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RNZ Article and Radio Report by Axel Michaels

Rhein-Neckar Zeitung published an article "Eisige Todeszone und Traumland" on 8 January 2019, which presents Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels (Senior Professor and former Head of the Department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia) new publication entitled "Kultur und Geschichte Nepals".

At the beginning, the article critically discusses the hype of the ascention of the Everest. Axel Michaels points out the resulting problems and dangers. In contrast, it mentions the time standing still in Nepal, its great social, cultural and political diversity, state-of-the-art developments and at the same time backward conditions.

The article also reports of the variety of stories of Nepalese culture and history, contained in the book: Religious, cultural, art and economic history, the history of water, the elephant or the shaman drum, the history of dynasties, of traditions, rituals, festivals, crafts or arts, which are still unchanged.

The article also mentions Michaels remarks on "Nepal on the Edge of Globalization", and the research center headed by him, "Documents on the History of Religion and Law of premodern Nepal" at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.

Afterwards, it reports on the impact of the earthquake in 2015 and the organized donations of the South Asia Institute.

Finally, it points out Axel Michaels important question on the failure of the fragile state of Nepal. If Nepal is able to preserve its ethnic and cultural wealth and can solve the political problems of such a heterogeneous state, then the country is able to remain a "Shangri-La" of cultural diversity in times of globalization.


In addition, Deutschlandradio Kultur published an article and radio report on „ein Tempel für die Planeten" by Antje Stiebitz on 6 January 2019, containing contributions by Axel Michaels. The article and the audio file are available here.

9th Annual Meeting of the Working Group South Asia in the German Society for Geography

On 25 and 26 January 2019, the 9th annual meeting of the working group South Asia in the German Society for Geography (DGfG) will be held by the Department of Geography of the South Asia Institute and the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) at Heidelberg University. The aim of the annual conference is to discuss current research results, approaches and projects from the entire spectrum of South Asian geography. It provides a platform for intra- and interdisciplinary dialogue on current developments in the diverse and rapidly changing region of South Asia.

There is no opportunity to submit contributions any more, but interested parties can register by 15.01.2019 by mail ( to participate in the conference. Lectures take place in German as well as in English.

Further information is available here.

Talk by Christian Goedel on 23.01.2019

The South Asia Institute cordially invites to the talk by Christian Goedel (Key Account Manager, BARMER) on 23 January 2019, 2 pm in room Z10, SAI. The talk "Survival Guide Germany - The German working culture and social security system" is aimed especially to foreign students and employees of Heidelberg University. The poster is available here.

Lecture on "Growing in the Shadow: Challenges of Informality" on 17.01.2019

On 17 January 2019, a lecture on "Growing in the Shadow: Challenges of Informality" by Shu Yu, Development Economic Prospects Group, World Bank will take place at Alfred Weber Institute for Economics, Room 00.010. The lecture will be organized by Stefan Klonner, Head of Department of Development Economics at South Asia Institute. All interested students and colleagues are cordially invited. Presentation language is English. The poster is available here.

Abstract: The informal sector accounts for about a third of GDP and 70 percent of employment (of which self-employment is more than a half) in emerging market and developing economies. Informality is more widespread in lower-income countries and in those with a larger agricultural sector and a higher share of unskilled workers. Overcoming the challenges of informality requires a balanced mix of policies that carefully takes into account country-specific drivers. A well-designed policy framework should include measures aimed at reducing regulatory and tax burdens, expanding access to finance, improving education and other public services, and strengthening public revenue frameworks.

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Lectures and Events

Dienstag, 05.02.2019
Project Presentation - Department PhD Candidate
Zeit: 16:00 Uhr
Ort: 316, Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
Referent: Sona Prabhakaran
Veranstalter: Abteilung Kultur und Religionsgeschichte Südasiens
Montag, 18.02.2019
Lived Sanskrit Cultures in Varanasi
Zeit: 09:00 Uhr
Ort: Benares, Indien, Im Neuenheimer Feld 330
Veranstalter: Abteilung Kultur und Religionsgeschichte Südasiens
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