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18/01/2022 16:39:10
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Title: R1180_01 Track 1_Avtar Singh Jouhl
Description: This is an oral history interview with Avtar Singh Jouhl, recorded between October 1991- February 1992, as part of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project (BBOHP), discussing his life in India and the UK.
Avtar lived in Punjab, India until 1958 when he left college and travelled to England hoping to continue his studies. He worked in foundries in Birmingham and joined the Indian Workers Association after experiencing inequalities in the workplace. He talks about his upbringing in rural Punjab, India, his involvement with Trade Unions and politics and his work and family life in Birmingham.
These recordings include racially explicit content, including discussions of racism, prejudice and violence; and language and phrasing that we would not use today. Some of this content might be unsuitable for younger listeners or triggering for People of Colour.
We recommend reading the description for each track before choosing to listen.

Track 1 Engagement and Marriage
Avtar Singh Jouhl talks about his arranged engagement and marriage at the age of 16

Track 2 Marriage (continued) and Family Responsibilities
Avtar talks about getting married and the death of his father the same year

Track 3 Losing Faith and finding Marxism
Avtar recalls the incident that played a part in him losing his faith and reading Marxist literature

Track 4 The Caste System
Avtar defines how the caste system still operates in India (in 1992)

Track 5 The Caste System (continued) and Colour Prejudice
Avtar continues to describe how the caste system is still influential and talks about colour prejudice in India

Track 6 Black Rather Than Asian / Folk Songs and Poetry About Colour
Avtar explains why, for political reasons, he likes to be called black rather than Asian. He talks about traditional songs, poetry and their references to colour and chauvinism.

Track 7 Punjabis, Pakistan and India Rivalry
Avtar talks about the religious differences between Indian and Pakistani Punjabis and how the Punjabi culture is part of his heritage although he believes in Marxism

Track 8 Punjabi Chauvinism and Heroes
Avtar talks about traditional story tellers, poetry and Punjabi heroes

Track 9 Punjabi History (continued) / Education
Avtar talks Punjabi history and about his education

Track 10 Education (continued) / Haircut / Land Consolidation
Avtar talks about how he was enrolled at school, a visit to the barber and land inheritance
Sound Archive
Oral History
Social history
Social history
Birmingham Black Oral History Project
South Asia
Usage Rights: CC BY-NC 3.0 - Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 You are free to share & adapt this material. Credit: © Birmingham Museums Trust, shared under CC BY-NC 3.0 licence
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