So fathers want to be ‘more present’ in the home? Put down your phone and I’ll tell you how | Nilanjana Bhowmick

Babysitting is all very well, but to truly lighten a woman’s load, partners must juggle physical, emotional and cognitive labour

‘Like many men of my generation, I wanted to be a more present father than my own had been.” As I read the first sentence of another article about fathers staying at home, I thought about how we glorify men (or how men want to be glorified) for selflessly deigning to set their careers aside, which is usually seen as being “for” their spouse, and getting away with doing the bare minimum.

Staying at home with the children is not babysitting – it is a complicated business of physical, emotional and cognitive labour.

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My children don’t speak my mother tongue – as a second-generation migrant, it fills me with sadness | Saima Mir

Which language immigrant parents should speak at home has been endlessly debated. For now, we have not passed Urdu onto our children

As a second-generation British Pakistani growing up in Bradford, I was surrounded by Urdu and smatterings of Punjabi. English came later, and I can remember not being able to understand my teacher on the first day of nursery. This was all part of my parents’ plan: to speak in Urdu to my siblings and I because they knew we would learn English at school. They were right.

There have been countless debates over the years about which language immigrant parents should speak to their children, and the impact of that on their studies. I’ve never been convinced of the benefit of dropping one language in favour of the other. Because of my parents’ decision, I’m able to speak both languages fluently. I write for a living and worked as a journalist for the BBC, and my multilingualism has only enhanced my life. It gives me access to other worlds, stories, film and poetry. Whether it’s ordering cuts of meat in the butcher, placing an order in a restaurant or discussing designs in a clothing shop, it adds joy to my life, allows me to weave in and out of communities, and frees me from the constraints of any one group.

Saima Mir is a freelance journalist and author of the 2021 novel The Khan

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‘Cultural appropriation’: discussion builds over western yoga industry

Practitioners fear Indian culture has been ‘suppressed by colonisation’ while some question accessibility

Yoga has been a big part of Nadia Gilani’s life since she was introduced to the practice by her mother at the age of 16. A few years ago, after various personal struggles, she became a full-time yoga teacher.

But almost immediately, she realised not only were most yoga teachers and students in the UK white, but the accompanying wellness narrative has divorced yoga from its 5,000-year-old roots.

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Indonesia passes legislation banning sex outside marriage

Rights groups say amended criminal code underscores shift towards fundamentalism

Indonesia’s parliament has overhauled the country’s criminal code to outlaw sex outside marriage and curtail free speech, in a dramatic setback to freedoms in the world’s third-largest democracy.

Passed with support from all political parties, the draconian legislation has shocked not only rights activists but also the country’s booming tourism sector, which relies on a stream of visitors to its tropical islands.

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Diwali: Hindu festival of lights celebrations around the world – in pictures

Diwali, one of the most popular Hindu festivals, is celebrated by devotees all over the world. Also known as the festival of lights, it symbolises the victory of good over evil and commemorates Lord Ram’s return to the Ayodhya kingdom after a 14-year exile

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The sento owners making group bathing in Japan cool again

Covid accelerated a decline but a new breed of bathhouse is reimagining a Japanese tradition

It is a Japanese ritual that stretches back centuries: stripping off in the company of friends and neighbours before stretching out in the recuperative waters of a public bathhouse.

But almost half a millennia after the first sento opened in Tokyo, Japan’s modern-day bathhouses face an existential threat – and are fighting back by redefining the meaning of communal bathing.

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From Suva runways to the pages of Vogue: the rising star of Fiji’s fledgling fashion scene

Laisiasa Raibevu Davetawalu, who designs under the label Elaradi, carries the hope of his local fashion community, which fundraised to send him to design school in Australia

The hopes of Fiji’s fledgling fashion industry sit on the slim shoulders of a 25-year-old from Muaninuku Village named Laisiasa Raibevu Davetawalu.

The young designer has done what so many in the Pacific country have dreamed of but not had the opportunity to do.

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Covid lockdown boredom inspires New Zealand teenager to build world-record 25-metre Lego train

Alexander Blong smashed the previous world record for the most carriages in a Lego train

A New Zealand teenager has broken a Guinness World Record for the most carriages in a Lego toy train, beating the previous record by 32 carriages, after he was inspired to break a record during boring Covid lockdowns.

It took 14-year-old Aucklander Alexander Blong roughly 50 hours to build the 101-carriage locomotive. When finished, it measured 25 metres long.

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A moment that changed me: a rebel fighter who risked his life for love was murdered, and part of me died too

As a journalist in a conflict zone I was used to covering deaths. But then a young insurgent who had laid down his weapons and become a friend was killed

I first met Korsa Joga in March 2013 – a chance encounter in the intelligence department of the Chhattisgarh police in Raipur, central India. He was a former insurgent who had recently been trapped and been asked to surrender, alongside his lover, Varalakshmi, a former government teacher. Both were Adivasis, the indigenous people of India, and native to Bastar, a massive wilderness that remains the battleground between the Indian state and the ultra-left Maoist guerrilla fighters known as Naxalites.

We had quickly formed a bond that was deeper than the usual ones journalists strike up with the people they meet on assignments. His decision to abandon the revolution and his AK-47 to be with the woman he loved, and his escape from the jungle to the cities of southern India to begin a family life with her, fascinated me. After his short stint with the police he became a police informer in Bijapur, southern Bastar, and I would meet him during my visits, calling him to ask about his new job and the threats he faced.

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Wearable fans help Japan’s hot dogs beat the heat

A maternity clothes maker in Tokyo is marketing portable fans to help dogs and cats cope with oppressive summer weather

Dog owners in Japan can now buy wearable fans to keep their pets cool during the country’s sweltering summer.

Comprising a battery-operated, 80-gram fan attached to a breathable mesh outfit, the device circulates cool air around the animal’s body.

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How nine women are helping save India’s mangroves – with foraging and eco-tours

In a Maharashtra town that once relied on fishing, a women’s collective found boat safaris and edible wild plants pay – and help protect the forest

On a hot summer afternoon along the Mandavi River, Shweta Hule wraps her sari around her ankles and bends to her foraging, picking wild “weeds” from the creek and dropping them into a bowl. The plants will be made into fritters, to be served at the little restaurant attached to the B&B Hule manages in the Indian coastal town of Vengurla.

Wild edibles are common in kitchens here. Hule’s weed is sea purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum) – known as khari or gole bhaji – a succulent that blooms with pink flowers and is found in mangrove forests. Harvesting some of the plant is helping conserve the mangroves, a globally endangered ecosystem of salt-tolerant trees that stop coastal erosion and absorb storm damage.

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Visa delays leave UK families with adopted babies stranded in Pakistan

Home Office accused of leaving mothers and traumatised children stranded for months while priority is given to Ukraine refugees

British couples who travelled to Pakistan to adopt children have been left stranded after the Home Office told them to expect months of delays in processing visas because of the Ukraine refugee crisis.

The delays are part of wider failings in visa processing that have left families around the world stuck waiting to return to the UK.

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‘Fashion has no age’: the stylish senior citizens of Seoul

Kim Dong-hyun spends his days documenting the city’s vibrant senior street style to provide a new perspective on ageing

Pots and pans, piles of shirts and shoes, jewellery-laden tables, and boxes brimming with bric-a-brac. In the tangle of streets near exit 3 of Seoul’s Dongmyo station, hundreds of vendors sell everything from old Instamatic cameras to books, bags and vinyl records.

Located in the South Korean capital’s historic district of Dongdaemun, Dongmyo’s bustling flea market is scattered around a shrine built in honour of an ancient Chinese military commander. But there is more to the neighbourhood than bargains, vintage clothes, and retro treasures. It also serves as a cultural hub for the city’s senior citizens to shop, socialise and show off their unique style.

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‘Hong Kong is strange to me now’: how five refugees are finding their new lives in Britain

More than 88,000 Hongkongers have come to the UK under a new visa scheme after a harsh crackdown on civil liberties in the city. How are they coping? What are they doing? And do they think they will return?

Thousands of Hongkongers escaping from China’s increasingly authoritarian grip on the city have settled in Britain over the past year in search of a new life. This fresh start comes via the British national (overseas) visa scheme.

More than 88,000 Hongkongers applied for the BNO visa, launched last January, in its first eight months, according to Home Office figures. It allows them to live, study and work in Britain for five years. Once that time is up, BNO holders can apply to stay permanently. The government is expecting about 300,000 people to use this new route to citizenship in the next five years.

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