Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not So Hot For Cheerleaders

So I was at a friend's place, watching one of the IPL cricket matches on TV. It was Twenty20, so it was 3 hours long at most, and packed excitement, drama - and cheerleaders. Of course, his wife comes into the room at the exact time as the camera focuses on the cheerleaders.

"Oh, I thought you guys were watching cricket? This IS cricket? You should CHANGE THE CHANNEL!!"

My friend's house was not the only house troubled by the new phenomenon of cheerleaders in cricket. It seems the girls leave some in India hot and bothered.
India's leading socio-historian and writer, Ramchandra Guha, dubbed the phenomenon of cheerleaders despicable and degrading for the game of cricket.

"All the organizers are doing by making scantily-clad white women dance in front of huge crowds is to stoke the base, voyeuristic and sexual insecurities of the Indian male [emphasis mine - Mezba]. It is revolting, appalling and shows the game in very poor light," a disturbed Guha told HT.Rediff
Some of the cheerleaders are not that enthralled with the behavior of the crowd either.
Tabitha, who says she's originally from Uzbekistan, added, "Wherever we go, we do expect people to pass lewd, snide remarks but I'm shocked by the nature and magnitude of the comments people pass here. Be it a 70-year-old oldie or a 15-year-old kid, they all letch at us and make amorous advances. I feel very threatened. We are here to entertain them, to add a bit of glamor, but we are living in constant fear (of someone attempting something)." Hindustan Times
One commentator on Rediff says "Show some respect for cultural sensitivities maan. Grow up. You seem to be groomed under western materialistic philosophy which treats woman as commodities and less of as personalities. It's the great Indian tradition that has given utmost value to women; and Indian women have by far lived up to the expectations and the respect they command in the society." Of course when it's white women than all bets are off ...

I have always wondered why societies that give such "lofty status" to women, treat them as "pearls", have problems with their men behaving lecherously when seeing some scantily clad women, and then BLAME THE WOMEN. It's YOUR hormones.

As for me, I am just enjoying the cricket. Could I have done this post without the cheerleader pictures? Absolutely. But then, I wanted to add some glamor to this post! :-P

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Facebook Friend Add Request

Overheard today on the bus:
Dude 1: "Man! I had like over 10 Add-as-Friend requests! I went through them and now there's only 1 request left ... it's been there over a month and I still haven't accepted it. I just don't WANT him to be added to my facebook!"

Dude 2: "Who's the request from?"

Dude 1: "It's from my Dad."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

South Asians Most Visible In Canada

According to the latest census, South Asians are now the top visible minority group in Canada, outnumbering those of Chinese descent. Canada also has more South Asian Members of Parliament than from any other minority group, and politics in Canada has also become "browner", as evident by this BBC article.

Of course when Canadians talk of South Asians, they are talking mostly about peple with Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan origin (curiously the Star article references a country called "Tamil"). Bangladeshis are statistically insignificant (for now) even though we have our own town in Toronto, something Pakistani-Canadians cannot say!

What does all this increase in numbers mean for us? Does Canada now get more 'brownie' points? For the moment, beyond more samosa and halal stores, beyond more shops selling pirated DVDs, beyond more Desifests and cricket clubs, at the moment I don't see much changing.

Yes, it will be talked about for a while but in the end, what matters is action. And as the Star article correctly notes after the first few paragraphs, employment conditions for immigrants and those with foreign degrees in Canada remains abysmal. None of the foreign degrees are recognized and one could spend years trying to achieve accreditation. All this potential is lost to Canada. If you are a Muslim hibabi immigrant, you have a triple whammy.

I have been to Bangladeshi organizations where any meaningful cooperation is impossible because the top people are hung over their political differences. And this is not even politics in Canada - it's about who is a Awami League and who is a BNP supporter! These are political parties in Bangladesh! It is said if there's three Bangladeshis in a room there will be two political parties with one independent.

Numbers don't mean a thing unless people can get organized and united in demanding change. After all, Muslims are now the top religious group in the world (according to the Vatican), and fat lot of good it is doing to us!