Tune into the globe
Need a history lesson? Check out Radio Madhuban in Mount Abu, where they play a dramatised enactment of Bhil warrior Bheema Nayak, and Daulat Singh, complete with dialogues, background music and caricaturish British accents. Or if you like, check out the theme song of Radio Luxembourg, which was taken over by the Nazis at the start of WWII and then used to broadcast wartime propaganda.
Music, with a dash of history, is what you would find at Radio Garden, a project launched in December by Dutch companies Studio Puckey and Studio Moniker in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It was first posted on Reddit before it went viral. The website/app takes the form of an interactive globe, with each station indicated by a green dot. Rotate the globe, choose a country or station and listen in.
You can listen to Urdu ghazals in Pakistan, hover over the United Kingdom and marvel at different accents, and browse through radio channels of hospitals. Hop over to the Vatican City radio, and listen to broadcasts in Tamil too. Occasionally, you will also find English music, like we did at Brno's Kiss Hady, which played Adele's Addicted to You or the hit Queen track, It's a Kind of Magic at Spain's Radio Andaludia Este.
Each station you choose gives you the region, their time, and a link to the station's website. Even if you cannot recognise the language, it's easy to figure when ads are on air (clue: look for fast-speaking, high-pitched, excited voices). You can also hear clips from history in the History section; stories from listeners in the Stories section and fun radio jingles, with detailed information about them in the Jingles section.
There are a few dead ends, with unresponsive stations or those that are unavailable for access from India, but there's over 8,000 others to choose from.
Log on to radio.garden