Everyday life in South Asia, 2nd ed. (2010)

Everyday life in South Asia (2010) is edited by Diane P. Mines, associate professor of anthroplogy at Appalachian State University and Sarah Lamb, associate professor and chair of anthropology at Brandeis University.

The book focuses upon the stories that we share about our everyday experiences. Highlights include:

Chapter 8. Breadwinners no more: Identities in flux. Michele Ruth Gamburd descibes Lal, a village resident in Sri Lanka who’s associated with a female migrant, Indrani, who earns a good living in Doha, Qatar: “Lal, who took on all of the domestic chores in Indrani’s absence, encountered daily teasing about his cooking and household work, but he met these remarks with unfailing good humor” (p. 123).

Chapter 22. Vernacular Islam at a healing crossroads in Hyderabad. Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger refers to a non-institutionally-based Islamic practice that the author has identified as vernacular Islam, which “is shaped and voiced by individuals in specific contexts and in specific relationships, individuals who change over time, in social, economic, and political contexts that also shift” (p. 291).

Chapter 28. Interviews with high school students in Eastern Sri Lanka. Margaret Trawick remarks that “The Spencerian view of survival of the fittest prevailed throughout the colonial British Empire (p. 387).” She adds: “But times have changed, and spokesmen for postcolonial world powers represent themselves as despising ethnic warfare.”

Chapter 29. Cinema in the countryside: Popular Tamil film and the remaking of rural life. In her fieldwork, Anand Pandian observed that, thanks to cinema, there was a widespread belief, among rural people in the Cumbum Valley, a triangular vale between the mountains of the Western Ghats and the plains of Tamil Nadu in southern India (p. 406), “that their everyday lives were somehow cinematic in their very nature” (p. 419).


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