Annapurna Pandey

Annapurna Devi Pandey teaches Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She holds a PhD in sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and was a postdoctoral fellow in social anthropology at Cambridge University, the U.K. Her current research interests include diaspora studies, South Asian religions, and immigrant women’s identity making in the diaspora in California. In 2017-18 she received a Fulbright scholarship for fieldwork in India. Dr Pandey is also an accomplished documentary filmmaker. Her 2018 award-winning documentary “Road to Zuni,” dealt with the importance of oral traditions among Native Americans.

Voice of Annapurna Pandey

Transracial adoption
Identity Crisis & Other Struggles Of Indian Born Kids Adopted By White American Families

I have collected the life experiences of a few Indian adoptees who came to the U.S. in the 1980s and were primarily raised in small rural towns.

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‘Depression Visa’: My Life Is Destroyed By An H4 Visa Dependent On My Abusive Husband…!

US law has no provisions to help a dependent H4 Visa holder spouse if abandoned by an H-1B Visa holder, and is deported. The Indian govt should collaborate with the US to protect these women.

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Transgender Activist Anjali Rimi Vowed To Never Hide Her Identity
Transgender Activist Anjali Rimi Vowed To Never Hide Her Identity

Anjali Rimi, is the president of the only trans nonprofit organization Parivar, a movement to fight the injustice that people of color are subjected to in a white-dominated, patriarchal, and heteronormative society.

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American VP Kamala Harris celebrating Diwali in 2022
New Surge Of Interest In Deepavali: Festival Of Lights In North America

The Festival of Lights has become the identity marker that connects with a distant past, while also ensuring traditions continue for a new generation of diasporic Indians.

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Harsh Khetarpal officiating a same sex wedding
Hersh Khetarpal, An Exceptional Hindu Pandita In A Male-Dominated Profession

Hersh Khetarpal, who has conducted several interracial and same-sex weddings, believes in making wedding rituals participative and inclusive.

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My Very Traditional MIL Supported Me Even Though A Whole World Away… I Miss Her!

It is essential to put out our stories where women are not pitted against each other; instead, they hold each other up and celebrate each other. Here is mine.

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Tanya Momi
US NRI Community Disowned Tanya Momi After Leaving An Abusive Marriage, But She Rose Above All That

Parents, religion, or society have not taught Indian women how to get out of the patriarchal setup. "We are taught to 'fit in' in society and serve others," Tanya Momi says. "We try to look good for our parents, family, and in the process, lose ourselves."

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Bollywood Is Picking Up Stories Of Ordinary Heroes Like Gangubai Kathiawadi, And We Must Listen

The strength of this woman is that she does not give up and give in to her fate. In the words of the director Bhansali, she confronts the world and says, “No, I have a voice, I have my rights.”

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So You Think The Impact Of Domestic Violence Ends With You? No!

“I started to become a protector for my mom when my dad would abuse her, and I would threaten to call the cops if he continued...”

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5 Things A Trans Woman Activist Says Are Done Well In CKA

In many cases, transgender women navigate life by 'passing', where they are assumed to be cisgender women. Passing is a safety and survival tool for many who are disproportionately subjected to discrimination and violence.

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Odisha Bandha
The Glory Of The Odisha Bandha Sari – From Villages To The World

Authentic handloom weavers of the Odisha Bandha sari from villages form a significant part in the Odisha's cultural heritage. In today's context, they are often forgotten and are in dire need of support. 

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LGBTQ Weddings
Meet The Hindu Priest Officiating LGBTQ Weddings In The Indian Diaspora!

Raja Gopal Bhattar has conducted over 24 marriages and most were LGBTQ weddings. Highly qualified, Bhattar hails from a lineage of Hindu scholars & pundits!

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durga puja
In My California Odia Community 2 Women Performed Durga Puja, Breaking Monopoly of Male Priests!

I take great pride in teaching about goddess Durga in California. I’ve noticed male artists make the goddess idols & male priests monopolize Durga puja. It's good to see a flicker of change!

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I Flew From America To Visit My Mother In Odisha During Covid Pandemic. The Situation Was Scary & Hospitals Were Full!

Due to covid, I could fly down from America to visit my mother after almost 2 years. It was a scary situation! But seeing my mother & the love from friends was worth it!

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Life Hasn’t Been The Same After I Lost My Father, A Role Model For Many

Many of my father’s students are spread all over India and the U.S. Some of them — mostly older Odia Americans — call me my father’s daughter. My father Haladhar Biswal was a celebrated teacher at Secondary Board High School in Cuttack. In the 1960s and 70s, while I was growing up, I saw my father […]

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My Very Own Goddess: How My Mother Shaped Me Into The Woman I am Today

When we reflect on our lives, often, our mothers stand out as the ones who nurtured us with endless love and helped us grow as human beings.

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Odissi Teachers In The US Show Care For Students By Reframing It As A Stress Buster

"Dance is a therapy for mental and physical development. It’s a stress buster for teenagers and adults.”

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children with special needs
Children With Special Needs, Along With Work & Home Stress; NRI Moms Face Unfair COVID Toll

Burdened with the major part of emotional and caregiving load, these NRI moms of children with special needs on the autism spectrum share their stories of struggle.

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