India

Banerjee secures second win after whirlwind campaign

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West Bengal’s first woman chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, pulls off a second surprise election victory The margin of victory for Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the recent West Bengal Assembly election, where it won 211 of 294 seats, surprised many. There were those who believed that the last-minute alliance between the Communist Party of […]

Indonesia

Buried treasure amidst grains of Balinese sand

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A new book examines early nineteenth century Balinese society through the eyes of one of the island’s earliest ethnographers On 20 March 1828, the merchant brig Josephine dropped anchor at Kuta, off the southern Balinese coast. Among the dozen or so disembarking passengers was the newly appointed civil administrator to the Badung court, Pierre Dubois. […]

Asian languages

Teaching Hindi with comics

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Students appear to be responding well to a novel approach to learning Hindi Over the last two years I’ve started using comics increasingly to teach first-year Hindi. Responses from students have been positive. But it has also raised the question of why we might use comics to teach languages and what we can say about […]

Japan

Okinawa road map leads to another dead end

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Another rape and murder on Okinawa reignites long-simmering anti-US protests On 19 May 2016, the body of a 20 year old local woman was found in a mountainous region in Okinawa. She had been throttled and stabbed. She had gone missing on 28 April 2016 after telling her boyfriend she was going for a walk. […]

India

Imphal’s booming private health sector

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A thriving private health industry is bringing benefits and disadvantages to an Indian border state that has endured decades of insurgency and counterinsurgency On the outskirts of Imphal, the capital city of Manipur—a state in India’s north-east bordering Myanmar—stands Shija Private Hospital. The reflective blue glass of Shija’s domed main building stands out in the […]