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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chp 211. Celebrating India’s diversity



The Amazing Race Asia 3, with participants and race locations based in Asia, had two Indian teams on the race – one was eliminated on the fourth leg while the other Indian team lost in the first round itself.


Neena and Amit Rai
[ source ]

Niroo and Kapil Asrani
[ source ]


Niroo and Kapil were eliminated because the stupid car keys just wouldn’t come out…



The good thing about TARA3 is that it has a very high educational value for us Asians who I must say, are quite "politically incorrect" sometimes, which can be misinterpreted as racism on many occasions.

For example, most Indians utter the word "chinky" to describe people of oriental origin without knowing it has a very harsh and deep racist connotation, or think that people of such origin are all Chinese. Likewise, many people from South East Asia assume all Indians are just… Indians, you know, people who speak the same language, share the same cultural traditions etc. which is definitely not so!

We need to be more aware about what’s going on and how things are around us. Even if we don’t have any personal experiences to learn from, we can always learn it from the experiences of others.

Hence it is a great honor to meet one of the Indian participants of Amazing Race Asia-3 Kapil Asrani - a really funny chap and a colleague of my sister. I decided to interview him on the topic of Amazing Race and Racial differences/stereotypes that he experienced.




Kima: Hi Kapil, thanx again for sparing some time for me and my readers.
Kapil: The pleasure’s all mine Kima.


Kima: So who did you like the most during the race? (smiles)
Kapil: Tish. It has to be Tish. She’s extremely sweet and genuine.


Kima: What did you learn from this race?
Kapil: Number 1. If you don’t know where to go, don’t panic.
Number 2. Cockroaches look & feel even worse the morning after you’ve eaten them!



Kima: What is the one thing you have noticed in all the contestants?
Kapil: That everybody has their own unique weak point.


Kima: ok, let’s get down to racial topics now (smiles). What is the one thing you have noticed when it comes to racial identity?

Kapil: (smiles) Well, for starters, even though I was mentally prepared about the whole racial diversity and stuff, it still sounds odd sometimes when I hear the other contestants curse about the local language of a particular country and how they don’t understand the culture etc. Even though I tried to be as politically correct as possible, it was difficult putting on a straight face.


Were the reception and hospitality you received from the locals nice?

The locals were welcoming, but definitely, there was a preference that was displayed by everyone towards
1. People with similar features
2. (this is a big one) Women!


What do you think could be the reason for this?

Nobody was extremely nasty with us because we’re Indians, in fact some were quite fascinated because we didn’t look like your normal American backpackers, but to be fair, they didn’t know what to expect. Oh hell, we scared them to death too. East Asian countries all have very soft spoken people, and we definitely startled them with our loud behaviour. In any case, what counts is the welcome given to us, which was good, but others on the race had it a little easier.


Did people stare at you like how people over here stare at foreigners?

Oh yes, especially in Vietnam, we noticed a lot of stares, but Thailand, Taiwan etc. were extremely discreet and seemed comfortable with all kinds of people. But again, the polite behaviour stayed till the time we didn’t initiate contact. Once we tried to talk, some people found it funny and laughed at our face, while the others were so scared! But yes, the way we stare at foreigners in India is way above the degree of attention we got there.


Did you feel comfortable being with people of different races?

It was extremely difficult for us to bridge the gap created by the difference in cultures of our country & East Asia. But the people on the The Amazing Race were so cool, that everyone there accepted us irrespective of these differences. Everybody was so warm, welcoming and most importantly, genuine. That is something we really miss even among Indians. They speak and act with their heart, and nobody is afraid of the truth. Love & hate are both taken sportingly. Definitely, even though breaking in was difficult, we were quite comfortable once accepted.


What do you think is the main cause of this race groupism and divide we see in Asian countries?

Teams on the race from Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Thailand, the Phillipines etc. were all on a similar plane, and even shared similar interests. They traveled so much within their sector that everyone knew each others’ cities, cultures etc. It’s only that their life is a far cry from ours. I think this divide is self created by the Indian sub continent & our rigid cultures. While they travel to each others’ countries, we fight with five of our seven neighbouring states. While they claim land from the sea, we take ten years to make a sea link. While they accept gays & swingers, we are yet to acknowledge the existence of a voluntary sex worker (they are rescued!!). No wonder they’ve moved on to better stuff, and we’re caught with regionalism, religion and politics!


Thank you so much for your time Kapil. If you had the chance to take part in this race again, would you?

Absofreakinglutely! Of course I would!





With that ended a great interview. Racial assimilation is tough, but sometimes it is the only solution to universal brotherhood. The other day my office decided to throw a cultural ethnic day and we were all told to come to office dressed in one of our traditional dresses.

Since I didn’t have any Mizo traditional dress like the ones below…


[ image source : kamat’s potpourri ]

[ image courtesy: father_sphinx ]


I decided to come to office in this:




Ah, that my friends, is unity in diversity. There you go. The perfect dress for the perfect interview!

Cheers to India’s rich diversity!




If you enjoy being in a diverse group or a fan of "The Amazing Race Asia" please feel free to digg this post!

39 comments:

Lize said...

lol Kima! You look sooooooo sexy in a dress! :)

illusionaire said...

Hahaha Lize! You're evil :) lolz. You're not allowed to post this link at Travian! *GRIN*

Jinx said...

uiiiss...hnuai lam atangin thli alo thaw thut ang tih avan hlauhawm veee :P

Pixie said...

oooo!! What an outfit!! It boggles one's mind!!! :P
Do I call you smart or sexy or handsome?!!! :P

illusionaire said...

@ Pixie: Don't call me smart, I may not be bright. Don't call me sexy, I may not have a six pack. Don't call me handsome, I may have an accident. Just call me Kima. That never changes.

*Big Grin* ok ok I lifted the style from that "Dont walk in front of me, I may not follow blah blah blah" :P

@ Jinx: Hahahah. i thlir chak hmel thli a rawn thawt lai in :D

Jadu Kumar Saikia said...

awesome, Kima, Nice pics, nice blog, good work.

// Jadu, Assam

Banno said...

Really cool costume. Nice.

Sekibuhchhuak said...

I van chhe lo ve awww..delh delh mai dawn ah :-D


" No wonder they’ve moved on to better stuff, and we’re caught with regionalism, religion and politics! " - Very True.

illusionaire said...

@ Jadu: Thanx :) Also thanx for visiting dude. Nice to see people from the NE here :)

@ Banno: Ah. Thank you :)

@ Seki: hehehe... min star :P

Yup I totally agree with him. Here we are all fighting among ourselves, so its not surprising that people in SE Asia have such great bonhomie with each other.

xxxxxxxx said...

"claiming land from sea"- thats where my office stands on Robinson Road (Singapore)!

howz the job treating u?

Philo said...

To rip off what someone said, "The sandman has aptly spoken!"

Sam said...

Wow... what a dress, labeling your body into three parts is the most awesome part. Excellent idea.

Though I'm not a great fan of the Race, but I believe it will surely promote unity and understanding b/w diff. ppl.

Once again, the pic idea is as we Indians often say, it is SUPER.... superb....

Vikram said...

Very nice post illusionaire. I never really thought that anybody apart from Indians stares at tourists !!!

Almost Unreal said...

Amazing Race..aahhh...one of my favorite shows..sure would love to take part in it

and the pic..makes me wanna hum "sexy sexy sexy...hi sexy hello sexy..." lolzzz

Lucy said...

What can I say??? You look great :D

PS: Lize "meant" to say you look sooo sexy "in a dress" :P

illusionaire said...

@ xxxxxxxx: My God, thats a lot of X's :)

Job's treating me fine! errr... mind if I ask if I know you? Coz a person with so many x's is the kinda person I usually know. lolz :)


@ Philo: Oh thank you, the Philo :)

actually one second thought, I take that "the" part back... sounds like something else when you put "the" and "philo" together! :)


@ sam: :) I could include so many other regions in that picture, if only I was better prepared. It was a last minute announcement in office, so that was the best I could come up with.

illusionaire said...

@ vikram: Thank you Vikram. Yeah its funny, but I guess it happens in other countries too :) Put a camera-man on the streets and you will see hazaar people immediately running to appear in the background of the footage! *GRIN*


@ almost: hehehehe... I know what you're thinking, gurl! :) stop it! Its not hygienic! lolz... :D


@ Lucy: dress or no dress, I am flattered :P lolzzzzz.

Tamilnadu is my second home, and I will always wearing a lungi proudly if the situation arises. I used to wear a veshti (mallu version) during Onam back in School.

Lize said...

Mmm... Kima... I had to come back and have a look at the dress again...

Do you wear something under the skirt or do you wear it like Scotts men?

illusionaire said...

lolzzz Lize. What do you think? *wink* errrmmm yeah I could be commando actually... :D

Lize said...

Aaaahhhh No Kima!!!! I didn't need to see or know that!!! :) :) :) But honestly - do you put pants on under the skirt?

Carey Suante said...

I only hope some sections of Indians don't impose your "dress code" to proclaim India's unity in diversity!:)

Anonymous said...

neena khi interview i chak hmel zawkin ka hria!

who paid for the food?!! remember joey tribbiani ordered for all the muffins at central park when he realised the reporter is gonna pay the bill? :-)

-pi blacki

Sindhu said...

First of all, your outfit is awesome! I love how you combined various parts of India within one outfit. Very creative. :)

Secondly, it was interesting to read the interview. I'm a big fan of The Amazing Race, so it was nice to get an inside scoop on how things were for the Indian team. Haha.

And lastly, nice blog! I'm glad I wandered by!

illusionaire said...

@ Lize: Nah I was wearing my good ol boxers underneath that :) Nice feeling, free circulation of air, like an air conditioner :D

@ carey: Here's hoping they dont :) Imposition of any "cultural dress" is undemocratic if not a violation of human rights.

@ Pi Blacki: That picture was taken at our home here in Mumbai :) Did the interview over Pizzas and... urrrmm... pepsi :D

@ Sindhu: lolz. Thank you for visiting my blog. Love your blog too. Hoping to be frequent there. I guess here in India not many people follow TARA3 as compared to other Asian countries. heehee thanx about the outfit *GRIN*

Lucy said...

Or..maybe there was no boxer underneath...that would have given him an even better circulation :P

Mariuca said...

Ooooooh Sandman! You are looking HOT in this outfit he he! ;)

Mariuca said...

But ur profile pic is still da best, are u winking at me Sandman? He he! :):):)

Naupang^Fel said...

Hihi... quite funny though, very nice one bro :P

mesjay said...

You deserve an award on the costume. And yes, a truly interesting interview.

illusionaire said...

@ Lucy: lolz Matrree :) In Mizo we call that kekawrtethawvengs :P hihihi

@ Marzie: awweeeeee Marzie, of course who else would I be winking at except you (while B is not looking)
*GRIN*

@ Naupang^fel: Thanx bro :) You must be seeing the lower half a lot over there! hehe, have you tried dressing up in one of those?

@ Pi Mesjay: I take a bow :) Dare me to come over to your house and meet uncle dressed in this? :D

Anonymous said...

You talk about India's diversity or so, what about the 60,000 + Kashmiris that were slaughtered? What about the women there that were raped? What about the 200,000 Nagas people of your own kind that were racially abused, and killed over the last 60 years ? What about the North eastern women that were raped and dumped ? People never had a say when this country was created by the British. What about the Sikhs burnt alive in New Delhi ?

What about the Dalits treated like 2nd class animals? Care to answer all that ? Don't tell me its everywhere, cos it ain't in my country I live.

I ain't even North eastern, as far as people can see, you will always remained a chink faced tart to them, and your women are easy picks to most Hindus.

You are a disgrace to your own people, who were made to kneel like dogs, in 1960's aizawl adventure by Indian air force.


Oh yeah, don't even think of abusing the Sikh martyrs, cos we know who you are, and nasty surprises can be expected.

Take your third world rapist rat worshiping Indian entity into it oblivion and ultimate collapse.

Adios

illusionaire said...

Hi there.

I sense a lot of anger in your tone. If you blame everything using the past as an excuse, how can there be a future in anything????

By your logic, do you mean to say people of African American origin should start killing every white in America just because of the treatment they received during Slavery era (and many decades after that) ? Do you mean to say every Jew should rise up in arms and murder any German they see because of Hitler? How can you dwell in the past for so long when there is so much future to build.

Are you suggesting that because of the Indian army "intrusion" into Mizoram during the 1960s and the subsequent murder, rape and bombing of Aizawl by the Indian Army, I should take up arms and plot against India? I wasn't even born then, but when the very same people who revolted against India are now a part of the legally and democratically elected political body and are able to keep the past behind them, why shouldn't I not do the same too? Or do you want to continue seeing more mass murders and rapes?

So what if mainland Indians abuse us as chinkies everyday. Should I just cry like a baby and go back to Mizoram and start a revolution? No! I fight that abuse everyday through different means of communication, so that the next person from the Northeast who comes here will not face the same thing.

I am all open to debate here my friend.

Anonymous said...

Listen Mizo, what a pity the truth of my words sound to you like "angry tone". Perhaps when Sikh lions roar, little mice start shivering.

Let's start by asking you, who decides what is India ? You? Have the people on the ground got the right to decide if they wanted to be part of the Union or not ? Have you conducted a plebicite ? Or too chicken to hold one like they did for East Timor, Eritrea?

The cases you mention regarding United States or Germany are completely different, The Jews and Africans are people who moved into those areas or were brought there by force. They can no longer return back to their former homelands, the Jews have. Africans can't.

Sikhs have been in Khalistan for centuries, we defended this hindu garbage. Several of my own friend and relatives have died at the hands of Indian soldiers.

Have you brought these dogs to trials? Have you gone into areas and seen the atrocities these dogs commit in kashmir ?

The British made India what it is today my friend, in history there was no real India. It was kingdoms ruled by kings. The people never had a say in whose side they wanted to be.

You don't speak for all Mizos and Nagas, you speak for yourself. If you wan't to go assimiliate among the rat worshipers, thats totally fine, no one is asking you to stay in Mizoram. But there Countless others who don't feel the same way about you and want greater destiny in controlling their homelands.

Mizos lost, they lost because you are a disorganized, loose bunch of cowards, Nagas are braver, they still go on and on asking for their rights and voices to be respected.

It is not VANLAL RUATKIMA that decides what Khalistanis want, or Kashmiris want, or Nagalim people want, it is the people on ground that should be given a chance.

Give them a chance. What are you waiting for? Hold a referendum vote and see what happens. These regions were inhabited by people for centuries by their own Identities.

India is nothing but a bunch of third world, corrupt , despotic , meglomanic state, with poor human rights , goonda gardi, go sort this mess out first.

Go sort Bal thackery, raj thackery and others out,

then I will believe your pathetic excuse of a republic is worth it.

Yeah, I am ready for a debate, But as I said, I am not a Mizo and THANKFULLY don't want to be one, if Khalistanis are abused or our Martyrs are abused, you better not seek a confrontation with them. This is a friendly warning. You are one VANLAL RUATKIMA , we number HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF US WORLD WIDE.

so you speak for yourself, and let us speak for ourselves.

Wahe Guruji ki Fateh, Wahe Guruji ki KHALSA, KHALISTAN ZINDABAD!

illusionaire said...

Friend,

Just as you say I don't speak for all the Mizos, what makes you think you speak for all the Sikhs? You speak of Khalistan and glorify it, but then, why may I ask is it a dying cause today? Even today, ask any Naga brother or sister who have assimilated with India and they will still have a strong passion for Nagalim. But ask any Sikh brother or sister about Khalistan and many will not join you in your ideology. Why is that so?

You talk about Plebiscite. Since the church lead the Mizo people, it was the church that decided to become a part of the Indian Union, unlike Nagaland which never wanted to be a part of India in the first place. So you cannot compare Mizoram and Nagaland on the ground of cowardice, just because Nagas still struggle for what they rightfully claim today. Speaking of cowardice, FYI Mizoram witnessed the bloodiest struggle in Northeast's history which was so intense that the Indian Govt had to bomb the entire region. You don't find that anywhere else in India. Is that cowardice?

I admit all of us still have our internal battles, ranging from caste discrimination to regional politicking. But we fight that battle here in our homeland. Why are you in some other country blatantly abusing from a distance under conditions of anonymity... isn't that what cowardice really mean?

Just as you don't want anyone insulting your martyrs, nobody wants you to insult their martyrs either. It works both ways my friend.

Your Khalistan martyrs may not be my martyrs, but those hundreds of Sikhs who died fighting for my country our MY martyrs. Please don't stain their name.

Anonymous said...

Church leaders decided what was good for Mizo people or not ? So that means, there was no real democracy. Was there a ballot box with each and every Mizo on the ground voting ?

You say, The Mizo people gave church leaders the authority, boy boy, that is called autocracy or dictatorship. Thats what every stinking dictator thinks. Ask the Mizo people on the ground, each and every one of them if they want to be part of Hind000sthan.

Church leaders barking out isn't the voice of the people. Democracy is tested using a Ballot Box. Just like east timor.

Do that, and then we can argue if chinkfaces want to be part of India or not.

Secondly, India itself wastes money in your wasted , chink provinces when that money can be better utilized elsewhere in India. Your people are nothing more than a parasitic baggage on the Indian administration.

Even rest of the country does not know your existance and would care any damn less. Producing food to feed your chink population itself is a burden on the Indian Government.

And finally your loose sexual culture is no longer welcome. Get rid of the inner line permit, and then see what happens, you will be driven to extinction.

Oh yes, as far as the Sikh martyrs are concerned, The Akhal takht itself had honored them, the highest temporal body of Sikhs.

The sikhs that died fighting for your garbage of an political union, and 3rd world drain trash are nothing more than dogs and vermin.

Put a ballot box for majority of sikhs to decide wether they want to be part of your 3rd world drain trash, then we can continue this discussion

na na, don't come to me barking church leaders said so, so we obeyed. It shows how shrunk your brains are.

Oh yeah, I just spat on your "sikh" soldiers of India, you try spitting on the Sikh Freeodm fighters of Punjab, I assure you, Gates of hell will open for you.

And nah, your country is way too much in a mess right now to come and protect a chink named vanlal ruatkima.

Mizos lost because they are cowards, not like the Nagas.

Sikhs have gone to every part of the earth, build Punjab as the bread basket to feed your third world garbage, when we by our own independent country standards would have exported food to the world and become among the richest nations.

and where are your chinko mizos? I don't see them anywhere else in the world or even lol in hind-fuk-sthan either, sitting and jumping on bamboo sticks and eating dogs for dinner ?

A dog eater ultimately sympathizes with dogs.

What is needed is for Hindu fundamentalists to enter your province and send your filthy church leaders to burn alive like they did in orisa, perhaps after that the Mizos can vote.

IF you have the "INTELLIGENCE" to vote that is.

Choose your words carefully Mr Ruatkima with all the publicity you have recieved among Khalistanis world wide, they all are watching one little Mizo's blog who after all goes to church ding dong bell on sundays, and fu.cks his slutty slitty eyed gf's pu$$y by monday.

Wahe Guru ki Fateh, Wahe guruji ki khalsa.

Lucy said...

Lol...sianpa su ekhaia... :D
Chhang toh lo mai rawh, inhnial puitling chuang lawng.

illusionaire said...

:-D

gkhiangte said...

guru kim
i dont know wat to say!

im always curious to know how the cameraperson gets his/her tickets while they travel from place to place. does it mean that the team has to buy for them as well? do they ever slow down the team? do they ever help the team in giving directions? etc etc...

jus curious

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