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03/31/2011

A thick-skinned myth…

I met a French girl travelling in India who told me it would be a good thing if Indians became « leaders » of the world because they are non-violent.

I had a quite violent reaction…!

Indians are like every other human being, not more violent, not less violent.

 

Hum, maybe with a few exceptions:

 

§          Sexual violence where “nearly one in four Indian men has committed sexual violence at some point in their lives and one in five has admittedly forced his wife or partner to have sex (worse, more than 65% Indian men also believed that women should tolerate violence to keep the family together and that women sometimes deserved to be beaten)”;

 

§          Violence against intouchables: “every hour two Dalits are assaulted; every day three Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched”;

 

§          The national religious terrorism which makes India the 6th country in terms of risk of attacks (2001: 5,839 victims, 2010: 1,902) – Maoists are not happy, Christians are sent to the jungle, Hindus and Muslims bomb each other shrine and Kashmir is still a battle field.

 

So, Gandhi and these stories have to stop! By the way, though it is not known in Europe, many people criticize Gandhi here. But this is not my point. My point is that today, Indians are just normal!!

 

Sources :

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-03-07/india/28665246_1_indian-men-international-men-males

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/16/us-security-risk-ranking-idUSTRE61F28D20100216 http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/index.html

03/23/2011

The pedicure

The other day I indulged my self in a very girly activity I had never done before: a pedicure! Please meet my pedicure:

india,pedicure

 

Yeah, a guy!! And there were only guys doing that. Pedicures and manicures!!

He did well, no complain – I even wondered whether I would ever cut my nails myself again!!

Just a remark on the polish choice. I took 10 minutes to carefully select a polish that was as light and not shiny as possible. I spent the next few hours looking at my toe nails with bewilderment. What an awful colour!! So this is official, there are no “normal” polish colours in India, it has to be glittery!!

 

In the same spirit, you will almost only find male tailors, male cloth washers, male waiters and male bra sellers (and other garments). This last profession is opening to women, especially in malls and outlets of international brands but this is far from being frequent. I guess this is because traditionally women should not work…

(I know, only a twisted mind would take such a picture, still I did it!)

03/18/2011

The Indian city

The other day I went back from work walking, to ease off my bad mood…

Great idea.

Thankfully no one asked me that day “hey, what is an Indian city like”?

I would have answered:

Well, an Indian city? It’s ugly. It’s even very very very ugly.

If by chance you see a nice looking building, take a good look because after one or two monsoons, it will be as ugly as the others. Why painting??

If only it was just ugly…

No it is also extremely difficult to walk. When you look at the pavements, you feel like you are in Sarajevo during war time. But even then, you are lucky there are pavements because most lanes don’t have. I have stopped judging Indians for never walking; it might not be only laziness after all… ;)

The height of it, it’s the noise. It is plain hell. Honking that make you deaf for sometime, drillers, engines, you just don’t see the end of it.

And it also smells. It smells so much that when you walk by a fruit stall, you feel like in heaven. For instance, on my way home, it smelled of the sea (which somehow regularly smells of a dead rat, god knows why), and then the river which seems the most convenient place to throw garbage (you cry when your rickshaw is stuck by this river waiting for a line to clear), and petrol. It smells, it smells, it smells.

This walk home finished me off.

 

No need to tell me, like my Hindi teacher did, that no one is asking me to stay. Here I am and here I stay. I am just not staying for the Indian cities. For what then? I’m thinking, I’m thinking.

And if someone can show me that actually Indian cities are not so bad, I’m waiting! I still remember going for a walk in Raipur. Plainly depressing…