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16 September 2006 


John McCarthy talks to two people who have experienced the harmony and discord of a dual culture.  At the age of 13, Tara Bariana came to live in England from the Punjab over on the Pakistan side of North India. Ten years ago Tara decided to walk back from Walsall to Amritsar.  Ayesha Hazarica 's parents emigrated from Assam in the North East of India; last November after a gap of nearly twenty years Ayesha returned to visit her relatives.  

The Hutt River Province Principality is Australia's oldest micronation; it's located on a large farming property several hundred kilometres north of Perth.  The Province was founded in April 1970 by farmer Leonard Casley when he and his associates proclaimed their secession from Australia as a protest against a change in the Australian government's agricultural policy limiting the production of wheat.

The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is another micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in southeast Queensland Australia.  And there is even a micronation called Sealand built on an old gun emplacement off the Essex coast.

John McCarthy uncovers the history and making of some micronations when he's joined by Tom Hall of the Lonely Planet Guides to discusses their newly published compendium of home-made nations around the world. 

Presented by John McCarthy

Hutt River Province Principality - Northampton Parade

Photo: Hutt River Province Principality - Northampton Parade

This week's guests: 
Tara Bariana was born near Amritsar in the Punjab and came to England in the sixties with his parents. When Tara left school he worked in a local industry in his home town. He later had a small fleet of ice cream vans.

Tara went back to India once but the notion occurred to him that the next time he would like to walk the journey, a distance of about 10,000 miles. He set off in April 1996, travelling through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, skirting Afghanistan because of the troubles, then onto Pakistan until he finally arrived in the Indian Punjab.

Ayesha Hazarika is a comedian and winner of the Young Achiever Award at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2005.  Ayesha has recently joined the BBC Asian Network hit soap, ' Silver Street ', playing the character Manisha.  She is also a political speech writer and was Patricia Hewitt's press officer for a while.  She currently works as chief business co-ordinator to the Managing Director of EMI Group.

Ayesha grew up in Scotland where she experienced a mixture of cultures at home.  During her childhood she returned to India a couple of times but was not impressed.  Many of her relatives worked on tea plantations and there were long car journeys of 14 hours to visit them. Last year she travelled to Assam where she was welcomed by a huge group of her extended family.

Tom Hall is the Tavel Information Manager at The Lonely Planet.

Micro Nations - The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
ISBN: 1741047307

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Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info

John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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