2023 aims at exploring the role of  “Community Appearance & Personal Presentation of Individuals” in shaping Cultural Identity and Ideology, adhering to the below mentioned sub-themes:

  1. Religious Identity and Freedom.
  2. Clothes, Jewellery and Accessories.
  3. Language and Provincial Narratives.

 

Under the scope of the project, we will organize PANEL DISCUSSIONS (topics listed below) with senior scholars, professors, researchers, authors, journalists and other professionals who have worked extensively on such contexts falling under the three sub-themes listed above and have minutely studied their history, culture, occurrence, circumstances and more. This project endeavours to add to the existing body of study materials on this subject.

 

ABOUT CSAS, University of Hawaii at Manoa

The Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS) at UH Mānoa promotes interdisciplinary research about South Asia and its diasporas, and fosters awareness about South Asia’s rich cultural heritage, its history, its languages, and its contemporary economic and political landscape. CSAS is delighted to collaborate in producing this issue of TMYS Review on Community Appearance and Individual Presentation. This issue highlights the multiple social meanings centered around religion, language, and clothing and adornments, and their significance in representing selves--all research areas important to many members of our Center. Director Anna Stirr, an ethnomusicologist focusing on language and song, and Coordinator Saloni Mahajan, a costume designer and scholar of costumes in film, look forward to the many enriching conversations that this issue is sure to produce.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:

1. Youth engagement with a network of entities that have researched or contributed towards exposing the hidden and/or understanding the complicated dimensions of the theme (and sub-themes).

2. To curate critical insights for global learning and inspiration on the social, political and personal dynamics of Individual and Collective Appearance shaping Cultural Identity & Ideology.

3. Invite attention towards the historical and contemporary practices that have influenced generations, impacted the society, the economy, the present and future of countries. 

 

THE PROJECT ARCHITECTURE:

1. TMYS Review March 2023 invites essays, short stories or poems on the mentioned theme; the submission must cater to one of the sub-themes mentioned above.

2. Solo and panel discussions on the sub-themes will be hosted live on TMYS social media.  

Please scroll below for DIGITAL CONVERSATIONS for the titles and the delegate speakers.

3. Submissions citing one or more discussions from the DIGITAL CONVERSATION/S for information and inputs will carry additional weightage.

4.  A selection of short stories, essays and poems will be published in TMYS Review March 2023. The issue will be available in ebook and paperback formats across the world, distributed via Amazon.

5. Three winning contributions will receive a Certificate of Excellence from CSAS, University of Hawaii.

 

THE DIGITAL CONVERSATIONS

TMYS Facebook LIVE with global thought-leaders. Topics are listed below.

 

(I) RELIGIOUS IDENTITY AND FREEDOM (organised by Soumi Bandyopadhyay)

1. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION AND WOMEN'S PERSONAL SPACE.The practices and impact of covering women's faces under various religious faith.

Delegate Speakers:  Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan  Jyoti Atwal Sweta Sur

Date & Time: TBD

2.  PRESERVING THE REPOSITORY OF INDIGENOUS CULTURES AND RELIGIONS. 

Celebrating and promoting Indigenous stories.

Delegate Speakers: Ananya Dutta Gupta  Shib Sankar Majumder Anway Mukhopadhyay  Prem Phyak

Date & Time: TBD

3.  ROLE OF RELIGION AND CUSTOMS IN CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.

Leveraging the power of religion to protect and conserve nature, wildlife and ecosystem.

Delegate Speakers: Adrian Martin Ashish Kothari Roger S. Gottlieb  

Date & Time: TBD

4.  RITUALS SYMBOLISING MARRIED WOMEN ACROSS RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES. 

Impact and significance of wedding symbols on women's choice and freedom.

Delegate Speakers: Eak Prasad Duwadi  Rashida Murphy Sharbani Mukherjee  Anna Stirr

Date & Time: 11 Dec 11am IST - 7.30pm Hawaii

5.  SUFI SONGS AND BHAJANS: THE RELIGIOUS ICONOGRAPHY IN BOLLYWOOD.

Celebrating the spirit of God by transgressing religious identities of composers and audience.

Delegate Speakers:  Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri Bobby Sing  Pavan Jha

Date & Time: 8 Dec 7pm IST

 

(II). CLOTHES, JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES (organised by Shruti Chatterjee and Priyanka Chakraborty)

1. HISTORY OF INDIAN CLOTHES AND JEWELLERIES

Functional and aesthetical qualities of clothes and jewelleries with specific reference to Indian history.

Delegate Speakers:  Ektaa Jain  Malini Divakala Vikrant Pande  Kruti Dholakia

Date & Time: 16 Nov, 7pm IST

2.  EMERGING TRENDS IN CONVENIENCE DRESSING

Preferences with respect to occupation, geographical location, festivals or workplace.

Delegate Speakers: Nithyaprakash Venkatasamy Vaibbhavi Pruthviraj Ranavaade Layla Mendes

Date & Time: 24 Nov, 6pm IST - 9.30am BRT

3.  MODERN JEWELLERIES V/S TRADITIONAL JEWELLERIES

From handmade to technology enabled, the shift in the emotional bonding with jewellery.

Delegate Speakers: Sylvia Raha Nantia Koulidou Maarten Versteeg

Date & Time: 9 Nov, 7pm IST - 2.30pm GMT - 3.30pm CET

4.  MULTICULTURALISM IN CLOTHING AND JEWELLERY

Foreign influences on Indian clothing styles, jewellery and vice versa.

Delegate Speakers: Parul Bhatnagar  Maria Angela Jansen  Toolika Gupta

Date & Time: 1 Dec, 7pm IST - 2.30pm CET

5.  UNISEX CLOTHES AND EMERGING TRENDS IN SELF GROOMING

Popularity of gender-neutral beauty products, clothes, styling and service providers.

Delegate Speakers: Lisa M. McLaughlin Benilde Reis  Kelly L. Reddy-Best 

Date & Time: 27 Oct, 7pm IST - 9.30am ET - 2.30pm GMT

6.  Functions of Dress in Social Context

Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient India.

Delegate Speakers:  Saloni Mahajan  Sanchaiyata Majumder  Utkarsh Patel

Date & Time: 27 Nov, 11 am IST - 7.30pm Hawaii

 

(III.)  LANGUAGE AND PROVINCIAL NARRATIVES  (organised by Sarannaya Bose)

1. PORTRAYAL OF HYBRIDITY AND OTHERNESS IN INDIAN MYTHOLOGY

Relooking at the descriptions of women and the third gender in Indian Mythology.

Delegate Speakers:  Lavanya Vemsani Jeffery D. Long  Anuja Chandramouli

Date & Time: 3 Nov, 7pm

2.  FEMININE, FEMINIST AND FEMALE LANGUAGE

An evolution of women’s writing and expression over the years.

Delegate Speakers: Shelly Bhoil  Debali Mookerjea-Leonard

Date & Time: TBD

3.  BORROWING, MIXING AND NATURALISING LANGUAGE

An analysis of loanwords and colloquial terms in languages across the world.

Delegate Speakers: Nishi Pulugurtha Somrita Urni Ganguly Sarmila Paul

Date & Time: 14 Nov, 7pm IST

4.  LANGUAGE AND SEXISM

Sexist and derogatory slurs across languages.

Delegate Speakers: Rakhshanda Jalil  Sourav Banerjee

Date & Time: 21 Nov 7pm IST

5.  WOMEN’S LANGUAGE OF REBELLION

Real-life stories of women’s protests through activism and symbolism.

Delegate Speaker:  Malashri Lal  Shreyashi Gopinath Dev Nath Pathak 

Date & Time: TBD

 

 

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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

 

1. TMYS Review invites short stories, poems or essays on the above-mentioned theme. All submissions to TMYS Review that do not follow the guidelines will be rejected.

2. The submissions MUST justify either or more of the sub-themes mentioned above. The content doesn't need to restrict to Indian situations. We welcome contributions on and from other parts of the world.

3. Selected submissions will be published in TMYS Review March 2023.  Last date of submission: 31 December 2022.The issue will be available in ebook and paperback formats across the world, distributed via Amazon.

4. The contributors are free to refer to our digital conversations with the delegates (details above). At the end of the submission files, the citation must mention the referred talks if consulted in the following format:

Chandra, Nishita, Somrita Urni Ganguly and Sarmila Paul. “Gendered Subjectivities Governing Nutrition Patterns”. Religious History of Food Consumption Series. “Cultural Identity & Ideology (II)”. Interview by Stella Chitralekha Biswas. TMYS Review. 5 June 2022, https://fb.watch/eMk2E7p70d/

PN. the order: (i) Names of panelists - surname of the panelist that comes first in alphabetical order, followed by the names of other panelists (ii) session topic (iii) sub-theme (iv) annual theme (v) interviewer name (vi) TMYS Review (vii) date of discussion (viii) link of discussion 

(Submissions with such citations will carry greater weightage for selection/recognition.)

5. The short stories could be fiction or nonfiction, 1200-2000 words.

The essays should be 2500-3000 words.  Essay submissions should be accompanied by an Abstract (no more than 300 words). Works cited in essays should follow MLA8 format. Submission upto 5 poems will be accepted against each registration.

6. All submissions should be accompanied with the bio-brief (around 150 words, written in third person) and photograph of the author. Mentioning the social media links (Facebook/Linkedin/Twitter/Instagram) of the contributors in the email body is encouraged; it will help us to tag when we promote the submissions.

7. All submissions should be word files, attached and emailed to tmysreview@gmail.com; while making a submission, mention in the subject line <the title of the essay/story/poem, name of the delegate speaker in citation (if it applies) and March 2023.

8. All submissions should use Calibri/Times New Roman, font size 12; font size 16 for headings and font size 14 for sub headings if any. Line spacing : 1.5.

9. Only original and previously unpublished work will be considered. The contributors must agree that if selected for publication, then their work cannot be sent out elsewhere for any other kind of virtual, print or social media publication.

10. Last date of submission: 31 December 2022

11. A participation fee of INR 300/- (USD 5 for contributors outside India) will be charged per contribution. 

This is a  non-refundable fee, but we will do our best to cooperate in case you have made an error that can be corrected to help you resubmit.  In each such case, our decision will be final.

Tell Me Your Story OPC Pvt. Ltd.
A/c no : 059685800000177, Yes Bank.  Branch - Shankardhan Plaza Junction, MM Road, Mulund West, Mumbai 400080, IFS Code : YESB0000596.

Contributors outside India can send us an email and we shall raise a Paypal link for them.

Post making the payment, please send a mail at tmysreview@gmail.com to register yourself.

***Registration doesn't guarantee publication*** 

12. Simultaneous/multiple submissions are accepted, with the same fee for each submission.

13. Decision of the Project Team and the Editors will be final.

14. Contact for Queries : write QUERIES in subject line and send us an email at tmysreview@gmail.com; we apologise in advance for not responding to obvious or irrelevant queries.

 

 

PROJECT TEAM

 

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