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The Carolina Desi

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The Carolina Desi

Gurtej Singh & Rashmili Vemula

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Carolina Desis Gurtej Singh and Rashmili Vemula explore life as the children of Desi immigrants in today’s America. Constantly immersed in and inspired by two contrasting cultures, these South Asians raised in the American South discuss their experiences with “living a double life” and the challenges in reconciling the cultural and societal differences surrounding them daily. Thought-provoking, sharp, and occasionally silly, Gurtej and Rashmili question and flesh out the South Asian experien ...
 
Southern Fried Asian is a new podcast from The Nerds of Color hosted by Keith Chow. Typically, stories about Asian Americans are centered on the experiences of those who grew up on the coasts -- New York, Southern California, the Bay Area -- where communities of different Asian American subgroups have lived for many years. On this podcast, though, we're gonna look at a region of the country that isn't typically associated with these stories and unpack what it means to be Asian American in th ...
 
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We are joined by Charlene Buckles and Dan Wu, hosts of Louisville Public Media's Where Y'all Really From podcast, this month on Southern Fried Asian. Charlene and Dan talk about the origins of their podcast and what it means to be a Kentuckian in 2021. This episode was recorded before the devastating tornadoes that swept through Kentucky. If you wo…
 
Southern Fried Asian is thankful to have Tiya Sircar stop by the podcast to talk about her career, being a part of Star Wars, and growing up in Texas! Tiya and Keith talk about her childhood living in the Dallas-Fort Worth part of Texas and when she caught the bug to be an actor. They then dive deep into her experience playing Sabine Wren on Star W…
 
Brown People We Know, hosted by Suraj Kandukuri, is an interview podcast with South Asian Americans taking non-traditional career and lifestyle paths. By sharing these stories, the podcast aims to break down stereotypes about South Asians and to reduce social pressures from within the diaspora community to take a certain path. In this episode, Sura…
 
Back in May, Apple Podcasts curated a bunch of AAPI-themed podcasts together, and we were lucky enough to be featured alongside The Carolina Desi podcast. Naturally, we had to invite the hosts, Gurtej Singh and Rashmili Vemula, to join Southern Fried Asian! So we've teamed up with The Carolina Desis to put out a special episode discussing this year…
 
The Carolina Desis teamed up with Keith Chow (@the_real_chow) of the Southern Fried Asians (@southernfriedasians) podcast and the Nerds of Color (@thenerdsofcolor) to put out a special episode discussing this year’s rise in awareness towards AAPI issues as well as the general complexity involved in being labelled as “Asian-American”, especially for…
 
Tricha Kumar is a professional dancer and filmmaker who also happens to be the Bollywood film industry's #1 dance choreographer of Bhangra. Join the Carolina Desis this week as Tricha sits down with us to discuss current projects, her philosophy on dance as a career and an artform, the state of Bhangra in Bollywood, the value of labor as a backup d…
 
Southern Fried Asian closes out AAPI Heritage Month by welcoming Keith's brother, Raymond Chow, to piece together their family's Southern Fried origin story. The brothers start off the pod trying to figure out if they actually sound alike, and how confusing it might be for the listeners (2:00) and whether Virginia still counts as the south (6:00). …
 
This episode of Southern Fried Asian features a special panel organized by community members from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Keith, a graduate of Old Dominion, joined the panel alongside, Dr. Francis Tanglao Aguas, Dr. Kim H. Nguyen, Dr. Melody D. Agbisit, Veronica Salcedo, and Tracie Liguid. In a safe and inclusive space, invited comm…
 
We've spoken before about the immigrant experience coming from South Asia to the US, but never the other way around! This time, we get to know Jessica Kumar, an American Midwesterner and Co-host of the Invisible India Podcast. Over time, Jessica found herself building a life with her husband and children halfway across the world in India. We sat do…
 
On a new episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith is joined by Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at the University of Oklahoma Dr. David Surratt to talk about growing up Black and Korean in Tulsa. Keith and David begin by reminiscing about meeting at San Diego Comic-Con (1:00) before he recounts splitting his time between Oklahoma…
 
What do Rihanna, Greta Thunberg, and the farmers of India all have in common? They, along with a groundswell of supporters worldwide, are shedding light on the unjustness of three farm laws passed by India's Parliament. The passing of these laws, which has sparked the largest protest in world history, strip away previous protections for workers and…
 
Sachit Grover is a young Desi-American Actor and Content Creator making his way in the rapidly evolving landscape of the entertainment industry. We sit down with Sachit to discuss his film projects, experiences, and lessons learned both at home and abroad. Tune in to hear more about Sachit's creative process, the challenges of acting in a second la…
 
Elisheba Haqq is an author, educator, and nurse who has just released her debut memoir Mamaji, chronicling the adversity, challenges, and lessons learned through her own upbringing as a Desi-American in 1970s Minnesota. We sit down with Elisheba to discuss the social and cultural isolation felt in her life, the effects on her family and identity, a…
 
On October 9, Sony Pictures' Yellow Rose makes its theatrical debut on hundreds of screens across North America. To celebrate, the film's star, Eva Noblezada, and writer/director, Diane Paragas, join Keith on a brand new Southern Fried Asian. Diane starts off by talking about how growing up in Lubbock, TX informed parts of the film (2:30). She then…
 
On today's episode, we had the great pleasure of speaking with Duke professor, economist, author, and self-described nerd Ronnie Chatterji on his 2020 political campaign as the Democratic candidate for North Carolina State Treasurer. Join us as we learn more about his vision for North Carolina, his background working for the Obama administration, t…
 
On a brand new Southern Fried Asian, Keith reconnects with his former college professor, Luisa A. Igloria, who was just named the first Filipina American poet laureate of Virginia. They kick off the podcast reminiscing about her first year as a professor of English at Old Dominion University (1:15) and being integral to the development of Filipino …
 
On June 5, the Oxford Film Festival will host the virtual world premiere of the documentary feature, Far East Deep South, a film about a Chinese American family discovering its unexpected history in Mississippi. Before its premiere, the filmmakers, Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu, sit down for this month's episode of Southern Fried Asian. Baldwin and …
 
Everyone’s lives have been affected, but what does the rapid spread of COVID-19 look like from the eyes of a healthcare professional on the front lines of the fight? Kunal Joshi is a hospital based board certified physician from the Seattle, Washington area, one of the first places hit hard in the US by the current pandemic. Join us today as he sit…
 
Kripa Shah is authentically herself. She’s proud to be desi, and she’s proud to be queer. Understanding her origins within a socially conservative culture, she had to tactfully manage both finding her truth and then sharing that truth with her loved ones, knowing full well they may never truly understand her. Join us this week as we discuss her ong…
 
Happy End-of-the-Decade, Carolina Desi listeners! This decade of our lives has been a whirlwind, to say the least. Reflecting on this decade gave us an insight to the evolution (or de-evolution?) of our optimism for the past as well as the upcoming decades of our lives and future generations in this new bizarro world. What do you hope is in store f…
 
Sometimes, Free Speech requires a price to be paid. As a result, in today's polarizing world climate we see violence against political activists, government censorship, self-censorship, "Cancel Culture", etc. Join the Carolina Desis this week as they discuss their observations on these costs, their effects on social media, and why it can still be w…
 
The Carolina Desis were joined this month by Transformational Coach, Varsha Mathur (@coachingbyvarsha). Varsha is a third generation Desi-American, accomplished master of many career industries so we wanted to get candid advice from someone who’s seen and coaches it all . From the stigma of dating to the taboos of divorce in the South Asian culture…
 
Southern Fried Asian returns with a brand new episode! Keith is joined by Soman Chainani, the New York Times-bestselling author of the hit children's fantasy series, the School For Good and Evil. The fifth book in the series, A Crystal of Time, is available now wherever books are sold. Soman kicks off the show by recounting what it was like growing…
 
By definition, Brain Drain is the emigration of highly trained or intelligent people from a particular country. India and other surrounding countries experience the Brain Drain epidemic with their society’s top talent seeking prosperous opportunities abroad in countries such as USA or Canada. Why does this happen? What do countries “abroad” offer t…
 
The Carolina Desis were invited back to their alma mater to speak to a class about the Religion & Politics in India from 1800s to the Present, taught by Dr. Mou Banerjee. Thank you to the students: Lucas, Amy, Ethan, Darian, Liam, and Aaron (special thanks to Aaron for bringing us this opportunity) for the fantastic conversation! This episode is a …
 
The episode you have all been waiting for (or at least one of them) is finally here: WEDDINGS! From the planning to the week-long wedding events, the Carolina Desis break it all down with guest Kiran Mohan of Sonaa Wedding & Events (@sonaaevents). Kiran, a Toronto native and recent Charlotte resident, shares her experiences as an accomplished plann…
 
On a brand new episode of Southern Fried Asian, children's lit author Christina Soontornvat is Keith's special guest. Christina tells Keith about reading fantasy stories as a child in her parents' Thai restaurant in West Texas (2:00) where her parents had opened a Chinese and Thai restaurant in the early '80s (5:00). Of course, they have to go over…
 
On a new episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith talks to documentary short filmmaker Rita Phetmixay about growing up Lao Isaan American in North Carolina. Rita shares the story of her family's harrowing journey after the war from Laos and Thailand to the States (2:00) and being one of the only Lao American families in rural North Carolina (11:00). …
 
The Carolina Desis have RETURNED. To top it off, they’ve returned with a GUEST. Please join the Carolina Desis this week in their conversation with self-made fitness and nutrition coach, Dee Gautham (@squats_and_samosas). Dee shares her career transition from medicine to tech to full-time fitness and nutrition coach. We discuss the stigmas revolvin…
 
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