Rummanah Aasi
 

  My family is from Pakistan. Unlike my parents and older siblings, I was not born in Pakistan but in the U.S. I have always been proud of my culture and also very eager to learn more. In the future, I hope to read, write, and speak Urdu fluently. At the moment, I can understand and my Urdu is kinda shaky. I find myself to be drawn to Post-Colonial literature, particularly those written in Southeast Asia. So when I found this challenge, I was very excited and knew I had to join. The Southeast Asian Reading Challenge is hosted by Swapna at S. Krishna's Books.

What is the Southeast Asian Challenge? 

The purpose of this challenge is to to read books about South Asia and by South Asian authors during 2011.

What books are eligible for the 2011 South Asian Challenge?

There are two ways for a book to qualify for the South Asian Challenge:
(1) A book must be by a South Asian author.  For these purposes, South Asia includes the following countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives.  There are no limitations on what the book can be about.
(2) A book must be about South Asia.  In this case, it can be set in a South Asian country or be about South Asians living abroad.  It can also be a biography or memoir of a South Asian, or of a non-South Asian traveling or working in South Asia.  In this case, the author does not need to be South Asian, as long as the subject matter focuses on the region, peoples, or cultures in some way.

Swapna has a list of books on her blog in case you are having trouble finding book for this challenge. Any type book qualifies, as long as it meets one of the two guidelines above - a cookbook, short story or essay collection, travel guide, etc.

You don't have to have a blog in order to participate. The challenge runs from Jan 1 to Dec 31st, 2011.

Here are the levels of the challenge:

South Asian Encounter - 1 book
South Asian Wanderer - 3 books
South Asian Explorer - 5 books
South Asian Adventurer - 7 books
South Asian Hero/Heroine - 10 books
South Asian Guru - Over 10 books (you can set your own goal)

You can sign up for the challenge here and read the other FAQ about the challenge

My level: I'm going to go for the 10 books/South Asian Hero/Heroine level. Depending how much I read, I may advance to the Guru level.

Books Read for the Southeast Asian Reading Challenge

  1. The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Godwa
  2. White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  3. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors
  4. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
  5. The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair 
  6. Tales of Asha: Volume 1: Death: Death by Joseph Lewis
  7. Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
  8. The Corner Shop by Roopa Farooki
  9. Black Butler Volume 4 and Volume 5 by Yana Toboso
  10. The Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpah Lahiri
8 Responses
  1. I did this challenge in 2010 and really enjoyed it. I discovered some great books and am sure you will too. Enjoy!


  2. Mystica Says:

    My first challenge (South Asia Challenge 2011) and I am very keen to introduce some Sri Lankan authors and also go beyond the popular south asian authors as well
    Other than Mohamed Hanif I do not think I have come across any Pakistani authors so would welcome your recommendations!


  3. Mystica: I hope to read Mueenuddin's "In other rooms". I also like Kamala Shamsie's books too. I only read her "Salt and Saffron".


  4. Anonymous Says:

    so you understand urdu? can you help me translate a (part of) song i found on youtube?


  5. Anonymous: Sure. You can send me an email with the link to the song. You can contact me at: rummanaha at hotmail dot com.


  6. Anonymous Says:

    That's great! The song I mentioned is called "Khamenai Rehbar" and it was taken from some old documentary I watched the other day. I found the song again on youtube some days ago. The song is obviously about Iranian ayatollah Khamenei. Unfortunately I can't understand a word. It's here on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7VIFEE_19Y&feature=related

    I'm especially interested in parts

    -from 1:58 - 2:16 and
    -from 5:31 to 6:10.

    Again, have no idea what the song is talking about, but if it is too islamic or extremistic for you, then of course you don't need to bother with it. In any case, thanks for your time. Also, any idea how come is this song in urdu - do people in Iran speak urdu too?

    best regards

    reader


  7. Reader: Obviously, the song is political. The beginning speech is in Farsi, the national language in Iran, but I don't know why the song itself is in Urdu. Since the lyrics are too political for me, I'm going to direct you to the English subtitled version that I found on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yp4UfPqY-I&feature=related

    Hope this helps!


  8. Anonymous Says:

    thanks so much!


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