We don't deserve to win any big prizes... yet

Sunny Hundal
4:16pm, 25th October 2018

Later tonight, at the annual Asian Media Awards, the winner of the ‘Best Publication/Website’ will be announced.

Barfi Culture is nominated but it doesn’t deserve to win.

This site was softly launched in January 2018 and in less than a year I can say with confidence we have already made our mark. Not a huge mark but a significant one. Nearly a quarter of a million people have visited Barfi so far, with an average of 20k - 30k readers a month. It's not huge but it's a start.

We have covered crucial news stories that others ignored; published opinion pieces that generated a lot of debate; and covered some great people doing meaningful work.

But I don’t really want to brag about what we’ve done so far. I want to explain what we need get better at.

Barfi Culture aims to cover the desi diaspora: i.e., people of South Asian heritage living in Europe and North America. That is about ten million people, primarily in the UK, US and Canada.

- We haven’t done a good job of covering communities like Gujaratis, Tamils, Hindus, and Bangladeshis. We’ve done a better job of covering Sikhs and Muslims.

- We’ve also done a better job of covering events in the UK and Canada than the United States. The American desi community is huge but very spread out and we haven’t built those links yet.

- We’ve focused more on politics and serious issues rather than culture and people. In fact this is probably our biggest problem because covering desi culture is our main task.

- We haven’t done any big investigations, important feature articles or many exclusive stories. It's been easier to focus on smaller quick-fire stories because of a lack of time and resources.


Think of us as a start-up in its first year. We may be limited by resources, time and technology but I also know two things.

Firstly, a platform like Barfi Culture does not exist and it is absolutely necessary for our communities. Just having Twitter and Facebook and Instagram for debate is not enough.

Secondly, as someone who has been reporting on British Asians for about 20 years (!) one way or another, we need better news coverage and more difficult discussions about issues in our communities. We need to build links between people and challenge prejudices. And not just in the UK but across Europe and North America.

Do you see many others doing that?

So the task ahead is huge. But our ambitions are even bigger.

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8:20pm, 25th October 2018
Hi, we are doing some good work in Croydon through the Asian resource Centre croydon.
Come down and take a look.

6:06am, 26th October 2018
As a Sikh activist I have to say you've done a poor job when covering Sikh issues. Personally I believe that’s due to a lack of knowledge and connection to the grassroots. Also there’s a vibe of arrogance, that barfi knows best. The coverage has been uncritical, and in general, ‘desi’ coverage has been focused on the model-minority stereotype, with no visibility of any critical voices from the Sikh or Muslim community. Also barfi is super weirdly patriotic when it comes to Britain and reluctant to take the position that Britain is a racist country, then again this isn’t Media Diversified.

4:16pm, 26th October 2018
Shamsher maybe focus your time on trying not to get arrested by counter terrorism police for your divise and communal political activism. Your own arrogance and ignorance on what Sikh communities really want in the UK speaks volumes. #realtalk

8:20pm, 26th October 2018
Jas I’m from America and I’ve learned so much from Shamsher Singh, he’s inspired me to read more about Sikhi and our Shaheeds. I saw a letter by the biggest Gurdwaras in Canada, and all the Sikh organsitons in the UK support him and the other Singhs. Carry on Shamsher! You’re amazing! we can all see your love and dedication!

11:11am, 27th October 2018
Barfi's news has been a bit superficial, but I hope Sunny doesn't listen to Shamsher. All he does is complain about people. We need a site for all people not another Khalistani mouthpiece that ignores other Sikhs.

Barfi Culture is a news-magazine on South Asians in Europe and North America.
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