Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quotable from Nat Geo

National Geographicise - it's the adjective that I am using to describe the gora in the Incredible India ad. It's the adjective I have referred to many times on this blog while telling off namma tourists who come here with their white skin and wide-eyed wonder at all things poor and ratty and tatty and bothersome.

However, that doesn't mean that Nat Geo is a bad thing. It's epic in terms of giving people opportunity to showcase our world in the harsh glare of the reality spotlight. We need to deal with it. We need to see it. We need to understand it.

On that note, I'd like to direct you to an essay. And would like to quote some mild WTf-ery from the Nat Geo stable. The essay is, overall, brilliantly written (I learned a new word "moxie") but has its moments of white-superior gaze that bothers me a little.

Here are a couple of excerpts - "Her mother had moved to her husband's village, as rural married Indian women are expected to do..." & "The very idea that young women have a right to select their own partners—that choosing whom to marry and where to live ought to be personal decisions, based on love and individual will—is still regarded in some parts of the world as misguided foolishness. Throughout much of India, for example, a majority of marriages are still arranged by parents. Strong marriage is regarded as the union of two families, not two individuals. This calls for careful negotiation by multiple elders, it is believed, not by young people following transient impulses of the heart."


  1. I have stopped reading these things I tell you. I dont know what to say also sometimes.

  2. macha, two days after this story got internet coverage... somewhere in TN one 14 yr old got married and then it made front page news... I don't know man... so bizarre this is