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Soccer A Way Into History For The Forgotten Immigrants Of India

The Siddis are descendants of Bantu people from East Africa…

"People often look at me as if I am different, and hard to be trusted," Zaharaddeen Muhammed, a Nigerian student studying in India confesses at the New Delhi Africa-India solidarity forum. "I try to be friendly. I speak Hindi and always laugh. But when I offer biscuits to the neighbours' children, they don't accept."

Muhammed's acknowledgment of discrimination in India towards African immigrants is a step in dismantling caste system ideologies that are prevalent in India, but the African presence in the country is not recent. The Siddi community represents a direct link back to the continent.

The Siddis are descendants of Bantu people from East Africa, originally brought to India through the Arab slave trade in the seventh century, and then later by the Portuguese and British. After the abolition of slavery in the 18th and 19th century, Siddis "fled into the country’s thick jungles, fearing recapture and torture." Siddis were originally known as Habshis, a term which refers to an Abyssinian, the previous name of Ethiopia. Currently, Siddi describes all African descendants in India, of which 60, 000 to 75, 000 live in Gujarat and Karnataka.

While Siddis receive some affirmative action benefits, as they are classified as "scheduled tribes"(specific indigenous peoples acknowledged by the Indian government), they remain one of the poorest and most marginalized groups in India, according to BBC:

"Despite such glaring vestiges, Siddi history has been startlingly erased throughout India. Today, stymied by government indifference and ridicule at the hands of fellow citizens, Siddis lead marginalized lives, while aspiring for a fighting chance at better prospects. Largely working as farmers and manual labourers, Siddis lack sustainable work opportunities."

The cultural histories between Africa and India are facing erasure due to the history of English colonialism and the caste system. Such erasure and historical amnesia is helping to fuel violence against African immigrants, instead of understanding how India's past and future is directly tied to the continent.

"There’s today little interest in uncovering African-South Asian relations, unless it serves neoliberal projects. This stands in stark contrast to how many South Asians remember and write about their relationships to Arabs, Persians, Turks and European colonisers, and, importantly, how many South Asians claim ancestry based on such long, complicated and often times violent histories," Indian writer S.Varatharajah says on Medium. "For South Asians, the Indian Ocean that connects us to East Africa is only relevant when talking about Arab traders or European Invaders. African-South Asian histories find no space within it."

Through sports, Siddis find escape from poverty, unequal access to education, and unstable work opportunities. The late 1980s saw India investing in an athletic program for African immigrants, and while the program didn't last, it assisted in fostering connections with Siddis from different places in India.

A promising group of Siddi youth in India are today playing soccer in hopes of making it to the 2024 Olympics, a win that they dream will "uplift the Siddi community, revive its forgotten history and bring much-awaited acceptance to the Siddi people."

 

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El Chapo's Reportedly Deceived Suppliers To Buy Meth Ingredients

More tea is being spilled in the trial of pseudo-famous Mexican drug lord  Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera. On Monday (Dec. 17), it was revealed in court that El Chapo went to the sister of a Colombian drug trafficker to cop methamphetamine for his Sinaloa drug cartel.

According to the New York Daily News, Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa was one of the witnesses called to the stand during the 61-year-old's criminal preceding in the States. Chapo is being hit with a laundry list of charges including money laundering, conspiracy, firearms and international distribution of cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana.

Cifuentes confessed Chapo went behind his back and made a deal with his siblings who are also involved in their illegal activities to be a source for methamphetamine so that he can turn a profit in his business.

Cifuentes said that Chapo neglected the fact that meth is extremely addictive and can damage the physical and mental state of young people who consume it and purchased from his sister and brother, the drug's precursor ephedrine.

“Don Joaquín knows I (didn’t) like to f**k around with ephedrine,” Cifuentes said in the courtroom.

It wasn't until after a plane that carried Colombian-imported cocaine crashed on it's trip to Mexican that Cifuentes' siblings came clean and admitted they took a deal with Chapo as it the ephedrine was also in the cargo of the aircraft.

Cifuentes escaped to Venezuela in 2010 around the time these incidents were going down and changed his mind regarding meth out of desperation for money, saying that “Hunger made me change my mind."

Chapo faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

READ MORE: A Man Claiming To Be El Chapo's Nephew Threatens To Have Tekashi Mother Deported

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Angela Ponce makes history as the first trans woman to compete for Miss Universe.
Miss Universe

Miss Spain Angela Ponce Becomes First Trans Miss Universe Contestant

Angela Ponce didn’t walk away with the crown during last night’s Miss Universe pageant (Dec. 16), but she did end up being a winner in her own right. Ponce, who represented her country of Spain, is the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

“This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom,” the model wrote on Instagram Friday (Dec. 14). “And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.” Catriona Gray, the 24-year-old Miss Philippines, walked away with the crown over models from South Africa and Venezuela, who came in second and third.

Ponce, 27, was crowned Miss Spain back in June, beating out 22 contestants for the win. At the time of that win, she told The Associated Press, “If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me.”

The pageant, formerly owned by Donald Trump, lifted its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. This is the same year that Jenna Talackova of Canada threatened legal action against the organization, who was rejected because she was not a “naturally born” female.

Congrats on making history, Miss Spain.

 

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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on Dec 14, 2018 at 5:27am PST

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VIBE/ Nick Rice

18 Best Latinx Albums Of 2018

A number of artists from the scope of latinidad contributed to making 2018 another rich year in music. If hip-hop is the world's most consumed genre, latin pop, reggaeton, latin trap, flamenco and more of the subgenres of Latinx music rested in between.

This includes J Balvin being one of the most streamed artists on Spotify, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy scoring stellar Grammy nominations, the rising appeal of Harlem rapper Melii, the return of Wisin Y Yandel and Bad Bunny sprinkling the gift that is Latin trap on your getting ready playlists.

But there were also artists who took big risks like Kali Uchis' coy yet forward voice in R&B, Jessie Reyez's dynamic voice and collaborations with the likes of Eminem and many more.

Check out our favorite albums from the best and brightest Latinx artists of the year below.

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