On the surface, the Balkans and South Asia might seem to have little in common. However, despite many specific differences, they share similar dilemmas of linguistic, religious, cultural, and ethno-national complexity, similar turbulent political developments associated with imperial, post-colonial, and Cold War legacies, and similar diversity of responses to these historical and contemporary challenges. Both areas have seen a mixing of people through migratory settlement, conquest, contact, and trade. But both have also experienced periods of reaction to cultural hybridity: a radical unmixing of people through partition and population exchange. The impact of these upheavals is seen in the direct violence of war and devastation, but also through crises on the levels of language, religion, and other modes of culture and human creative activity. The unique yet similar issues within each region compel us towards a comparative approach that will offer a transnational perspective on the intersection of language, religion, culture, and nationalism.