Asia offers an astounding variety of travel destinations. There are so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to decide where to go first and which to miss because of time constraints. The reality is that it's impossible to cover them all in one trip unless you're lucky enough to have plenty of time and money to spare.
My colleagues atHumane Society International's India office in Hyderabad are celebrating an historic #BeCrueltyFree campaign victory this week: India has banned the import of cosmetic products and ingredients newly tested on animals, and now becomes the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia.
It's a very black stain against it that the government of India has refused to dismantle a legal framework that allows a man to have non consensual sex with any woman (whatever his relationship to her), or to dismantle a legal framework that allows a man to legally have sex (consensual or not) with a fifteen year old child.
Although she is absolutely right, not all countries measure gender equality on a pay scale. In many communities in India, for example, a housewife is seen as being of equal value to a breadwinner, or priceless. And for any feminist approach to work effectively in the country, it needs to recognise the distinct values upheld by such cultures.
It's a sad day when I - a journalism student - am able to say with absolute confidence that I know more about what makes "news" than India's leading national paper. I don't mean to imply that I'm a journalism guru, but recent events have proved it's not very difficult for anyone to claim they have a better sense of the news agenda than the Times Of India.
Given China's continuation of a broadly Anglo-Saxon model of economics and manufacture, instead of one derived from her own exemplary past - which in turn equates to a lost opportunity for all global consumers - the inherent 'Indianess' of Prime Minister Modi's manufacturing vision may ultimately be good news for all of us.
For centuries dating as far back as 3000 BC, India would've been regarded as not so much a country, but more a collection of evolving kingdoms and sprawling empires. Each with their own ruling dynasties, customs, culture, cuisine and fashion. The nation may be unified as one nowadays, but the remnants of this land's rich and diverse heritage still lives on.
Have you ever worked in a business that looked professional and successful on the outside, but turned out to be dysfunctional on the inside? Maybe there was a destructive culture of office politics and complaining. Maybe the company simply didn't care about its people, or it was a chaotic, high-stress workplace, with low morale and high burn out.
Caste has become a taboo. Its relation to labour and in particular slavery goes virtually unquestioned; an uncomfortable conversation over chai or at a cocktail party. This does not contribute to the gradual erosion of stigma, it stifles discussion and a recognition of the basic living conditions of India's Dalits...