13 October, 2006

What? Racist? Me? Nawww

People sometimes are really daft, here's an example-
The following is a conversation between Prema (who by the way can be blamed for my black and white photos) and I. Have a conversation with her and hilarity inevitably ensues! Over here she's at work and her colleague is the topic of discussion.

Prema- My colleague's feet stinks and she's the only Tamil girl I know who thinks fasting for Thaipusam means eating chocolate bread...cos its not real food.

Mahima- HAHA

Prema- And she was like "Oh if I am at home I can fast but I'm working so I cant." So I was thinking 'then how does the Muslim population do it?'
Ok ok, i must tell u this! Hahah the other day she feels it necessary to inform me that she is racist, so she says "Oh I don't like Chinese cos they look down on Indians." So I said "Oh ok." Then I went onto say how Indians themselves are hypocrites cos different communities within Indians look down on each other too.

Mahima- Yea! then??

Prema - She didnt understand I think..cos maybe 'hypocrites' is too big for her.
So I asked her "Why?"- she said "dunno".
I asked "Has any Chinese person done any harm to u?"- she said "no".
I said "Do u know any Chinese people personally?"- she said "no".
Then I was like ok..and then I preached about how she cannot call herself a Hindu if she's going to be racist...and then she delievers the PUNCH LINE- we were walking back and she was like
"Oh I fell down yesterday at Bugis..it was really bad..twisted my ankle..and this Chinese lady helped me up"

Mahima- good lord.

Prema- I was like "....." *sound of wind blowing, leaves rustling* and she said this following her racist comments.. and she wasn't regretful or anything! Dramatic irony man!

Mahima - no kidding!

Prema- And she tells me, when we were eating kebabs, she can't eat too much lettuce cos she might FAINT.

Mahima- I ACTUALLY just laughed out loud! What the fucccccccccck?

Prema - She says "No la Prema, I really cannot do it."

Can you believe this girl?? Maybe the lettuce gives her too much gas and hence the fainting spells.
*Shakes head*

Another example, this time involving me and a classmate during lecture-

Classmate - Eh, you're Indian right?

Mahima - Yep

Classmate- *giggles* Okay lah you're not like VERY Indian so I tell you this ah... Eh, you know..sometimes Indians are really smelly!

Mahima - *Lo-o-n-g silence*.... Oh really? Are we? [At this point I feel I must point out two thing- 1) What the hell is 'VERY Indian' and 2) she wasn't making some snide remark at me, coz I make sure I never smell, at least not when I'm outside.]

Classmate - Ya lor! Wah, why ah?

Mahima - Honey, your people smell too. Everyone smells. I'm pretty sure all people have stunk at one point in their lives. [At THIS point I'm biting my tongue VERY HARD to refrain myself from telling her that she's stinking RIGHT.NOW. but hey- who's keeping track, right?]

Classmate - *At this point she starts to realise that MAYBE she might have said the wrong thing to the wrong person* Oh ya ya of course..I mean I just came across a few people here and there..you know..

Mahima - Ahuh. *Tunes out*

Oh boy. You get ALL sorts, eh?

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Blogger Miz BoheMia did the happy dance and finally said..

Iranians always get confused for Arabs by ignorant asses when the two cultures have nothing to do with each other... say Iran to some and they think you are saying Iraq... some guy asked me if there was running water and electricity in Iran...

In the US, when I tell people I am part Danish they ask me if I speak Dutch and one guy asked if I spoke German then...

When I told this idiot I was raised in Spain, he, by trying to flirt and impress me, told me his mom was from a part of Spain called Brazil and another ignorant fool asked if we could get to Spain from SF by bus...

I feel for ya sistah! Methinks the Ladees gotta get together and kick some ig'nant hick ass! FO SHO!

5:31 AM  
Blogger Urban Bourbon Ninja did the happy dance and finally said..

I'm not very indian either. I promise.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous UrbanPro did the happy dance and finally said..

I am telling you, either you have to be an indian or a nut-case. There is no third category. :)) Arrey i have so many friends who are chinese, american, english... and we make fun of each other all the time.

My chinese - don't look down, look up to life
Me - then how will I see you?

We laugh to racist joke... take it easy. Stay beautiful. Keep kicking.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

miz b - LOL u know i used to get asked if i lived in a mud hut when i would mention that i stayed in africa..HAHA what an asss that man is! aye caramba yummy mummy! we are surrounded by eediots!

ninja - oh ninja! *swooon* :P

urbanpro - urbaaaaaaaan gimme more credit mate..ive got enough of a sense of humor to laugh off jokes said in good fun..even racist jokes, even 'yo momma' or 'yo daddy' jokes..but dude some jokes arent said in good fun...thats when i get a bit uptight about things! my chinese/malay/eurasian/other mates and i have a good laugh about our races but i guess its one of those subjects that has a blurry line that divides 'funny' from 'woah-u-cant-say-that'

10:43 PM  
Blogger Jay did the happy dance and finally said..

I recommend the song 'Everybody's A Little Bit Racist' from the soundtrack to Avenue Q. Seriously, try downloading it or something - you'll love it.

Racism isn't funny, but let's face it - racist jokes are :-p

My office, for example, is most definitely not for anyone who's sensitive about these things!

1:58 AM  
Blogger Nath did the happy dance and finally said..

Honestly, I can see where your classmate's coming from. One's diet has a surprisingly strong effect on how one smells. Indian food, being the delectable concoction of low-grade explosives that it is, gives its aficionados a very distinctive odour. Of course, having been exposed to it since childhood, most Indians are completely unaware of this, but I can imagine someone raised on spaghetti on toast forming certain impressions.

3:56 AM  
Blogger the wannabe indian punkster did the happy dance and finally said..

What the heck is 'very indian' anyway?

I need to meet this classmate of yours.

7:08 AM  
Blogger sac did the happy dance and finally said..

very fine lines between sensitivity, PC, stereotypes and racism. only top stand-up comedians can straddle them well. the rest can either be ignored or slapped in the face with an out-of-date kipper

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Medha did the happy dance and finally said..

Being racist is SO not funny! I mean, you can be racist but one shoud NOT show it.

Here in my university, a bunch of IIT students from Chennai and Kanpur had come over for 2 months and they used to come over to our hostel for dinner and lunch everyday. And one day, this chinese asshole (he's actually a fren..but...whatever..) comes over to our table (where everyone's an indian!) and irritatingly says, "Man!! I am sick and tired of seeing these indians at that table. They are getting on my nerves!"..I tell you, i was THIS close to getting up and beating him upp! I mean, WTF does he mean by that?? Just because I have been living in Singapore for the last 10 years, it does NOT make me any less indian than ANY indian from India. And he thought i was going to support him on that point.. I just glared at him so badly that he didn't utter a word after that! Bloody fool!!

11:13 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

jay - oh hell yea they're funny but only when they're done 'right' (russell peters doing racist jokes- HILARIOUS!)..ill try and get my hands on the song!

nath - agreed BUUUTTTT that doesnt really make the whole perpetuation of the 'ee-indians-are-dirty-and-smelly' thing right, does it?

megha - LOL i can imagine what you'd do to her..and it aint pretty! :D

sac - true! my friends and i totally take the mickey out of each other but we make sure we don't cross lines (as fine as they may be, we're always aware of them)

medha - babes i think whether or not you consciously choose to show your racist tendencies, they always come out..some way or another..
sounds kinda utopian but as much as 'race' is hard to ignore, i wish people would still try to get over their basic biases about people..

11:51 AM  
Blogger Nath did the happy dance and finally said..

the wannabe indian punkster: What the heck is 'very indian' anyway?

Presumably, it means 'exhibitive of characteristics more likely to appear in Indians than in people of other nationalities'.

Madame Mahima: agreed BUUUTTTT that doesnt really make the whole perpetuation of the 'ee-indians-are-dirty-and-smelly' thing right, does it?

I doubt your classmate had malicious intentions when she made that remark -- as far as I can tell, she made an ill-advised but sincere observation. Perhaps she noticed that, on average, Indians she interacted with were more likely than other races to have a noticeable smell (as explained by the food theory). Is it wrong to say something you believe to be true if you don't intend to hurt anyone by the remark?

Racism has been responsible for some horrible things over the years, so people have been downplaying the difference between races. Nonetheless, there *are* differences (albeit mostly insignificant ones). For example, black people tend to have darker skin than white people (thus the name). It is not wrong to admit that there are differences. It is only wrong to discriminate based on them. In other words, what's important is to ensure that all races have the same rights, rather than to ensure that all races are seen as identical.

Besides, there is a strong correlation between race and culture/upbringing. For instance, people of Indian descent are more likely than others to speak with Indian accents. If you happen to find Indian accents hard to understand -- or simply unpleasant -- it is conceivable that you will minimize your interactions with Indians (like medha's diplomatically-challenged Chinese friend).

4:08 PM  
Anonymous medha did the happy dance and finally said..

Yeah i agree with you completely, it does show! But look at the stupidity of the human race (as Miranda bailey says it :)), that bugger has the bloody gutts to come up to me and pass racist remarks against another indian. What was he expecting me to do, pat him on the head and say "Gooooood boy!!"?? Plus it also just disgusted me that he could make such a bold statement about someone he hardly knew!

I am seriously still trying to understand the logic behind racism. It baffles me like crazy!


No doubt we all are of different color, have different hair, smell, nose, toes, hands etc etc etc! But what gives someone (anyone) the right to judge someone else just based on their color or their smell? And whether one has malicious intentions or not, how would you know? They won't come and tell it to your face. And ok, maybe they don't have such intentions but the way people say things at times, can say a lot about what they feel! Like my good ol' chinese friend i was talking about, he once upsettingly said to us that there were too many indians around in the hostel and that he 'feels like a minority'. Now, did he have any malicious intentions? I wouldn't know, but i could clearly see that he was not very happy about it. He might have not sounded that racist then, but it was definitely leading to that!

Anyways, on a lighter note, my word verfication- FOBERGAY.


12:18 AM  
Blogger Mediocretes did the happy dance and finally said..

Yo, Mahima - truce?

11:47 PM  
Blogger Webmiztris did the happy dance and finally said..

"you're not like VERY Indian"

wha....? so you only stink a little then? lol what a bitch!

12:29 AM  
Blogger chitgo did the happy dance and finally said..

hahahaha guffaw.
perceptions and mindsets rule the educated mind with as much force as for the less privileged.

having lived and worked in a western european country for nearly a year i can point out VERY rare circumstances where I felt even a hint of racism from locals, but can identify numerous occassions where fellow indians would completely refuse to acknowledge each others presence. It was simply disgusting and I am still analyzing theories as to why it happens...
wrote an entry on it some time ago, might strike a chord...

11:53 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

nath - you take my posts too seriously man :P
look agreed she didnt have any malicious intent but my point is- you're not supposed to say this kinda stuff about another race..u SHOULDN'T. in a 'docile' place like singapore it'll go relatively unnoticed..in other places where people have a lower threshold for such comments, you could end up in a bad way.
and once again :) you put words in my mouth-
I doubt your classmate had malicious intentions when she made that remark
didn't say she had any malicious intent..i just said it wasnt right.
whether or not once chooses to minimise or maximise interactions with someone of another race isnt the issue here (for this post)- it's about saying (or in this case- not saying) what you really think. we're not kids, we're educated, i'm assuming most of us have been bought up well by our parents, we dont have any excuse to say shit about another race.
THAT was the point of the post :)
sigh. where is the LOVE, people!

medha - EXACTLY. :D (i'm tired just from replying to nath's comment..my brain hurts haha)

medicoretes - thats entirely upto you buddy..i'm not the one who overdosed on the hate-orade :)

dawn - exactly what i wondered when she said! i even PANICKED and thought (for a nano-second) that i stank! ooooo i am SO mad! :p

chitgo - u summed it up perfectly there :) ud think (nay, hope and pray) that the educated would know better! aye indians are complete bitches to each other sometimes..will read your post, thanks for the link!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Kay Richardson did the happy dance and finally said..

People are stupid. I hate people.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Nath did the happy dance and finally said..

Madame Mahima: didn't say she had any malicious intent..i just said it wasnt right.
whether or not once chooses to minimise or maximise interactions with someone of another race isnt the issue here (for this post)- it's about saying (or in this case- not saying) what you really think.

I guess we just disagree here, then. I do not believe it is wrong to state your true opinions, even if other people find it offensive. I admit that it can be distasteful, offensive, and potentially dangerous (and therefore not always prudent), but I do not believe that it is wrong. Unless, of course, you voice your opinion simply for the sake of being offensive. That's why I brought 'malicious intent' into the picture.

What if a scientist came to a conclusion that was widely offensive? Say, that man evolved from earlier primates rather than being wished into existence by a giant magician? Would it be better for such results to be suppressed, even if society ultimately had something to gain from it?

Kay Richardson: People are stupid. I hate people.



6:26 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

but we love you kay!

nath - It may not be wrong but that doesn't mean it makes it right either. look if anything, the world could use a few more people who actually think before they talk! and about society gaining from it- yes sure, but once again only if its said in the RIGHT way

3:12 PM  

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