“When I shared my idea to start a website and bring Indian rural art to Japan, most people laughed at me. They laughed because I didn’t have any skills in creating a website. Plus, it seemed too costly for me to do. Besides not having a professional network to help me get started, I also had to do my own content writing, photography, editing and marketing—which were all uncharted territory. But here I am, bootstrapping myself while working on a shoe string budget. It’s like my baby now. I just need to nurture it.”

Shiuli brings real Indian art to Japan by giving non-mainstream, rural artists a platform on her site:

Living in Japan

I’m so paranoid about the earthquakes in Japan that when I moved here with my husband and two daughters, we decided to live near the Indian school, where there’s a huge Indian community.

“If anything happens, I can just run and be with my kids. Although I actually feel safer here. People are warm and friendly. But sometimes the Japanese are perfectionists. They’ve perfected perfection. While I don’t want to compare too much, India is more laid-back. We’re very casual and spontaneous. We’ll strike up a conversation anywhere with anyone, and the moment someone smiles, people smile back. There, you don’t feel so self-conscious. Here, I have to be conscious of whether my footsteps are loud, or if my phone is on silent mode. But this can be good, too, since it maintains the peace and quiet. In India, it’s already too noisy so it doesn’t matter. On the train, everybody’s talking on the phone, so no one’s bothered by you talking, you even blend in with the crowd. Also, I just wish people in Japan would see the variety of food we have. I’m telling you, it’s not just curry and spicy food.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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