I am sure many of you have heard of the 8 limbed girl from India.  If not here is a short clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM82Hs0LEpc 

She is seen as a goddes in her town.  I think alot of people in America see Indians as uneducated people because they may see someone as a goddess when really it is a parasitic twin.  I think the clip I showed does not make them seem uneducated, but they do bring up that she is seen as a goddess.  There was another documentary that I tried to look up but was unable to find.  It is shown on tv quite a bit so I am not sure if any of you have seen it.  It features all parasitic twins in India.  This girl is also in this documentary, and I feel like in the documentary is focused more on her being seen as a goddess.  Why do Americans portray Indians as such religous people and why do we see them as stupid for being religous?  Is it because many Americans do not have the same beliefs so we think beliefs that are unfamiliar to us are stupid?  Does anyone else have a response to this? (hopefully you are familiar to this or another similar story – I know there are a lot of stories portraying Indians as religious, not just this.)

 

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end of quarter

Reflecting back on this class.  I first thought it was going to be awful.  Summer course on an area I knew very little about.  Though the class was very enjoyable.  I liked being able to see all the different sides of India through the literature and the class discussions.  This blog also really helped expand my knowledge. 

I thought about the White Tiger more.  Balram may not have had many options to get out of the darknes: killing his boss was really his only choice.  But weather he stayed in a tea shop, or as a driver, or became and entrepreneur he would have been involved in some corruption.  He did use his position as a driver to make more money.  The people back home weren’t much better either.  The school teacher refused to teach and sold the uniforms and if there was a boy getting married in your family then your family screwed the girls family out of so many things. 

I also considered if there is a “roosters coop” here in the U.S.  Maybe not entirely across the country, but I think in different communities, religions, and schools there is definately a “roosters coop.”  Consider a high school.  The stereotypical high school has the jocks and cheerleaders at top and they are the ones who make all the decisions while everyone else follows, because if you don’t follow it would be “social suicide.”  Not every high school is like this but there is probably some form of a “roosters coop” in many high schools.  I definately cannot speak for every community or religion, but where I grew up my community is based strongly around the catholic religion.  Marry another catholic or “social suicide.”  Put money in the collection basket every Sunday or people will definately look down on you.  The consequences are nothing compared to those in The White Tiger, but there are “roosters coops” in the U.S. too.

Hope everyone enjoyed the class!  Enjoy your Time off!

Hook

I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie Hook with Robin Williams as Peter Pan.  Well there is a small dialog in which he mentions Gandhi.

Peter Banning: What’s the deal? Where’s the real food?
Tinkerbell: If you can’t imagine yourself being Peter Pan, you won’t be Peter Pan, now eat up.
Peter Banning: Eat what? There’s nothing here. Gandhi ate more than this.

This is pointing out how simple Gandhi choose to live, and him having starved himself.  But I do not think alot of people see it this way.  I think alot of people know Gandhi was from India and used nonviolence.  So this line would seem more like Gandhi did not eat much because everyone in India is starving.  If Gandhi could not get enough food then obviously the poorer people in India couldn’t either.  This is just a subtle way of how Hollywood portrays India.  (Actually the only reason I knew this was even in the movie is because my brothers idea of Gandhi was slightly influenced by this movie.)  Which also shows how such small lines can influence a person’s view.

 

 


Elephant key chain

I never paid much attention to it before, but I have an Indian elephant key chain from grandmother that she got in the 60’s or 70’s.  It is actually part of the necklace, but I thought the necklace was ugly so I just took the elephant off and use it as a key chain. 

The elephant has and exotic head piece and tapestry on it:  because an Indian elephant would not be the same unless it is seen as exotic.  But my grandmother also said the elephant is good luck.  I wasn’t sure why it was seen as good luck or if it was just a way to make it sell better, so I googled it and found several things about it, but I particularly liked this one:  http://www.luckymojo.com/elephant.html.  I think this is just another way the west makes India and other eastern countries more exotic and appealing to us. 

 

The Quilet and Other Stories

I enjoyed these stories.  I liked that we did the group work and then discussed each story for a little in class because it helped me see ties between the stories.  Though what we discussed in our group is seeing these stories from the Indian’s point of view and at the time the story was written.  When you look at it this way, in some of the stories almost none of the characters seem as if they should be well liked.  For example “The Veil:” Goribi stuck to the tradition of not lifting her own veil, but she was deffiant to her future husbands wishes.  Kale was going against tradition in lifting the veil and was called stuborn and immature.  Kale is not portrayed as a very likable character, but it is hard to decide if Goribi is likable or not.  In “By the Grace of God,” the narrator, Farhat, Anwar, and Sakina (though for different reasons)  all went against the traditional role of trying to get a divorce.  Imdad and Sakina are portrayed as dislikable characters, but from a Indians point of view, the narrator, Farhat, and Anwar are all trying to go against a tradition that would dishonor the family.  Tradition is a theme in all of the stories, but whos reading it affects how the characters are perceived.