A Chat with Natasha Sumant of Gundi Studios

by Punita Rice Culture

Natasha Sumant of Gundi Studios

Have you seen the instagram account Gundi Studios? In Hindi, “gundi” means female thug — and since outspoken South Asian women aren’t typically appreciated in South Asian communities, Natasha Sumant (the artist behind Gundi Studios) started the project as a way to celebrate courageous women, and reclaim the term gundi. The art and fashion coming out of Gundi Studios is fantastic, but … Read More

A Chat with Shaun Jayachandran

by Punita Rice Culture

Crossover Basketball and Scholars Academy - Interview with Shaun Jayachandran

If you’re familiar with my outreach organization ISAASE (pronounced “iss-ah-say”), have you seen the “Be Inspired” project yet? The project is all about inspiring the next generation of young South Asian American students, by sharing profiles on diverse role models and diverse stories of success. For our first interview for the project, I connected with Shaun Jayachandran. Shaun Jayachandran is a … Read More

Cultural Appropriation and Aladdin

by Punita Rice Culture

Cultural Appropriation and Aladdin

I have a confession to make: I’m excited about the live action Aladdin. Even though it’s problematic, racist, etc., and even though I do (mostly) accept the “responsibility” of calling out that which is unnecessarily and inappropriately offensive, I’m also sometimes exhausted by the weight of conversations around cultural appropriation and the desire to just… like, enjoy a movie sometimes. … Read More

Travel Ban

by Punita Rice Culture


I got an opportunity to share my thoughts on the travel ban in an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun. It was published over the weekend in their online edition, and went out this morning in the print edition. I wrote about my toddler’s love of firetrucks, what it means to be a good neighbor, and what I see as fading … Read More

The ISAASE Be Inspired Project

by Punita Rice Culture

ISAASE Be Inspired

Are you familiar with my outreach and advocacy organization ISAASE (pronounced “iss-ah-say”)? We recently launched the ISAASE Be Inspired project. The point of the project is to collect and share profiles on diverse South Asian role models and their diverse stories of success. The goal is to inspire the next generation of young South Asian American students. Here’s a bit more, from … Read More

Improving South Asian American Students’ Experiences (ISAASE)

by Punita Rice Career, Culture

ISAASE - Improving South Asian American Students' Experiences

Sharing some exciting news. For the past three years, I’ve been working on getting ISAASE, an outreach organization dedicated to improving South Asian American students’ experiences, off the ground. This past month, we finally launched. ISAASE is an outreach organization I started in order to address some of the issues uncovered through my research. The official aim of ISAASE is… To … Read More

Language acquisition models

by Punita Rice Culture

My younger brother and I had different language acquisition models

Did you know kids who are born in the United States (Native-born) and kids who immigrate here have different language acquisition models? In schools, we lump kids who speak English as an Additional Language together, but there’s actually a lot of diversity among them. Culturally and linguistically diverse students are, in fact, pretty diverse. Even in my own family, there’s … Read More

When Tolerance is not Enough

by Punita Rice Culture

Tolerance is not enough

I read this great article (thanks Tim for the share), written as “an open letter to straight people” in the wake of the recent and horrific massacre at Pulse in Orlando. The article serves as a reminder that like ongoing struggles surrounding race, the LGBTQ+ battle is not over, that we as a society have not arrived at some “fairy-tale ending,” and that … Read More

An American Tragedy, 3 Years Later

by Punita Rice Culture

A Sikh Tragedy, an American Tragedy

Before reading this post, please make sure you are familiar with the Shooting at the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Wisconson. Three years ago, on August 5, 2012, in Oak Creek Wisconsin, a man opened fire at a Gurdwara (Sikh house of worship), murdering six people, and injuring four more. For those slain or injured in this hate filled day, their loved ones, … Read More