Stefan Schütte and Hermann Kreutzmann (Eds.)
Making a living in Varanasi
Social place and socio-economic spaceBerlin Geographical Papers
The three-semester long project was implemented in Varanasi in close cooperation with Prof. Rana PB Singh and his colleagues and students from the Department of Geography at Banaras Hindu University and with the help of a number of established contacts in the city. We could form nine mixed groups of people with local knowledge and orientation that paired with a couple of students each from the Berlin team. The thematic focus was directed on ‘Making a living in Varanasi – social place and socio-economic space’. Beyond Varanasi’s attraction as a holy pilgrimage destination and place for worship we primarily looked at professions and locations that provide opportunities for making a meagre living by hard work. Consequently, certain trades and professions, groups and communities, individuals and office-bearers who kindly allowed us to observe, follow and sit with them during their working hours and to visit them at home contributed to form a selective mosaic of living conditions in Varanasi. All nine contributions in this volume are based on the findings from these joint-endeavours that were regularly discussed and re-adjusted during our bilateral discussions and plenary meetings at night in our temporary home in Varanasi. During a follow-up seminar back in Berlin the outcomes and results were again refined and processed to such a state that we could prepare the manuscripts in a manner that they fulfilled the formal requirements which a scientific journal would demand for.