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Indians at the Olympic Games

On the occasion of the football World Cup, I had written a small post on the scene of football/soccer in India. Since then they created an Indian tournament with local teams and a few soccer Grandpas, international ex-stars, coming to lend a hand. Some clubs also finally understood that if the Indians are really crappy at soccer, on a global scale, it could be because nobody has actually ever invested in this sport; and that there are hidden talents, even if only statistically, when you take the size of the population… For instance, Paris-Saint-German has an Academy in India with programs especially in Gurgaon and Bangalore. So as FC Barcelona, Liverpool and Arsenal (source).Million Dollar Arm cricket movie.jpg

It reminds me of this movie I found very moving, Million Dollar Arm (a coach of American football who goes and recruits players in India through a cricket throwing ball selection to make them American football superstars).

But the topic of the day is actually the Olympic Games, just to be a little trendy. India sent this year 118 participants to Rio and harvested 2 medals. And not the least medals, in my humble opinion, since they were both won by women. And BAM. Silver in badminton and bronze in wrestling. The fact remains, however, that India totals 28 medals in the Summer Olympic Games since 1900, with 24 participations – the same number of medals that this machine of Phelphs got for himself this year alone! I don’t even speak about the Winter Olympics... 9 entries and 0 medal.

India,Indians,sport,olympics,olympic games,football,soccer

India,Indians,sport,olympics,olympic games,football,soccer

Source: Wikipedia

The topic of the moment in India is to understand why Indians are doing so bad at sports. I hear a lot of the absent sport culture, about parents who do not encourage their offspring to pursue sports, that there are not enough subsidies or enough money to make in this field and not enough sports facilities. And nobody says anything about the heat. And that maybe, after generations spent their lives sweating like pigs to make a living and put food in their plates, they don’t feel like chasing a ball for fun? (and anyways they may have become too fat for that)

India,Indians,sport,olympics,olympic games,football,soccerThat said, this is a big generalization to say that Indians are bad at sports. Maybe they do not shine in the Olympic Games, but since they do nothing like anybody else, they also have a whole series of local sports*. Some involving being dragged in the mud by a Buffalo (Kambala). Others fighthing while playing rugby and touching each other (Kabbadi). There are also rowing races boats and canoe and a lot of sports related to archery, wrestling and stick fight, like Kalari in Kerala. Even, at the time of the Vedas (more than a hundred years B.C.), “men of stature and circumstance were expected to be competent in chariot-racing, archery, horsemanship, military tactics, wrestling, weight-lifting, swimming and hunting. The guru-shishya (teacher-pupil) relationship has always been an integral part of Indian sport from time immemorial. Indian sport reached a peak of excellence when Buddhism held sway here.” Less known, these sports have somehow survived and would deserve some attention, if not a Olympic spot! (Bad luck for Indians that cricket and polo were discontinued in the Olympic Games)

india,indians,sport,olympics,olympic games,football,soccerIt is also a big generalization since it seems that India ranked 3rd in the Special Olympic Games of 2015 – a competition for athletes with mental disabilities from 8 to 71 (different of the Paraolympics where competitors have physical disabilities). India gathered 173 medals! The best athletes are not necessarily those you could expect ;)

* Source:


Clichés about India

Questions People From India Are Sick Of Answering: 

1.     “What caste are you?” 

I have chosen to CASTE aside antiquated means of social stratification. 

NB from IndianSamourai: About the castes: post


2.      “How come your English is so good?” 

I’m from the country with the second-largest English-speaking population in the world. You? 

NB from IndianSamourai:Ok but English is a fluently spoken by less than 10% of the population! 


3.      “So, do you speak Hindu?” 

Yup, fluently. And I can say a couple of things in Muslim and Christian too. 

NB from IndianSamourai:Hindu is a religion, Hindi is a language (spoken by about half of the population, though it is the official language).   


4.      “Do people in India really sing and dance all the time like in Bollywood movies?” 

Totally. Just like people in America constantly get attacked by extraterrestrial forces of evil and then saved by leagues of superheroes. 


5.      “Will you get to ride an elephant at your wedding?” 

Can’t make any promises, but an elephant is pretty likely to be involved, yes. 

NB from IndianSamourai:Elephants actually still happen… Though horses are more common and now luxury cars. 


6.     “Cricket is just like…a lame version of baseball…right?” 

APOLOGIZE, TAKE IT BACK, AND NOBODY GETS HURT. This is a really wicket thing to say. 


7.     “Will you pleeeease cook me Indian food?” 

Nope, I will be doing absolutely naan of that. 

NB from IndianSamourai: Naan is a bread commonly used to pick up the food and it sounds like “none” with the Indian accent. 


8.     “Why would anyone get an arranged marriage?” 

Because it’s basically just the original OkCupid. Anything’s easier than dating, amirite? 

NB from IndianSamourai: A post coming on this topic soon! 


9.     “Do you ever get sick of curry?” 

Literally no. Primarily because a couple of other foods are also available to me. I do appreciate your curryosity, though. 


10.   “Can you teach me yoga?” 

I mean…I can try…but you’re probably better off, like…asking someone who knows yoga… 

NB from IndianSamourai: Yoga is not actually so commonly practiced in India; it has picked up lately in the metros after it became trendy in the West.  


11.   “And what’s that other holiday where you throw the colors? I love that one.” 

HOLI shit, you dumb. 

NB from IndianSamourai: Holi is a festival in March when people throw colours at each other. 


12.   “How come India is in Asia but you aren’t Asian?” 

Stfu, man. South Asians are Asians too. 


13.   “Are you Arab?” 

When’s your birthday? I know what I’m getting you. 


14.   “I’ve heard it smells awful. Does it smell awful?” 

You smell awful. And racist. You smell racist. 

NB from IndianSamourai: I have to say, you encounter many “funny” smells… 


15.   “Everyone basically does tech support, yeah?” 

Yup, 1 billion people, all day every day, answering phone calls from America. 


16.   “Do you only eat spicy food?” 

Ya, all my taste buds were singed off at birth so now I can’t taste food unless it’s doused in hot sauce. So glad someone understands.


17.   “Are you ALL vegetarian?”

 NB from IndianSamourai: See: post 


18.   “But you actually do pray to cows, right?” 

I’m praying to a cow right now, asking that you leave me alone. Moooove, bitch. 

NB from IndianSamourai: Ok but they DO worship cows!! See: post 


19.   “Why do you need sooo many gods?” 

They give me the patience and spiritual fortitude to keep from punching ignorant people. 


20.   “Hey, can you help me with this math?” 

I don’t even know enough math to count all the racist assumptions you’ve made today. 


21.   “Omg I love saris! Can you teach me how to tie a sari?” 

Yeeees! After that, let’s paint our nails and give each other bindis and do each other’s hair and stay up all night talking about cultural appropriation! 

NB from IndianSamourai: I was asked by my French dentist whether I was going to work in a sari so I guess it is a justified question. Let’s say that in “corporate” India women don’t really wear saris anymore though they still wear often salwar-kameez (a tunique with some kind of leggings or loose pants). 


22.   “No offense, but like…what’s the third world like?” IMG_0387.JPG

I rode an elephant to school every day and Mowgli was my classmate. 


23.   “Have you ever ridden on top of a train?” 

Only when my elephant was broken and my camel was at the garage. 


24.   “It’s basically just like Slumdog Millionaire, right?” 





The Delhi monkeys

 This story has nothing to do with real facts. Any resemblance to persons having existed was fortuitous.


Imagine a dozen Indians, who left their native land the time of a weekend in the French Alps. Past the first fears (such as missing a flight connection), the first culinary disappointment (not only French food has no taste but above all there is only red meat), here they are, paddling in Alpine rapids.


Is it necessary to say that none of them know how to swim but that only one has had the courage to say it, and moreover not to sign the swimming certificate? After this adventure and a tomato (this is the only thing they found edible in the picnic), they are asked to participate in accrobranche (“a sport in which you climb on trees, and the trees are bounded by ropes, bridges in wood, sometimes you have to get through barrels hanging in mid-air”)!

The organizer is clear: those who have never done it and those who are not in great physical shape, should go for the blue route. For the others there is the red and black (very difficult). I barely have the time to turn that all the Indian team is equipped with harnesses and ready to attack the... black route. But of course. When did you do sport for the last time? Never?? This morning?? Good. No whatsyourname, climbing coconut trees when you were seven does not count. So my friends, now we are going to do the blue track and there is no discussion. You crazy people!!


Good. I turn my back again and they went to the red track, minus two who have already abandoned - an obese one and a shrimp (for them it was the black route or nothing!). This time I don’t interfere, otherwise I'll really offend them. Let us not forget that we have a beautiful brochette of Indian males who are prohibited to show their muscles, jumping in the trees, by a white woman... I reluctantly abandon my blue track and follow them, you never know...


At the third tree, while I am already shit scared and exhausted, we are stopped by a traffic jam. Guess what happened? Nope, it is not my Indians. It is just a big fat South African blonde, who was rappelling down the tree. At the fourth tree same thing. But this time, I witness one Indian, then two, then three, then four, being carried towards land! They are abandoning! Fuck their ego, it’s my turn to have some fun:

  • "Hey guys, so you are giving up??Who told you you should have gone for the blue track huh?”
  • "We are tired, our arms are paining because of the rafting.”
  • "And why exactly do you think I told you to do the blue route?? You don’t think I am also tired?”
  • "So get down too.”
  • "Ah no, I never give up."

And boom this one is for you!!

So I go on with this bloody activity.


And a new Indian colleague has just join me on the red track. I did not know her, so I had not dared telling her to let the black track to the big guys. And yet... She is catastrophed because she had to abandon the black course after two failed attempts at climbing in the first tree. She goes on repeating the same thing until I get irritated and tell her that it’s okay, she had nothing to prove to anyone, we are here for fun.  And finally, while she is clearly exhausted, she chooses the "difficult" option on the last part of the route. She ends up crashing into a net suspended in the air (this was part of the option) of which she proves unable to get out (that is not part of the option). Poor little fly struggling in a net... Someone had to go to her rescue…


They don’t do things half way these Indians!

And needless to say that the French are crazy, they hardly eat anything (and in any case nothing bathing in a sauce full of fat) and they do tough outdoor sports!

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