South Asian Speaker Series Presents: Alaka Chudal

South Asian Speaker Series Presents: Alaka Chudal

When: September 28, from 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Where: 101 Old Botany

“We are bored of eating bread and coffee”: Unintended travel narratives of Indian soldiers in WWI

Soldiers from South Asia —India (before Partition) and Nepal— fighting in the First World War for the British travelled to the battlefields of Europe during 1914 and 1915. A large number of them were captured and imprisoned in Germany in early 1915. In the same year, the Royal Prussian Phonetic Commission in Berlin was established to compile a sound archive of all the languages in the world, for which it recorded voices of those prisoners of war. This talk tunes into the selected voices of those imprisoned South Asian soldiers to uncover the details of their travel experience and their nostalgia and longing for home in the songs, poems and stories they sung, recited, and told for the phonetic commission. These archival documents from the first half of 1915 therefore serve as early South Asian travel narratives.

SASS@PSU F23 - Alaka Chudal