Chai stories project main aim is to provide a space to build public space and community. And also, to investigate the meaning of social engagement, community, and outside life in the context of other cultures. Chai stories project is a place where people come together and create dialogue while having Vegan Chai.
I moved to the USA middle of the pandemic for my graduate studies in MFA-4D at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Every culture has its way of social interactions, outside life, and community. And my transition into a new culture made me consciously think about social engagement, community, and outside life. Therefore, Chai stories project investigates redefining public space, building community, and creates a conversation between people.
Chai is very special to me. I have so many stories in India at Chai places. In India, chai place becomes a social area where people gather and talk about their life, struggles, social issues, and politics. Naturally, Chai place became a unique space for socialization, and outside life. Traditionally Chai has ingredients like milk, sugar, water, and tea powder. For me, Chai means social engagement, outside life, and minus loneliness (Chai= Social engagement + Outside Life -Loneliness.) Chai is the place where I meet new people. Sometimes I meet random people at Chai place that converts into friendship further. It is a unique thing that chai place offers unexpected relations with people and community. As part of my performance of chai Stories, to share my experiences with Chai in India with a new community. This performance offers social interaction and outside life that we lost since the pandemic hits the world. So, the Chai stories performance is collecting people to create a dialogue to feel the community. Vegan chai (Oat Milk, Organic Spices, and Sugar) will offer to participants during the conversation. Therefore, Chai stories’ performance investigates socialization, outside life, in the context of other cultures. And this project also creates public space, outside life, and building community.