06 April, 2006

O Tempora! O Mores!

I learned, to my dismay, that kids no longer sit "Indian style", they sit "Criss Cross Applesauce". What the fuck?! We invented that shit, man! Give credit where credit is due. All you white people wouldn't know how to sit on the ground if it weren't for us!*

* Also we want credit for the Asian Squat, which I am firmly convinced has a strong genetic component.


if it has a genetic component, the concept and method of the practice probably already belong to an american pharmaceutical company. unless you want to be sued you're going to need to start using one of those portable chairs. 

Posted by hibiscus

You've identified how scholarship panels should determine whether someone qualifies for a grant earmarked for Asians. I wonder if I could pass -- I've been limbering up my calves for years. 

Posted by hedgehog

Heh... even as a kid, it never occurred to me that "Indian Style" referred to Sukhasana . I always though "Indian Style" refered to the way American Indians sat, as they sat around their teepees and smoked their peace pipes and practiced their war-whoops. Le Sigh... 

Posted by DearDarlingDidi

that was what i thought too. later i attributed it to the rapid disappearance of india from US popular culture after the 60s - the adults maybe still thought the derivation was obvious but the explanation was no longer in the cultural text. without the beatles and others hosting it, i thought, maybe the meaning reverted to cowboys-and-indians meanings (with columbus-related irony). 

Posted by hibiscus

I'm totally with Saurabh on this one. That blows. That was 30% of my Kindergarten self-esteem right there.Applesauce? WTF?

I frequently sit, especially on the train, in my Bharat Natyam variant of the Asian Squat--the muzhamandi or full sit, which has the knees flatter and more spread out, and all the wait on the toes, and balls of the feet, not the whole foot. It's probably bad for my arches and maybe even my knees, but it's easier on my back and easier to get up in a hurry, especially with a back-pack. It also feels less awkward and more graceful, but that's probably been pounded into my head by stick-and-block wielding dance teachers.

a grant earmarked for Asians 

Yes, because we all know there are so many of those. . ..  

Posted by Saheli

yeah, i also thought it was "indian style" as in american indians. i was also not taught that cummerbund and punch both come from hindi, that racism is deeply ingrained in the American constitution, or that Americans tend to read the Constitution like it's sacred text. Also the aged World Book encyclopedia in our high school library contained an entry on race that said there were three races: white, black, and yellow. A friend used this to buttress his argument that desis were one third of each.

So much for some/much of what I learned at my $17,000 per student public high school in the $96 million-budget school district :) 

Posted by saurav

Hmm, I guess elitist private school has its benefits. I learned all these things except the cummerbund bit.(I didn't actually know wtf a cummerbund was until much, much later. All about the vest, yo.) And not the race bit. I did learn the more usual 5 races bit, symmetric around Caucasians, but also, in the same breath, that it is bunk. 

Posted by Saheli

=v= Kids in the U.S. get hit with a lot of phony Native Americana. Anything savage or vaguely primitive is called "Indian," and if we acted up we were "running around like wild Indians." "Indian-style" conjured up the idea of needing to sit on the ground because savages don't have such civilized amenities as furniture (and never mind that this often took place in public schools, where such amenities may not be in the budget).

I wonder whether British kids get hit with phony and condescending "Indian" stuff like this. I did get that impression from reading the recently-published reproduction of Lord Baden-Powell's original Scouting for Boys . 

Posted by Jym

i remember thinking, whoever invented sitting like this is very clever. i liked it immensely.

i did the asian squat over the weekend. surprisingly i found that for me maintaining it is a lower back issue, not a leg issue. maybe it's easier for people who frequently carry loads on their shoulders and get used to walking with a high/rearward center of balance, so that their hips and lower backs get more exercise.

"elitist private school has its benefits" - yeah - different theories of indoctrination. public schools use tax money which is given grudgingly for the good of the bounded area so the education better damn impose a mythic narrative of the bounded area on those undeserving young minds. humph. 

Posted by hibiscus

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