The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a year of change for Riot Radio – expanding to new platforms, new formats and now, a new language.
Lunch Date With Desi is hosted by second-year Durham College (DC) Broadcasting student, Shivang Brahmbhatt, and is spoken fully in Hindi, the national language of his home country, India.
“I always wanted this to happen,” said Brahmbhatt. “I’ve had this thing in my mind, I want a show in my own language, where I can put on music of my own, where I can put down contents of my own.”
This is the second non-English show in Riot Radio history, following Urban Desi Station, which was broadcast in Punjabi in 2018.
Lunch Date with Desi launched Oct. 21 on Riot Radio and its two episodes have combined for 350 views across all of Riot Radio’s platforms – more than triple the amount episodes normally receive.
Brahmbhatt said he got the idea while volunteering as a Riot Radio assistant technician in his first year on campus.
“I noticed that there are a lot of Indian students here…but there were not many interested in Riot Radio,” said Brahmbhatt. “I got this idea to attract international students by creating a show which is in Hindi, so everyone can listen.
“I told (Riot Radio) that I have noticed many international students are from India, so let’s create a show which is in their own language,” said Brahmbhatt.
The show focuses on Bollywood news, entertainment, Indian news and sports – especially cricket.
“Cricket is so famous in India,” said Brahmbhatt. “I have been writing more on cricket more now and days because I feel like Indians can relate.”
Because no one at Riot Radio speaks Hindi, for every episode, Brahmbhatt prepares prep sheets for the station, so they know what he’s talking about on-air, something he learned while hosting a morning show on Top.FM in India.
“It’s a pretty big trust between us and Shivang,” said Riot Radio station manager, Dan MacInally. “He’s done a great job so far, in his first two episodes.”
Brahmbhatt came to DC looking to continue pursuing a career in broadcasting and was intrigued by the fact Durham offered internships, which weren’t available at other colleges in which he was interested.
“For me, placement matters the most,” said Brahmbhatt.
While Brahmbhatt is enjoying having a show, it’s not quite what he expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wanted to sit in the studio, that way more people would be connected,” said Brahmbhatt, referring to the station’s window front presence at the entrance to the college.
He said he’s still grateful for the experience and hopes to continue his career in television production or broadcasting after he graduates.
You can listen to Lunch Date with Desi, every Friday on RiotRadio.ca