"I was doing an interview once and the guy said, you must be psyched by all this Slumdog Millionaire stuff. And I was like, umm… Yeah! I am! I have no idea why, though, as I had NOTHING to do with that movie! It’s just that some people who kinda look like me are in it, and everyone loved it and it won some Oscars and stuff. And then I was like, whoa whoa whoa – are white people just psyched ALL THE TIME? It’s like, Back to the Future – that’s us! Godfather – that’s us! Jaws – that’s us! Every fucking movie BUT Slumdog Millionaire and Boyz n the Hood is us!"
I post a lot about the Middle East/South Asia. AND gender AND mental illness AND architecture AND anatomy/medical history AND every other type of history AND boring personal shit no one cares about so I put it under a cut. Hope that helps.
Das Racist is an Art Rap/Freak Folk/World Music/Hare Krishna Hardcore duo based in Brooklyn, New York, comprised of Queens-born Himanshu Suri, San Francisco-born Victor Vazquez and hypeman DAP aka Ashok Kondabolu. The two met at Vassar Art College in Massachusetts, where Victor was Himanshu’s resident advisor in a “Students of Color for Social Justice” themed Freshman year dormitory.
I recently completed an awesome interview with Mr. Charanjit Saini from Surrey India Arts Club. We talked about his life and his love for Bhangra and he shared some amazing stories such as the one about the first Bhangra team in Williams Lake.
The Punjabi community up there was quite sparse in the early 1970’s and centered around the lumber industry. However there was a desire to start a Bhangra team and because Mr. Saini had just come from the renown Khalsa College Jalandhar Bhangra Team he started the recruitment. At their practices the athletic dance moves and driving Bhangra beat would attract audiences and fans. So much so that the very first Bhangra team in Williams Lake was co-ed and made up of Punjabi Canadian boys and Caucasian girls. The above pictures are newspaper clippings of some early performances of the “Khalsa Dancers” named in honour of the Khalsa College Bhangra Team but with a decidedly Canadian spin.
Writing for Time, Joel Stein thought it might be funny to lament the changes taking place in his hometown of Edison, New Jersey, due to an influx of Indian immigrants. But Kal Penn, writing for the Huffington Post, isn’t laughing.
from the original Times article by Joel Stein:
Eventually, there were enough Indians in Edison to change the culture. At which point my townsfolk started calling the new Edisonians “dot heads.” One kid I knew in high school drove down an Indian-dense street yelling for its residents to “go home to India.” In retrospect, I question just how good our schools were if “dot heads” was the best racist insult we could come up with for a group of people whose gods have multiple arms and an elephant nose.
Kal Penn in the Huffington Post:
Growing up a few miles from Edison, NJ, I always thought it was hilarious when I’d get the crap kicked out of me by kids like Stein who would yell “go back to India, dothead!” I was always ROTFLMAO when people would assume that I wasn’t American. He really captured the brilliant humor in that one too!
Kal’s response and others like it = so necessary! (the closing paragraph that relied too much on competitive opressions, less awesome…but the questioning of why the TIMES editors would a-okay that nonsense was also a good point)
"The characters on NBC’s upcoming Outsourced, on the other hand, are flagrantly Indian. The sitcom is about an affable Midwesterner who heads off to India to run a call center. Zany high jinks ensue as he tries to train his Bad News Bears-esque team of Indian employees to sell cheap gag gifts to Americans. You can’t really judge a series from a four-minute trailer, but so far, I’ve smiled and gnashed my teeth in roughly equal measure."
"We are not trying to reduce anyone, including ourselves, down to some generalizing socially constructed label (believe us when we say we’ve thought about this and have lovingly read Himani Bannerji and the like). Its just nice to see pictures of brown people…but we’re not oblivious to the fact that this project has multiple meanings that go beyond narcissistic ethnic navel-gazing…"