The Mutual Tensions of Chinese-Senegalese Relations in Senegal
At 2,000-strong, the population of Chinese immigrants in Senegal has become a visible presence in major urban areas like Dakar, though immigrants remain largely cloistered within enclaves. With commercial potential driving immigration into the country, Chinese people in Senegal have depended on an uneasy relationship with native Senegalese, a microcosm of a broader burgeoning relationship between China and African countries built on uncertain economic hopes. The New York Times profiles the Chinese community in Dakar and the state of Chinese-Senegalese relations in the country.
“Chinese Merchants Thrive in Senegal, Where People ‘Needed Stuff’” (The New York Times | May 2017)
(Image Credit: Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times)
Female students locked in hostels to avoid harassment during Holi festival in Delhi
- Two women’s hostels at the University of Delhi were put on lockdown over the Holi holiday out of safety fears.
- India’s minister for women argued the restrictions were necessary to defend against consequences of “hormonal outbursts.”
- Women have long reported being sexually assaulted during the festival, but some activists expressed outrage at women’s rather than men’s mobility being targeted as a response.
“Holi festival: Delhi women forced into lockdown amid sexual harassment fears” (The Guardian | March 2017)
“Delhi University hostels ‘lock up’ girls on Holi” (The Asian Age | March 2017)
“Delhi University hostels prohibit women students from playing Holi outside the premises” (International Business Times | March 2017)
(Image Credit: Reuters, via International Business Times)
Estonian government reaches out to Russian Estonians to counter Kremlin influence
- Anxious about a repeat of Ukraine in their country, government officials have begun learning Russian and conducting outreach to increase the integration of ethnic Russians in Estonia.
- Russian speakers comprise roughly 25% of Estonia’s population, with many concentrated on the country’s border with Russia where a mix of Estonian and Russian media provide differing views on regional geopolitics.
- Although Russians have been in Estonia since pre-WWII times, many ethnic Russian immigrants in Estonia lack Estonian citizenship after post-Soviet language tests left many holding Russian passports.
“Wary of divided loyalties, a Baltic state reaches out to its Russians” (Reuters | February 2017)
“Nervous in Narva: a town caught between East and West” (The Irish Times | February 2017)
“Baltic Russians: Are They Sudetendeutsche?“* (Forbes | February 2017)
The Poetics of Protest for Bengali Muslims in India
Named for the pejorative term used to describe Muslims presumed to be undocumented immigrants, Miyah poetry has emerged as a cultural protest against the marginalization and scapegoating faced by the Bengali Muslim community in the northeastern state of Assam. Its dissemination through social media channels has made it distinctly public and communal as opposed to more academic forms of cultural protest, bringing together the voices of the trained and untrained alike. Al Jazeera highlights the origins of the form and the social and political conditions that have shaped its evolution.
“Protest poetry: Assam’s Bengali Muslims take a stand” (Al Jazeera | December 2016)
“For better or verse: Miyah poetry is now a symbol of empowerment for Muslims in Assam” (Firstpost | September 2016)
“A state on edge” (India Today | October 2016)
#MiyahPoetry (The Sunflower Collective)
(Image Credit: Kazi Neel/Al Jazeera)
Christmas for the Vulnerable Christians of the World
Source: Al Jazeera YouTube
One of the most important days in the Christian holiday canon, Christmas is celebrated by the devout, the lapsed, and the unbelieving alike as a time of gift-giving, decorating, and shared cheer. However, many of the worlds Christians, minorities in their communities, continue to face persecution as religious-extremist, nationalist, and other reactionary forces gain footholds around the world. From Indonesia to Egypt, religiously diverse societies have experienced increased sectarian tensions as parallel forces—anti-Christian sentiment and Islamophobia—have disrupted what was once stable co-existence. This roundup takes a look at recent developments in the plight faced by some of the most vulnerable Christians around the world. Continue reading Global Event | Christmas
Violent police response to protests by Anglophone Cameroonians leaves at least four dead
- The killings took place when security forces fired live rounds in the air at a local market in Bamenda, the country’s second-largest Anglophone city.
- Anglophone Cameroonians have demonstrated in recent weeks over perceptions of second-class status across issues including the dominant use of French in schools, police brutality, and unequal distribution and application of resources.
- Cameroon’s bilingual administrative structure—a result of the colonial period when the country was split between Britain and France—has marginalized Anglophone Cameroonians, largely clustered in only two of the country’s ten administrative regions.
“Cameroon urged to investigate deaths amid anglophone protests” (The Guardian)
“Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon” (BBC)
“Mass protests in Cameroon are exposing the fragility of its dual French-English system” (Quartz)
(Image Credit: Reuters, via The Guardian)
The Ambivalent Xenophobia in Chinese-Malagasy Relations
Source: AFP YouTube
The history of Chinese immigration in Madagascar is a complex tale that begins during the era of 19th-century French colonialism and continues into the contemporary era of globalization. Now entrepreneurs and investors rather than imported labor, the new generation of Chinese immigrants has concerned itself less with integration than with taking advantage of trade and investment opportunities in the island nation, at times to the detriment of the environment and local economic practices. Currently, more than 800 businesses have expanded the Chinese-national population to nearly 100,000, alarming many Malagasy and prompting accusations of politicians “selling off” the country. Over the last few years, international media have begun to examine the complicated relationship between xenophobia, economic exploitation, and fears of imperialism fueled by colonialism anxieties in a politically precarious country still wracked by poverty.
“A Madagascar, la forte présence chinoise passe de plus en plus mal” (AFP, in French)
“Madagascar protests halt activity at Chinese gold mine” (News24, October 2016)
“Madagascar’s Chinese Vanilla” (Al Jazeera, April 2015)
“Who Knew? Madagascar Has Africa’s Third Largest Chinese Population” (ChinaFile, March 2015)
“China’s rosewood craving cuts deep into Madagascar rainforests” (The Guardian, February 2015)
“Influx of Chinese transforms the landscape of Madagascar” (The South China Morning Post, August 2013)
Chinese people in Madagascar (Wikipedia)