Divided By Geography and Politics, United By GV!


With Paula at Barbican Centre during Wikimania London. Photo credit: Viswanathan Prabhakaran, CC-by-SA 3.0

In the last 4 years of personal and 3 years of professional journey in Open Source, and working with many communities have been just wonderful. I always have felt like an ignorant but curious baby while getting the mentoring and criticism at the same time, and many hands to help when you need. I used to be a reader of GV and was seeking some help in sharing the news of more and more content donation under Creative Commons licenses in India. That is when I thought of writing on my own instead of reading content that typically get twisted from original in mainstream media. But I wanted to contribute online and in my native tongue Odia. I still remember the green bar showing multiple languages on the top of any Global Voices page. Surprisingly I found only 3 Indic languages: Bangla, Hindi and Urdu. I began asking myself why not Odia. Immediately I applied as an author being clueless about how to start a new lingua. Rezwan, my today's mentor replied back after a few days welcoming me because of my application for authorship. It still gives me a good laugh how you end up in good places when clueless. I thank myself for making that small mistake that I got connected to him in the first place.

When I expressed my interest about Odia he connected me to Paula and Gohary. In our first Skype call, I felt like sitting with my best buddies and having a discussion. It is one of some of the loveliest memories I have of from my days in Open Source. Needless to say Odia became one of this year's 4 new lingua projects. When I sat down once and thought about 3 of these awesome fellows who were completely strangers to me some time back, and now so close, I found a beautiful missing link.

My home state Odisha is from an ancient kingdom Kalinga that was widely connected to south, east and central Asian kingdoms, Europe, and South America. We still have many things in common in all of these places. Interestingly Rezwan and I belong to the eastern part of Kalinga where Paula and Gohary belong to two other regions that our ancestors were closely tied to. Had it not been Global Voices, we could never have got connected. Once closely related in the past, then divided by geography and political movements, now we are again connected by Global Voices. In this personal journey of collaborative knowledge, this is the nicest thing that could ever happen!

I have been lucky to meet Paula and Takashi during Wikimania London, and many other GVers: Sara, Tarek, Ellery and Marietta during Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin in person. It feels so much more strengthening to believe that I have community-friends all over the world and a lot of them are GVers. It all just started with a small thing!


  • Hello Subha, I am so touched by your post, because meeting you touched me too! I remember receiving your request to start a Global Voices in Odia, I happened to be in the same physical space as Gohary at the time, and it was sent to my old email. Then Gohary told me, “have you seen Rezwan’s email about this guy who wants to start a Global Voices in Odia?”, and my ignorance was so great that I asked him “a Global Voices in what?” – of course I had to google it (thanks again google!). Meeting you in London was a wonderful follow up of an already existing connection, and I feel your heart will just burst with GV love-energy in Cebu. I want to hear everything about Odisha-Brazil connections. Get ready buddy :)

    • Thank you so much Paula again for the kind words! I too look forward to meeting many more of the GV family. I am really excited for this. And yes, for sure, a conversation on our old silk-route connections. The entry point to this is the greetings Olá in Portuguese and Olagi in Odia. More discussions to follow in the summit! Cheers! :)

  • I’m always thrilled when I see a new language in Lingua, and what makes me more thrilled the multi-talent of new lingua founders. I’m so happy that you are with us Subha! All the power to freedom of software and information :)

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