January 4, 2016

Hoopdarshan Episode 23: Basketball in Exile - How basketball bonds the Tibetan refugee community in India

In early October, Hoopdarshan co-host Karan Madhok traveled to McLeodganj and Dharamshala - hill-stations in the Indian Himalayas home to a vibrant community of Tibetan refugees - with photographer Angad Sodhi to cover a basketball tournament among the refugees. The epic trip turned into a story for the upcoming issue of SLAM Magazine (# 195) encapsulating together sports, politics, and travel. In Episode 23 of Hoopdarshan, host Kaushik Lakshman, Karan and Angad talk about the story behind the story, featuring how basketball bonds the refugee community together, the Tibetans' relationship with China and India, unforgettable characters from McLeodganj, and the quest for the perfect momo.

McLeodganj is home to the 14th Dalai Lama - in exile from Tibet to India since the late 50s - and his Temple. Dharamshala hosts the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Both towns have thus become hosts to tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees over the past few decades and exist as idyllic worlds of peace, spirituality, and surprisingly, basketball. This episode should be heard as a preview or a companion piece to Karan and Angad's work on SLAM Magazine, the print edition of which will be available in US in early January and worldwide soon after. It will also be published on SLAMOnline.com soon.

Angad Sodhi is a professional photographer in Chandigarh, best known for his modern wedding photography around India. You can find some of his best work on his Instagram page or on Facebook.

Hoopdarshan aims to be the true voice of Indian basketball, and since we're such hopeless fans of the game, it will become the voice of everything basketball related we love, from the NBA to international hoops, too. On every episode of Hoopdarshan, we will be inviting a special guest to interview or chat to about a variety of topics. With expert insight from some of the brightest and most-involved people in the world of Indian basketball, we hope to bring this conversation to a many more interested fans, players, and followers of the game.

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