Sugar, Saris and Green Bananas on BBC Radio 4

Friday 18th September 2015  

11am - 11:30am 

BBC Radio 4 FM, BBC Radio 4 LW 

1/2Journalist Lainy Malkani delves into her family’s roots to discover the bittersweet history of Indian-dentured labourers on the sugar plantations of the Caribbean.  In the first of two programmes, she learns how her ancestors were among the thousands of impoverished workers shipped from India to the British-owned estates - a practice that began after slavery was abolished in 1838 and continued into the 20th century.


Presenter    Lainy Malkani

Producer     Mukti jain Campion

Sugar, Saris and Green Bananas | Series 1 - 1. Sugar in My Blood | Radio Times.png

Sugar, Saris and Green Bananas on BBC Radio 4

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11am Fridays 18th and 25th September and on iPlayer for 30 days

Two documentaries in which I unover the history of the indentured Indian labourers who were brought to work on British sugar plantations in the Caribbean and whose descendants, later came to settle in Britain


Podcast Series 1 Completed!

The first series of the Social History Hub podcast has just come to an end with ten great stories from individuals who are helping to redefine the way in which we live our lives. 

True lives have always been a fascination to me. The stories that emerge when you take some time to listen to people are amazing and you never know what you will find out. Take, the Battle of Waterloo, a memorial is unveiled today and some of the descendents of the soldiers who fought on the battlefield will be telling their personal stories, perhaps for the first time. 

I’ve just read an article telling the story of dentures made from the teeth of dead soldiers on the battlefield. It’s a grim true story and the pictures are equally unsavoury, but if you can stomach it, the article is worth a read.

It reminds me of my podcast interview with the author Jamie Rhodes, who created a fictional world around the lives of those who might have collected those teeth on the battlefield. His collection of stories called, ‘Dead Men’s Teeth’, recreates lives dating back four hundred years and enables us to put ourselves in the shoes of those who never had the time, nor money to record their own lives, no matter how grim.  

Thankfully, that isn’t the case anymore and we are able to access information about the lives, struggles and achievements of people around the world relatively easily but of course someone needs to write them down or document them for future generations.

With that in mind I want to thank all the contributors to the first series of the Social History Hub podcast. Without their willingness to talk about their personal lives, the experiences they share with others would be lost. I won’t name them asthey’re all amazing but go to  and see who you identify with the most. Or indeed, just enjoy their story.

I’ll be back in a few months with a Summer Festivals special series, talking to the founders about the trials and tribulations of getting a festival off the ground.



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NEW IN 2015...

The Social History Hub is pleased to announce the launch of a series of podcasts which explores moments in history that shaped the lives of ordinary people.

Podcast Episode 1

Lainy Malkani, speaks to the spoken word artist Mr Gee about what social history means to him and the personal stories that have influenced his writing. 


Occupation '84

Filming a video for crowdfunding today. It's called Occupation '84. More details to follow...