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The Desi Takeover || Episode 1: Chugglian Radio

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The
year is 2018. Diversity is all around us – in the food we eat, the music we
listen to, and the clothes we wear. As the world moves to a more global
culture, proper cultural representation is increasingly becoming forgotten in a
new method of cultural appropriation.  As
seen in this year’s Fashion Week where fashion mogul Gucci placed Sikh
turbans on white models, proper representation is still a world away. Besides
the fact that it is completely insulting when religious symbols are used for
the purposes of fashion and entertainment, it is even more insulting that South
Asians are turned away for jobs that are later given to other races, who end up
wearing the same attire as we do. Our turbans, our bindis, our hijabs/niqabs, our gods are not
here to be used for your aesthetic purposes. Our sacred items are not just props. It’s 2018 and we demand
representation.

Being
first generation Indian, I know first hand the struggle that comes with balancing
both the culture we are born into and the culture of our ancestors. We get so
caught up with the balancing act that we lose focus of who we really are. Many
of us, including myself, have become a mosh pit of confusion trying to figure
out what we should do and what we actually want to do. I know this a little too
well. I’m an engineer by trade, honestly only because I felt like I needed to
choose a career in the holy Desi trifecta of careers, but my true passion lies
in the written work and fashion. So, this fashion week, I’m teaming up with
other Desi bloggers and influencers in a movement called the Desi Takeover,
where we highlight American Desis who are following their passions. Traditionally,
entertainment and fashion usually aren’t common passions Southeast Asians allow
to harvest into a career. For those who do, they have become an inspiration to
the rest of the community.  The Desi
Takeover hopes to inspire the folks who struggle to follow their passion and
helps to provide them with a platform of support.  The Desi Takeover also hopes to bring the
entire Desi community in the limelight. We are just as capable as others and we
refuse to have our culture misused.
Our
first feature is a group of three very talented men, who are giving the Punjabi
community a platform to voice opinions and showcase our culture. Chugglian
Radio is the first Punjabi radio show in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. The
hosts Mehar, Simar and Amrit bring charisma and true passion when they discuss
Punjabi music and culture. This show now transcends international borders,
since it now appears on the Punjabi music app Jamifi. Chugglian Radio reminds
us that no matter how we grow up our Virsa* will always keep us connected.
I
had the amazing chance to meet Mehar, Simar and Amrit and get to know more
about who they are and what they do.
1.    
What is Chugglian Radio?
Chugglian Radio is your one spot entertainment
source for Punjabi culture, geared towards the youth as a way of getting them
in touch with their roots.
2.    
What’s the story behind Chugglian Radio and how
was it founded?
Chugglian Radio started as a little joke
amongst us three best friends. We would all hang around and gossip about the
latest upcoming Punjabi music, and eventually we thought it would be an awesome
idea to have a radio show. In 2014, we were approached by Jamifi to have our
own Punjabi radio program, and that was an offer we couldn’t turn down. This
gave us the chance to actually get our foot in the door and launch Chugglian.
3.    
How are you helping bridge the gap between the
Desi and American culture?
Our motto is “Future is Folk”. As Indians
born and raised in America, we know how easy it is to forget your roots and
your culture, but we also realize how important it is to know about your virsa.
Being aware of the challenges we face outside of India, each show and event we
hold is geared specifically towards getting the youth engaged with our virsa;
whether its through breaking lyrics down, talking about the state of Punjab,
Melas and shows with artists, and through Bhangra and music. Our end goal is to
make sure that our culture grows, while enriching not only our community but
other communities as well. 
4.    
How do you represent Punjabi Pride on a daily
basis?
Everyday we try to bring awareness to our
culture. There is not a single day where the 3 of us do not listen to Punjabi
music and discuss our thoughts with each other and our followers. Whether it be
Punjabi music or the current events in the state of Punjab, we try to always
keep ourselves and others informed.
5.    
Tell us more about the hosts of Chugglian Radio.
Before we even started Chugglian, the 3 of
us have been best friends for many years. All 3 of us were also born and raised
in the United States; so with that, we can directly relate to the younger
Punjabi generation and ours. Other than that, we are normal people who work a
9-5 job and do this on the side. We hope to one day make this our full time
job!
6.    
What’s the best part about hosting a radio show?
The best part has to be just
kicking it back with the boys talking about music. It’s a passion we all have,
and since the 3 of us all like different styles of Punjabi Music, it allows for
great debates and sometimes drama!
7.    
Where do you see Chugglian Radio in the next few
years?
In the next couple of years, we hope to
eventually get on local FM here in the Washington DC area.
8.    
Who are your Punjabi talent icons?
We would have to go with Diljit Dosanjh. He
has had amazing success the last couple of years, and he is definitely an
inspiration to the youth.
9.    
Why the name “Chugglian Radio”?
Chugglian means gossip, and that is exactly
what we are doing when it comes to music. We critique the music and give our
opinion about it.
10. What’s
your most favorite episode of Chugglian Radio?
Wow! That’s a hard question, we have so
many episodes out its hard to pin point it down to one. We would have to say
our first Legends are Forever show is probably our biggest hit, but to be fair
every show is our favorite because, each time we record, we have new jokes, new
content and bring a different type of edginess to the table.
11. Why
should people listen to you?
Great question! Well if you are someone who
enjoys our virsa, comedy, gossip, Punjabi music, and fresh take on Punjabi
current events, then we are your go to source. Chugglian brings to you a fresh
vibe that our generation has never experienced on a radio platform. We are
always turning on the radio and listening to different sources of entertainment,
so why not have a platform for Punjabi entertainment. We have brought that
concept and adapted it to the Punjabi Music Industry so we can jam out to the
freshest music and also be entertained.

   

  

Thank you Mehar, Simar and Amrit for always representing Punjabi pride and for making all Punjabis around the world very proud! 

Just
like Chugglian Radio, there are many talented Desis out there. So let’s keep
speaking up and fighting for our rights for proper representation!

Much love always, 



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