Guest Info

Dr Megha Wadhwa is a migration researcher and Japanese and Indian studies Scholar. She is a Research Associate at the Free University of Berlin, and a visiting scholar at Sophia University, Tokyo, also her alma mater. Her research passion lies in understanding the similarities and differences in the migration trends of Indians in Japan, Singapore, Germany and other places around the globe. Her research focuses on identity, ethnicity, race, social class, women, and skills in migration. 

She is originally from New Delhi and was a resident of Tokyo for about 15 years before she moved to Berlin in 2021. She is the author of the book ‘Indian Migrants in Tokyo: A Study of Socio-Cultural, Religious and Working Worlds’ (Routledge:2021). She is also trained in fieldwork filming, and her recent documentaries include ‘Daughters from Afghanistan’ (2019), ‘7-min Documentary – Indian Cooks in Japan’(2020) and ‘Finding their Niche: Unheard Stories of Migrant Women (2022). 

She has also written several articles on the Indian community in Japan and other topics for The Japan Times and other mediums. Currently, her project focuses on ‘Indian Professionals in Japan and Singapore: Migration Trends, Labor Market Integration and Challenges’ and is a part of the research project – ‘Qualifications and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia’(QuaMaFA), supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF) as a part of the ‘Small Subjects’ funding initiative.

About the Show

Over 40,000 Indian migrants live in Japan, 30% of whom are females and known as “trailing spouses”. They often find themselves with a total dislocation of culture, language and know-how. The hopes and dreams of hard academic work of the past are often substituted with unexpected isolation, loneliness and unanswered expectations.

Chief Explorer Rajan Nazran is joined by migration researcher and Japanese and Indian Studies Scholar Dr Megha Wadhwa as we deep-dive into her research of immigrant identity in Japan and how it has redefined her perspectives on life.

In today’s episode, they discuss the unexpected isolation, loneliness and unanswered expectations of people who migrate abroad in search of greener pastures. She shares the journey of her shift to Japan as a language student. Her most significant learning in migration is that challenges and experiences make us who we are. She believes in the combination of karma, fate, and hard work. She brings forth the challenges of immigration identity and the threat that immigrants face in fear of losing who they are.

Join them in this insightful conversation that will inspire you to question your belief whether the grass is greener on the other side or is it a myth.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.
Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music credit:

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