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Die boomende Studenten- und IT-stadt Bangalore ist bekannt für ihre sehr differenziertes und schillerndes Nachtleben mit Pubs, Discotheken und Nachtclubs. Seit 01.01.2008 erhielt ein großer Anteil der Bangalore Nachtclubszene allerdings erneut einen Dämpfer. Während Pubs mit Alkohollizenz weiterhin bis 23:30 Uhr geöffent haben dürfen, wurde Tanzen schlichtweg in allen Nachtclubs und Discotheken verboten. In dem beliebten Nachtclub Taika wurden an einem Abend über 60 Menschen festgenommen, die sich über das Verbot hinweg gesetzt hatten. Darauf hin musste Taika auf unbestimme Zeit hin schliessen. Auch andere Tanzflächen in Nachtclubs und Discotheken blieben dicht, während die Pubs ihre Einnahmen steigern konnten. Dadurch entstand grosse Spannungen zwischen den beiden Lagern. Das Tanzverbot durch die  Polizei Karnatakas geht auf mehrere Umstände zurück: Aufgrund von mehreren Vergewaltigungen sollen laut der Polizei Frauen nicht mehr an Orten tanzen, wo auch Alkohol ausgeschenkt wird. Mehre Gesetze wurden diesbezüglich auch auf bundesstaatlicher Ebene beschlossen. Die Behörden berufen sich aktuell auf ein Gesetz von 1967, um Menschen davon abzuhalten in Clubs zu tanzen, die Alkohol ausschenken. (Vgl. Johnson 2008; Vgl. o.A. 2008a). Es gab bereits in der Vergangenheit Einschränkungen auf das Nachtclubleben in Bangalore, als im Juni 2005 ein Gesetz erlassen wurde, dass eigentlich nur das uneingeschränkte Wachstum sog. erotischer „Tanzbars“ einschränken sollte, jedoch auf alle Arten des Tanzens in öffentlichen Orten wie z.B. Clubs ausgeweitet wurde. Desweiteren wurde die sog. Sperrstunde gesetzlich von 3 Uhr morgens auf 23:30 Uhr vorverlegt. Für Monate konnte nicht getanzt werden, bis im Dezember 2005 aufgrund eines Gerichtsurteils des Supreme Courts Tanzen in Einrichtungen wieder legalisiert wurde, in denen nicht Prostitution oder unzüchtige Shows zu sehen sind. So erlaubte die Polizei erneut Tanzen in Pubs, Restaurants, Nachtclubs und Discotheken und ging nur gezielt gegen Tanzbars vor (Vgl. Johnson 2008, Vgl. Thomas 2006, Vgl. Thomas 2005).

Im Januar 2008 folgte nun erneut ein Tanzverbot für alle Clubs in Bangalore. Diesmal gehen die Behörden eine Beschwerde nach, die von Betreibern der Tanzbars gegen die Besitzer der Nachtclubs eingereicht wurde, die sich durch das Gerichtsurteil des Supreme Courts ungerecht behandelt fühlen. Es scheint eine Verwirrung zwischen dem Unterschied des Tanzens in erotischen Tanzbars und dem in Nachtclubs zu geben, welche dazu führt, dass jegliches Tanzen als sexuell von der Norm abweichend und unmoralisch kategorisiert wird. Gegen die erneuten Einschränkungen gab es zahlreiche Proteste: Radiostationen und Medien haben eine Kampagne gegen die regressiven Maßnahmen begonnen. Auch der Verband der Nachtclubs in Bangalore kündigte mit Unterstützung großer Teile der Bevölkerungen zahlreiche Demonstrationen und und rief dazu auf, sich dem Verbot aktiv wiedersetzen zu wollen. Viele fürchten um Bangalore’s Image als moderne Metropole (Vgl. Johnson 2008, Vgl. o.A. 2008c). Mittlerweile wurde das Verbot etwas gelockert, d.h. Tanzen ist von 22 bis 23: 30 Uhr in einigen Discotheken und Nachtclubs wieder erlaubt. Die Behörden weigern sich jedoch bisher das Verbot ganz aufzuheben (Vgl. o.A. 2008b). Solange Tanzen jedoch in sexuellen Kategorien assoziiert wird und durch diverse Verbote zu regulieren versucht wird, wird das Nachtleben in Bangalore auch in Zukunft mit Einschränkungen konfrontiert bleiben.

 

Literatur:

 

Johnson, T.A. 2008: Cops enforce deadline, but no one is dancing to their tunes. In: The Indian Express (21.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/276020.html; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

o.A. 2008a: Dancing ban: Blame it on the live bands. In: The Times of India (17.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Dancing_ban_Blame_it_on_live_bands/articleshow/2788616.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 16.03.2008.

 

o.A. 2008b: State in no mood to amend rules. In: The Times of India (19.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Bangalore/State_in_no_mood_to_amend_rules/articleshow/2793523.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

o.A. 2008c: Bangaloreans want dance floor back. In: The Times of India (16.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Bangalore/Bangaloreans_want_dance_floor_back/articleshow/2786759.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

Thomas, Edison 2005: Rock bottom! In: The Times of India (17.03.2006). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1353313,flstry-1.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

Thomas, Edison 2006: After the dancing, the music. In: The Times of India (17.03.2006). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1454225.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

 


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today i finally watched om shanti om… i actually really wanted to still watch it while being in delhi but all this while whenever i tried to go it was sold out… so today finally i went… sadly the whole thing was dubbed in german… what the hell… i mean shah rukh sounds so silly 😉 but what to do… i was already there and i really wanted to see it on the big screen. i liked the movie really much… the many references to bollywood characters and films… the 70s vs. now… and the parodising of the bollywood film scene… funny… and the soundtrack was great… i already knew most of the songs from clubs and public places… i really want the soundtrack. while watching i started to miss india so much… all the colors and the noise…. cant wait to come again…

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right after celebrating xmas with an indian friend in bangalore at her parents house i went to gokarna with an overnight bus… i discovered that the single sleeper was the best way to travel til this point i always had unknowingly booked semi-sleeper…  but i have to say you do feel rested much more if you can lay down properly… but anyway, it was also a very nice thing to see how xmas got celebrated here in bangalore in this family of my friend… spicy south indian food including lots of non-veg (fish, pork, beef) and lots of wine… sweet and lulling. xmas carols and songs were played til late at night on the tv… many songs were broadcasted in german, english, tamil, kannada, malayallam and hindi.  the xmas tree was out of green-coloured paper.

when i woke up to the sunrise in the bus on the way to gokarna i got enchanted by the most intriguing landscape and the sunrise turned everything in a golden light. the red earth. the colorful houses… the different shades of green… palm trees… people on the roadside making puja in front of their houses and stores…

i arrived in gokarna which is south of goa in karnataka and took an auto to om beach where 2 of my friends were staying already… om beach is really beautiful… alternative travellers have been slowly abandoning this beach in favour of other and smaller beaches due to the newly built resort.. but still you can find lots of alternative travellers, buget travellers… the accomodation is cheap.. most basic shacks with bed and mosquitonet cost 100 INR. nirvana and namaste also have brick huts with own bathroom and shower for 400 INR… om beach is so beautiful with lots of rocks in the water, a little island in the middle… although i enjoyed being at om beach sometimes it got a bit exhausting (especially over the holidays) when huge groups of male indian tourists took constantly pictures of you or other white women in bikinis… on those busy days i escaped to the other beaches that are more informal and smaller… half-moon, kudle, and my favourite: paradise beach. on paradise beach and kudle lots of people stay long term or sort of drop out for a bit… paradise has the smallest beach but that creates a really secluded and intimate environment… people know each other and so really soon moved to a really basic hut there… you just get a bedroll in your hut and pay 75 INR… new year was totally amazing there… everything got decorated with flavours and colorful ribbons: the hammocks and the whole garden of the shiva moon cafe. people were painting each other with mehendi and colorful body paint… in the evening… people started dancing and drumming and there was also a huge fire… i have to say that the whole evening went by in a state of drug-related slowness yet fastness that makes it difficult to remember details but rather the feelings i felt… it was good way to get into the new year… although it did feel a bit surreal… this party or gettogether seemed like a time travel to a different decade… to the flower-power generation… hippees… those who know me know also my love for certain things of the 60s and 70s and so it felt very much like being at home in that sense that i felt so comfortable with everyone and the kind of people i met there… 

one funny thing on the side maybe… after i crashed in the early morning hours of the new year in a very comfortable hammock i woke up to the sunbeams warming my feet. i looked down on the ground and saw a huge joint, already ready to smoke laying in the sand under my hammock… as i still have not mastered the skill of rolling this seemed to be like a extra special gift to me.. 😉 so my first day in the new year was spent mostly very relaxing in the hammock reading or swimming in the incredible beautiful ocean. i really don´t understand why people make such a fuss about goa which gets so damn expensive during xmas and new year.. for shit accomodation you easily have to pay 2000 INR or more… and gokarna is cheap, quiet, not really busy, beautiful….

gokarna is like a secret tip among a lot of travellers… i don´t know what will happen to it in a couple of years… already modifications has set in through the building of resorts on om and kudle beach…

i also saw two german celebrities there…. georg uecker who plays in the lindenstrasse a weekly soap and another gay famous men which name i have forgotten… tststs… shame on me… id like to think that they picked a really good location to have a private holiday without getting bothered too much.  

but anyway, i really want to visit gokarna again… it was one of the most beautiful places i have been to.  only white haven beach in australia is still my number one.

i sadly have to say… the air in bangalore has become worse than in delhi…. being in a traffic jam in bangalore seems like getting sufficated, one reason might be that all the public transportation in delhi runs on the CNG (gas) and this is not the case in bangalore where you can see dark clouds of dirty smoke polluting the air. but being in a traffic jam here in bangalore just sucks big time… also i personally find delhi much greener than the “garden city”… it would really do some good to plant some more trees here again to fight the pollution in bangalore

today was my 17th interview on my research on the queer community and the internet usage… so far it has been going quite well… let´s see if i can get 20… that would be great… i will keep you posted…

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today again i was commuting through the streets of delhi… during the day you can watch a lot of men sitting on green streaks of grass right next to road playing cards with eachother… still havent´been able to watch Om Shanti Om… mmhh, just a couple of days to go… went to barrison’s today again to try to get some more books for master paper but sadly lots of them are out of print… mhhh now really i have to see what to… at home i have accumulated 30 books or so that have to be shipped home in the next couple of days… going to the postoffice is always such a fun thing to do 😉 long hours of waiting but it´s so unique how the parcels are sewn in clothing and sealed…. they look like presents… and somehow it´s amazing how they usually always find their way to the destination… i have been sending quite a few in the last year but the last encounter with the GPO in Delhi was quite interesting and a new experience… the employee at the counter did not even type in any address on the computerized slip that are put on the parcel… after my enquiry what would happen if that slip comes off the parcel and the address that is written on the clothing would too… then what… in the computer system here is not even any address given… just the general destination: germany and the parcel number… but the employee was very re insuring so i thought ok… let´s give it a try… so far half of the parcels have arrived… not bad…
on my way home i passed my neighbors house today and looked up on their balcony/terrace… it’s quite a rich family so they have this huge house and quite posh. from the distance i could already see a difference… white bedsheets (decorated on the edges) had been put up like a huge white rectangular tent… lots of moving shadows could be seen…at first i thought about a party… and that the errected tent shoud give some privacy… but when i looked closer i realized that all of those shadows derived from goats… 30 goats or so moving, almost it looked like they were dancing, behind the white veil…. mmhhh, maybe they have a shaadi coming up… why else would they have so many goats on their terrace on the second floor??!! especially since the family is very posh and doesn´t strike me as a kind who would suddenly have 30 goats on their terrace… i really hope the goats will not all be eaten… but that is probably what awaits them.

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its been a while since i have written… but i have been so busy… with so many things… currently i am not working anymore for MMB, i mainly conduct interviews for my research on the internet within the queer/lgbt community in delhi… this has been going great. i have gotten so many different and unique perspectives and insights on various issues and people have been so warm and welcoming.

last tuesday i went out with a gay friend of mine, and we went to pnp for dancing. pnp is queer every tuesday night. the crowd differs from time to time but mostly men go there… it is again a very male dominated public space. this time (it was not my first time 😉 there were surprisingly a lot of women there as well… i really like the space because as a woman you get generally left alone and you are not constantly hit on or felt up. but sadly that is not always the case… that differs from time to time too. it was so much fun to hang out with so many (mostly) gay men, especially the small group of people that were acquainted with my friend. this time though i got hit on quite much myself… as i later found out there were really many bi men at the club… well anyway, that took away a little bit of my space and comfortableness cuz i really did not go there to hook up with anyone… i mean otherwise that would or could have been fine but as such i was not interested… i just wanted to dance, dance, dance… but i had not to worry too much about telling certain people to back off since a lot of the gay men got very protective of my well being and made sure i felt welcome and good. it was so much fun to dance with a lot of them too without the constant issue of misunderstanding (of sexual attraction)… but anyway… it was a great night… i met up with lots of people i knew and went to bed really late… after pnp we went to the nizamuddin railway station… it´s really ridiculous that i have never been there although i live so close from it. we had awesome food…:)

recently i have to do a lot of commuting through the city cuz i go to meet people for the interviews… it´s really interesting on one side to see some areas where i haven´t been yet and just to look out from the auto (riksha) and watch daily life pass you by. people are preparing for the winter, i mean the winter is already there… it´s so damn cold and foggy… i know that in comparison to europe that is probably nothing… i mean right  now its 4 degrees Celsius but it feel so damn cold cuz for one in the apartments or houses or shacks you don´t have any heater… and i also don´t have one. than to drive in the auto all the time… the chilly wind really gets to your bones…
in my daily rides i very often see people (who live on the street) search for wood in the public areas… after 6 pm you will see many fires on the road where people try to warm themselves up and the air is filled with the smell of smoke. all the autowallahs wear mostly shawls wrapped around their head and warm sweaters… women who wear sandals are no longer barefooted… they use socks… everyone is dressing and layering up… the markets are decorated with lights… last weekend there was a german xmas market with german products (cheese, beer, gingerbread cookies (lebkuchen), glühwein (milled wine) so that was nice and i bought great things (even though they were ridiculously overpriced) although i really dont get into xmas spirit here that much. we don´t have snow here… just the fog… i mean the fog is very charismatic in its own way.
today i drove pass lodhi gardens and one of the old muslim tombs that are inside of it and is always lit up at night looked completely transformed and enchanted by the surrounding fog. it definitely creates quite some atmosphere. i have one more week in delhi and it´s already getting very hard to say goodbye…. i have met so many people here (and also so many recently) that i like very much. it´s a weird thought of leaving the coldness to travel to the south now again and spend most of my remaining time on the beach or traveling as a tourist again… from my perspective i will obviously have a different approach while traveling since i have been living here for so long but others might just categorize me differently… since i still very much look like a foreigner due to my appearance… 😉 it will be different to leave this ordinary every day life at one fixed place and move on… i had a great time here in delhi… it really has won my heart (rather late) but luckly not to late… there are many things that bother me here, for instance that it is so unsafe for women to be in the public space but i think we really should fight against that and make delhi a safer space for women. i will miss so many things at the same time too… being surrounded by hindi speaking people and to be constantly in dialog with a different language and its concepts. all the queer events and the queer groups that are so delightful and fun. the huge network of people who think differently and try to challenge hetero-normative patriarchal society and its concepts. the art, the movies, the singing… singing is so important here… people just love to sing… at parties or in public and they are so good at it too.
i know delhi will be a place for me where i feel i can always come back to… and want to anyway 😉

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after a long time of not writing… i am finally back online… hihi…

my two internships at MMB Delhi and Bangalore are finally over and i was on vacation in Bangalore… to see my boyfriend and my other friends… unfortunately… turned things out not the way i wanted them to be… things just didn´t fit anymore and we broke up… that was tough for me… especially because i saw him in a different light all together… saw sides of his character that i had not known before… it hurt me the most that i lost him completely as a person… that he was not mature enough to be able to still talk to me or have me in his life… i was constructed as someone bad… i guess that makes things easier…but it hurt a lot… so of the 5 times in bangalore for 3 weeks i was pretty much very miserable… only in the last 2 weeks i started to fell stronger again and to feel better about myself… i had great and tremendous support from friends in bangalore but also from germany as well… slowly i started feeling better… now i am back in delhi… i have two more months to do my master thesis research on queer indians, LGBT issues and the use of in the internet… besides that i am battling with a cold right now… and my mom and her girlfriend are finally coming to visit me / india this sunday… i am very excited i haven´t seen my mom and lily in so long… on tuesday i will take them to pegs and pints in delhi… which is queer on tuesdays… i am quite excited and will keep you updated…

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i don´t like how i have become… that sort of person that is constantly watching out and who wants guys to back off… usually i am a very open person who is interested in meeting and making friends with a lot of new people (male and female)… but i have noticed that unfortunately very often when i meet indian guys the relationship can not stay on a platonic level… more often they say they wanna stay friends…. but it´s not true… in the long run they want something more outta it… and i am not saying that is true for all indian men cuz obviously that is nonsense… i have male indian friends where that is not at all like that… but generally when i go out, in public spaces and i meet new people very often i already have a very reluctant feeling to let myself get into any conversation with a guy cuz things like that can end very often like this: although you can very directly make clear that you are in a relationship, i often say i am married to make it even more clear, like a 100 times and over and over… new found friends can get very possessive and clingy… like 20 sms and calls a day… : “why are you not picking up the phone….? when can we meet? do you have time now? why are you not calling back?…. i could help you with an appartment, i know a good dealer… but that is only valid for you… i can´t help your friends”… ?!

so it can get a bit too much very fast… therefore i tend to be more reluctant when i meet indian men and i ask myself in my head… what does he want really?…

that is so shitty… that it has gotten so far… but i don´t know… i mean… i wanna meet new people including guys.. but just as friends… and so there is this dilemma… cuz i still wanna be an open person… and i will still try to be like that… but it can get so tiresome…

i am actually very excited today because i am meeting up with Sangini Trust tomorrow… Sangini Trust is an lesbian organisation in Delhi that provides several projects to the community…

as some of you may know i am currently doing research for my master thesis in delhi on queer spaces on the internet and the use of internet as a tool to connect to various other groups (e.g. queer community in usa or europe) also interesting to see how much queer people being in the diaspora have an effect and influence on the scene here in india and vice versa. i am using the term queer in parenthesis here… since it´s not always fitting and doesn´t mean to everyone the same thing. for my research i will mainly talk to “gays” and “lesbians”, again in parenthesis, because those labels don´t fit in general either about their experiences in delhi, their use of the internet, their lives etc. in how far create the various cities in india spaces for queer people that can live in a way which is not possible in rural areas… in how far are the communities (if you can speak of a community in the first place) confined to specific cities, regions, groups… or are different groups fragmented… ?

it will be very interesting to get in touch with various people on that matter… i will be supporting Sangini as a volunteer from october onwards. for my master i will try to conduct interviews and speak informally to “queer indians”… it will be also very cool going to some bars and nightclubs on certain queer nights…

on orkut… the online-community by google that is used very widely in india… it was already very interesting to note various communities like: lesbians in delhi, indian lesbians, queer india, queer indian liberation front, gays, queer india, gays in bangalore… etc. what i have noticed however so far is that most communities receive a huge amount of spam mails regarding sexual topics and the discussion between members of the groups is often (sadly) non-existent… so far i haven´t contacted anyone directly… but i was thinking on maybe sending some mails to certain people and tell them what i am trying to do for my master thesis…

anyway so far… so good… i will keep you updated…

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