Wednesday, October 04, 2006

my home will always smell of curry

this week post secret featured a postcard from an indian girl who secretly wishes she were white because she thinks "it would be easier."

reading that made me incredibly sad.

it's not *easy* for anybody in this world-- we all struggle to fit in. but her note just makes me wonder what the heck must have happened to her/in front of her bad enough to create a secret hope that she were someone else entirely. personally, i think it's all television's fault.

21 comments:

ButterSnatch said...

that 'post secret' blog is pretty interesting. about the Indian girls... the grass is always greener. my wife and i were just talking about this the other day. we live in semi-suburbia. everyone we know that lives in the country, wants t move to the city. everyone we know that lives in the city, wants to move to the country. you always want what you perceive is 'better' or somehow 'unattainable' (in your mind, anyway). the grass is always greener...

it's kinda like that time i was shagging my best friends mom. i was 'secretly' wishing that it was his wife, but i had to settle for his mother. kinda the same, but different;-)

beenzzz said...

It is sad that she wants to be something she isn't. She should embrace the uniqueness!!

ML said...

That is sad, and yes, it does make you wonder why she would wish something like that.

Radioactive Jam said...

That does seem like a significant, wholesale change. Bigger than say, wishing you had more this, less that.

So imagine you're the girl's magic genie. How would you persuade her to *not* make that wish, assuming you could - and for our purposes, should - try to do so?

cc said...

I think you're right, Cadiz. People all have issues, as evidenced by reading Post Secret. People wish they weren't gay, wish they wouldn't let their boyfriends hit them, wish they weren't mentally ill. Self-doubt is something we all have, and it's easy to look at a person standing next to us and think that she has it all. But you never know what lies beneath. As for TV/Indianness, I am rooting for Anchal to win ANTM! She is gorgeous.

Ale said...

i dont think its the TV's fault, i think its her PARENTS' fault for not raising her to understand her own culture, to understand that yes there are differences in cultures of the world, and to show here the good and exciting things about her culture that she should be very proud of!

whats really sad is that so many parents out there have NO CLUE what they're doing!!!

Jon said...

I agree with Ale. It’s extremely easy to have kids, but it’s extremely difficult to be a parent. I also agree with the greener grass theory. I know a few green grass “lookie loos” (I’m going to need a spell check on that last term) and they are always convinced that someone/something is better because of A or B. There’s not a whole lot of satisfied people out there. One person thinks life is hard because of their ethnic background, one person thinks it’s hard because of their gender, one person thinks it’s hard because of their economic status, one person thinks it’s hard because of their sexual preference, one person thinks their life is hard because of their religious choice… you name it, everyone has an excuse for why their life is hard. Life is just hard period. And for several different reasons. If you want to let that hold you back, that’s your choice, but I’ll bet if people got what they thought they wanted, they still wouldn’t be happy. You think those things will solve your problems, and sometimes they will, but in the process, they just create new problems that you didn’t have before. I think it’s pretty hard to accept that. I know I haven’t. I’m just like everyone else. I think there are ways to solve my problems, and if I ever have those problems solved, I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of new ones to take their place. It’s going to be awesome ;)

I don’t really like to offer solutions to these kinds of problems, I prefer to offer a bleak view of the future :)

Gloria Glo said...

I completely agree. We've become a society of "exceptions" - we believe OUR life is so much harder because of whatever category we fall into. Well - news flash - no life is easy or hard. We're all just on a journey - not to sound all new-age. But really...it's just how it is.

Anonymous said...

I think human nature is to want what you don't have. And it is a mark of maturity to accept what you have and learn to not just cope with it but to embrace it and love it.

Dodging all those tomatoes, the only person I think it's fair to blame for one's unhappiness or dissatisfaction is one's self. While she doesn't have the ability to change her ethnicity, no one else does either. Not even Michael Jackson. But no one can change her attitude about herself - except herself, so if she doesn't do it, she can only blame herself.

cadiz12 said...

you guys are right; you can't change your circumstances, but it may be better to make the most of them rather than whine about what you don't have that may just *seem* easier.

as far as America's Next Top Model contestant Anchal goes, i'm worried that somebody is going to start bitching about her weight. i've been paying attention to the editing and it looks like every time they cut to her, she's eating. i'm sorry, but she's one of the more *realistic* body types on there and she looks very thin to me. and i'll let you in on this secret of the Auntie Patrol: food=love in indian culture.

speaking of which, if i were secretly-ashamed-indian-girl's magic genie, i'd say if she became white, maybe she'd have to work a little harder to get in touch with her heritage, because caucasian immigrants have been in this country longer for the most part than indians (the majority of whom came here after 1965) and are farther from the immediate connection to their countries of origin. of course there are exceptions.

then i'd bring her a steaming plate of samosas with green and red chutney, some piping hot potato paratas, some sizzling tandoori chicken, some fresh-out-of-the-clay-oven naan, some butter chicken, and some luscious rass malai for dessert. oh, and some masala chai and mango lassi to drink. and then i'd show her some gorgeous lehngas and saris and say she could pick any one she wanted to wear to a lavish indian wedding reception that will last for days with food, dancing and allaround merriment.

and then i would ask her to think again about giving all that up just so things would be "easier."

and if she said yes, i'd get dressed up, eat till i burst and roll my way out to that wedding myself!

jazz said...

i think all people reach points in their life where they're miserable and they hate themselves. some more than others.

she'll get over it. she'll learn.

Radioactive Jam said...

Cadiz, due to an acute lack of exposure to (relatively) exotic food, I recognized like, three words in the meal(s) you described... and still my mouth watered. How do you do that - are those secret spells or something?

And if my memory of a regrettably lame college humanities class isn't completely broken, I think some of the Buddha's main teachings were 'life is filled with suffering,' and 'suffering stems from desire.' If so, one might wonder about cause and effect in this girl's case.

The thing to do of course is Deal With It i.e. acknowledge the realities of life, good or bad, and get on with living. Oh, and - there's a good chance something (or someone) else occupies the Center Of The Universe, someone other than me. Sometimes difficult but always good to focus my attention beyond myself, that's all.

cadiz12 said...

well jam, i can't take the credit. the food (when prepared by the right person) speaks for itself. i highly recommend a lunchtime indian buffet -- cheaper and you get to try a little of everything.

life is hard; i'm sure none of us would disagree. the mindgames that come with selfloathing are part of the package, but they definitely don't make it any easier.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how 13 posts could be made on this topic without anyone addressing the horny elephant in the room. Buttersnatch couldn't pork his best friend's wife so he decided that second best would be the vaginal entrance said friend entered the world through? Nasty. Gross. And milfing your friend's ma isn't the same as struggling to overcome racial barriers.

Modern Viking said...

I wish we lived in a world where that sort of thing didn't matter...

Andy said...

I guess we all face hardships as we come to learn our lot in life. Personally, in the past I have wished I simply was someone else and had a different life - but I soon learned that I'm not all that bad.

However, I haven't faced violence, racism, intolerance or poverty. SO my initial worries are meagre compared to these items.

It's worrying how society applauds tolerance, and politicians bang on about the pros of diversity... but being "not white" is still a barrier.

omar said...

Life as a whole may not be easier, but the fact is that SOME things ARE easier when you're not part of a specific group.

My old college roommate (who is white) used to say, half jokingly, that he wished he was black because then he would have had better chances at scholarships. For me, I think that it would have been easier to find a job if I wasn't a black guy with an Arabic name.

But while there are situations where I think it would be "easier" to be something I'm not, I have learned (as many others have already mentioned) that nobody's life is "easy."

cadiz12 said...

personally, i think it's the racism that sucks the worst, because now that being a bigot isn't p.c. anymore, it's much more subtle and will come at you when you least expect it.

i got a pretty prestigious internship in college, before which there was a week where they got all the candidates together before we went off to our different companies. during that time in one of the seminars, this white girl from arizona turned to me and insinuated that that maybe i only got one of the thirteen spots in the country because of the color of my skin.

that really got into my head and i started thinking maybe i didn't deserve to be there and i only got it to fill some stupid quota. it really took away from what i got from the seminar. the very last day they gave back our entrance exams and it turned out i had the best score in the entire group. in fact, we all admitted spending the week feeling like we were the weakest link in the bunch. after a couple of days, that girl had become pretty cool with me and at the end we exchanged contact information. but i never forgot what she said at the beginning and no amount of compliments she gave me later could take that back.

now i realize they probably didn't know my ethnicity because none of my names are indian, i don't have an accent beyond midwestern and the interview was by phone.

but it just goes to show that while being of color may seem like it offers better chances at scholarships, someone who isn't may never stop to think about the pressure that system applies to being above and beyond expectations so that no one will ever question your selection.

Demosthenes said...

I saw that postcard. That site is pretty powerful in all regards. They say exposure breeds tolerance, but personally I believe the opposite. For example, growing up, my hometown couldn't be less diverse. Despite that, whenever we'd head over to Chicago, Detroit or Toronto for school trips or whatever, nobody could believe the kind of racism that went on. Some kids had never even seen a non-white person, but they couldn't for the life of them figure out why they'd be any different. In the case of Arab discrimination, no amount of exposure or unexposure will affect that in the US. It's just a bad situation in general, and can be blamed on a select few who have caused their own stereotype to bloom.

I think Carlos Mencia is right. We should encourage open borders all over the world to speed up the racial merging of the human race. The sooner we're down to one shade, the sooner television will be out of business.

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Guyana-Gyal said...

All I can say is, I agree with Ale. It's true, it's what our parents teach us...if it wasn't television it would be the fashion mags. or the internet...something we'd blame.