their high school principal
told me I couldn’t teach
poetry with profanity
so I asked my students,
“Raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Holocaust.”
in unison, their arms rose up like poisonous gas
then straightened out like an SS infantry
“Okay. Please put your hands down.
Now raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Rwandan genocide.”
blank stares mixed with curious ignorance
a quivering hand out of the crowd
half-way raised, like a lone survivor
struggling to stand up in Kigali
“Luz, are you sure about that?”
“That’s what I thought.”
they won’t let you hear the truth at school
if that person says “fuck”
can’t even talk about “fuck”
even though a third of your senior class
I can’t teach an 18-year-old girl in a public school
how to use a condom that will save her life
and that of the orphan she will be forced
to give to the foster care system—
“Carlos, how many 13-year-olds do you know that are HIV-positive?”
“Honestly, none. But I do visit a shelter every Monday and talk with
six 12-year-old girls with diagnosed AIDS.”
while 4th graders three blocks away give little boys blowjobs during recess
I met an 11-year-old gang member in the Bronx who carries
a semi-automatic weapon to study hall so he can make it home
and you want me to censor my language
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
your books leave out Emmett Till and Medgar Evers
call themselves “World History” and don’t mention
King Leopold or diamond mines
call themselves “Politics in the Modern World”
and don’t mention Apartheid
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
you wonder why children hide in adult bodies
lie under light-color-eyed contact lenses
learn to fetishize the size of their asses
and simultaneously hate their lips
my students thought Che Guevara was a rapper
from East Harlem
still think my Mumia t-shirt is of Bob Marley
how can literacy not include Phyllis Wheatley?
schools were built in the shadows of ghosts
filtered through incest and grinding teeth
molded under veils of extravagant ritual
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
“Roselyn, how old was she? Cuántos años tuvo tu madre cuando se murió?”
“My mother had 32 years when she died. Ella era bellísima.”
they’ve moved from sterilizing “Boriqua” women
injecting indigenous sisters with Hepatitis B,
now they just kill mothers with silent poison
stain their loyalty and love into veins and suffocate them
Ridwan’s father hung himself
in the box because he thought his son
was ashamed of him
Maureen’s mother gave her
skin lightening cream
the day before she started the 6th grade
she carves straight lines into her
beautiful brown thighs so she can remember
what it feels like to heal
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
“Luz, this… by
this right here…
“What’s Genocide?” by Carlos Andres Gomez (via pavelchekovbodypillow)
Always will be one of my favorite spoken words.
(Source: gringoallstar, via diariesofamoderngypsy)
‘your language sounds so harsh.
why do you seem so angry when
you talk on the phone.’
and all I can reply is,
‘it is not my fault
-answers to the opressors questions
A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?
The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.
Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.
We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.
Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.
The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.
And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.
So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too. by
Why a Bindi Is NOT an Example of Culture Appropriation
by Anjali Joshi
Bhai Beant Singh with the help of Satwant Singh got revenge for Operation BlueStar by killing Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi in 1984. Beant Singh left behind his wife and children on the day of the assassination after trying to shield Satwant Singh from getting shot by the other guards. Satwant Singh was wounded and arrested. He was tortured for years till his execution in 1989.
Satwant Singh was engaged to Surinder Kaur, months before the assassination. Satwant Singh told her to get married to someone else because he wanted her to have a family and live a happy life. Satwant Singh’s father asked her if she wanted to marry Satwant Singh’s younger brother Sarwan Singh but she declined. She told her soon to be father-in-law that she had made Satwant Singh her husband a long time ago and that his brother is like her brother.
His fiancé married him in his absence by marrying his photo in an Anand Karaj.
Another love story.
This is so sad but beautiful. True love
She was one strong woman.
Don’t be slutty, don’t have sex. But be sexy. If you’re too sexy though and you get raped, then that’s you’re own fault because you’re not actually supposed to listen to us about being sexy, even though we tell you your value is derived from how sexy you are. If you get into a position of power, we will assume that you used your sex appeal to get there and not your brains and we will mock you even though we told you the only thing that mattered was your sex appeal. Make yourself accessible to me, but holy shit stop being so desperate and needy. Don’t be a tease. If we want to have sex with you, don’t friendzone us, even though we just fucking told you not to have sex. by
patriarchy proverb (via stfueverything)
WELL THAT ABOUT SUMS IT UP
Map of the World by Natural Skin Color
i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening
actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d.
THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.
Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.
because it helps to remember this every now and then.
Also did anybody else notice that they removed the “Elton John’s AIDS foundation” logo from Miley’s picture? Fuckin’ agendas everywhere….
I literally threw a mini fit
The fact that they even touched up the woman in the BACKGROUND of the Selena Gomez pic is crazy.
I’ve said this every time it comes on my dash but please also notice that a lot of the women get photoshopped lighter.
this makes me fucking sick
is nobody going to comment on how they removed miley cyrus’s arm
like sure they made her look skinny but she’s mISSING AN ARM
I dont reblog a whole lot but this kind of stuff makes me sick. This is why girls today hate their own figures, they are forced by a bs media agenda to try to look like women who DO NOT EXIST. This needs to stop.
(Source: bright-happy-healthy, via jaggi)
Exploring the Golden Temple of Amritsar
For more photos and videos from the sacred site in Amritsar, explore the Harmandir Sahib and Golden Temple location pages.
In the city of Amritsar in India’s Punjab region, the Harmandir Sahib (ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) stands as the most sacred site of the Sikh faith.
The temple, or gurdwara, was first constructed in the 2nd century after the excavation of the holy lake in which it stands. Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, designed the temple as a central place of worship for his faith. The architecture and decoration of the site are marked by details symbolic of the Sikh worldview. Notably, a series of four entrances open onto the lake from all sides, welcoming visitors of all faiths.
After suffering substantial damage during a wartime attack, the temple was rebuilt in the 1700s and later adorned with its signature gold exterior in the early 19th century. Now, the temple itself houses the Adi Granth, the central religious text of Sikhism, as well as memorial plaques and inscriptions for commemorating sacred sites, events and the Sikh soldiers who died in the World Wars.
Burn away all your outer attachments,
burn them away and
with their ashes make an ink
and with your conscious self,
go on writing the praises of God. by Guru Nanak (via two-browngirls)
The 27 Million Diaspora pt. 2
My camera equipped with a 50mm, tried to capture the celebration of diwali at a Sikh Temple (Kalghidhar Gurudwara) in Abbotsford.
The houses I had they took away from me. The times
happened to be unpropitious: war, destruction, exile;
sometimes the hunter hits the migratory birds,
sometimes he doesn’t hit them. Hunting
was good in my time, many felt the pellet;
the rest circle aimlessly or go mad in the shelters. by George Seferis, Thrush (via sacreamour)