Recently we saw a young Indian woman commenting online about the Miss World 2013 winner being from the Philippines. She goes by the name Devina DeDiva and she became one of the most hated people on the world wide web
especially by members of the filipino community worldwide. The reason we noticed it was because my partner is from the Philippines. The things Devina said sounded more like she was talking about servants/slaves rather than real people from another country.
Hate groups soon formed on social media against this young woman. So what if she's in Singapore, she is of Indian heritage, does that make a difference?
We must remember that this young lady is from a country which still has a 'caste' system where they
can look down on members of their own race so why wouldn't she say these things about another race foreign to her? The trouble is she was saying it from Singapore and Singapore has rules about online racism. Her bosses were made aware of it and fired her by
the sounds of it. According to the talk going round, her supervisors were filipinas, perhaps it was more to do with this fact that the young woman let spray?
Somebody apparently dug
into her online profile and saw that she was educated at the University of Manchester. Goes to show that even a university education can not divulge oneself of ones base attitudes. Maybe we could say that “she's just young and silly and made some stupid
comments to friends which got out of hand and went viral”?? Perhaps she should ask herself who spread what she said, took the screenshots and let it go viral. Was it one of the friends who stuck up for filipinas and why would they spread this bile,
was it to embarrass her and make her wake up to herself? Is this just the attitude of one, I don't think so.... however they're not just in India, racism exists world-wide.
was a television series here in Australia titled 'Dumb, Drunk and Racist' hosted by Joe Hildebrand.
This series took a group of people, including an international student, from India and showed them the best and worst of Australia. Mostly, because Indian students had begun to think that Australia is a racist country because of the vile actions
of a few. Perhaps we could return the favour and see what the reaction would be, eh Joe?
Like a lot of countries, India prides itself on spirituality and beautiful places,
famous buildings like the Taj Mahal and this attracts tourism. My own father recently visited India and said upon his return that “there were some lovely places there Son but you
probably won't want to go as the begging would drive you insane”. However, also like most countries, India has problems with reported 'gang rapes' and extreme poverty.
While trawling the internet around the online racist comments of one lass, i found a story from another young lass who went to India as a student. The following is supposedly her story....
From: Glendon Garan
India: the Story You Never Wanted to Hear
When people ask me about my experience studying abroad in India, I always face the same
dilemma. How does one convey the contradiction that over the past few months has torn my life apart, and convey it in a single succinct sentence?
“India was wonderful," I go with, "but extremely dangerous for women.” Part of me dreads
the follow-up questions, and part of me hopes for more. I'm torn between believing in the efficacy of truth, and being wary of how much truth people want.
Because, how do I describe my three months in the University of Chicago Indian civilizations
program when it was half dream, half nightmare? Which half do I give
Do I tell them about our first night in the city of Pune, when we danced in the Ganesha festival, and leave it at that? Or do I go on and tell them how the festival actually stopped
when the American women started dancing, so that we looked around to see a circle of men filming our every move?
Do I tell them about bargaining at the bazaar for beautiful saris costing a few dollars a piece, and not mention the men who stood watching
us, who would push by us, clawing at our breasts and groins?
When people compliment me on my Indian sandals, do I talk about the man who stalked me for forty-five minutes after I purchased them, until I yelled in his face in a busy crowd?
Do I describe the lovely hotel in Goa when my strongest memory of it was lying hunched in a fetal position, holding a pair of scissors with the door bolted shut, while the staff member of the hotel who had tried to rape my roommate called me over and over,
and breathing into the phone?
How, I ask, was I supposed to tell these stories at a Christmas party? But how could I talk about anything else when the image of the smiling man who masturbated at me on a bus was more real to me than my friends, my
family, or our Christmas tree? All those nice people were asking the questions that demanded answers for which they just weren't prepared.
When I went to India, nearly a year ago, I thought I was prepared. I had been to India before; I was a South Asian Studies major; I spoke some Hindi.
I knew that as a white woman I would be seen as a promiscuous being and a sexual prize. I was prepared to follow the University of Chicago’s advice to women, to dress conservatively, to not smile in the streets. And I was prepared for the curiosity my
red hair, fair skin and blue eyes would arouse.
But I wasn't prepared.
There was no way to prepare for the eyes, the eyes that every day stared with such entitlement at my body, with no change of expression whether I met their gaze or not. Walking to the fruit seller's or the tailer's
I got stares so sharp that they sliced away bits of me piece by piece. I was prepared for my actions to be taken as sex signals; I was not prepared to understand that there were no sex signals, only women's bodies to be taken, or hidden away.
I covered up, but I did not hide. And so I was taken, by eye after
eye, picture after picture. Who knows how many photos there are of me in India, or on the internet: photos of me walking, cursing, flipping people off. Who knows how many strangers have used my image as pornography, and those of my friends. I deleted my fair
share, but it was a drop in the ocean-- I had no chance of taking back everything they took
For three months I lived this way, in a traveler's heaven and a woman's hell. I was stalked, groped, masturbated at; and yet I had adventures beyond my imagination. I hoped that my nightmare would
end at the tarmac, but that was just the beginning. Back home Christmas red seemed faded after vermillion, and food tasted spiceless and bland. Friends, and family, and classes, and therapy, and everything at all was so much less real than the pain, the rage
that was coursing through my blood, screaming so loud it deafened me to all other sounds. And after months of elation at living in freedom, months of running from the memories breathing down my neck, I woke up on April Fool's Day and found I wanted to be dead.
The student counselors diagnosed
me with a personality disorder and prescribed me pills I wouldn't take. After a public breakdown I ended up in a psych ward for two days held against my will, and was released on the condition that I took a "mental leave of absence" from school and went to
live with my mother. I thought I had lost my mind; I didn't connect any of it to India-- I had moved on. But then a therapist diagnosed me with PTSD and I realized I hadn't moved a single inch. I had frozen in time. And I’d fallen. And I’d shattered.
But I wasn't the only one, the only woman from my trip to be diagnosed with PTSD, to be forced into a psych ward, to wake up wanting to be dead. And I am not the only woman who is on a mental leave of absence from the University of Chicago for reasons of
sexual assault and is unable to take classes.
Understanding my pain has helped me own it, if not relieve it. PTSD strikes me as a euphemism, because a syndrome implies a cure. What, may I ask, is the cure for seeing reality, of feeling for three months what its like for one's humanity to be
taken away? But I thank God for my experiences in India, and for my disillusionment. Truth is a gift, a burden, and a responsibility. And I mean to share it.
This is the story you don't want to hear when you ask me about India. But this is the story you need.
Now, we could say this is simply yet another 'silly young woman' making stories but is it or is this the reality? Well, I don't know
because i've never been to India and besides, i'm an older white guy and therefore unlikely to have the same issues! People have told me in the past that India is a spiritual place. I will say this, that i have met a number of people from all over the world
including India and I've had no problems, i've had more problems here in Australia with my own kind i.e other white guys! I have written about 'multiculturalism'
in a previous post. In fact, I have defended my classmates (who happened to be Indian and Chinese) at university here in Australia against a rather insulting tutor. I am not trying to blow my own trumpet, just showing that i have no time for racism or racists.
Although i had heard from several in the academic community that Indian and Chinese students were being seen as the most likely to use fraudulent methods to get ahead, to get their degrees.
Surely, cheating is not confined to these communities? Perhaps it was just that these two communities comprise the greatest number of students in the student population? However, in the workplace too, I have seen evidence of Indian workers claiming to have
done more than others when it is later proven that they're not doing the right thing. This was not isolated to one workplace but two separate work environments. How to explain this and/or do we even need to explain this?
Unfortunately, every country i know of has a racist element. I have travelled to quite a few and in the next post, i will talk about my international/overseas adventures. One example that comes to mind is the
United States of America, the great bastion of freedom and democracy, has a problem with racism. Even with a black President and a 'melting pot' of nations represented, they are still battling with black v white, a leftover of the slavery days and a fear of
crime. These issues form part of the reason for America's 'Gun Culture'. Many countries in Europe have problems with racism too, it is not a one country,
one people problem but a wider human race issue. These racist elements often use violence in these countries as their outlet, think the KKK and neo-nazi Skinheads.
A lot of asian countries that i have visited have racist elements, in fact it usually has to do with the darkness of skin colour. Darker skin, to the
asian community means one is considered poorer and less attractive i.e been working out in the fields labouring whereas lighter skin means is associated with wealth and therefore more attractive more than simply looking after their skin. I have heard stories
of skin bleaching in order to make one whiter. People try to stop the darkening of their skin in these cultures by covering their faces and limbs when in the street, even while riding a motor scooter. In fact, i have seen girls with long gloves and face masks
riding scooters around just so they can stay light. I saw this in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, less so in Philippines but the pressure to be light skinned rather than dark is still there.
It is strange to me as an Aussie because our culture is one that used to worship the sun, it is changing due to melanoma scares and the fear of skin cancer. Used to be the 'bronzed Aussie'
was the ideal here and he was not considered poor by any means. It's more likely that he was wealthy and had time to spend in the sun, probably spending a lot of it at the beach. We have seen our own young Aussies wrap themselves in the flag and commit acts
of drunken racial abuse. Cronulla... anyone??
These instances are pretty rare thankfully, however they do happen. The Cronulla riots were seen by some as a reaction to the racist and sexist attitudes of a few Lebanese lads. These lads saw 'aussie girls' as 'easy' and were pretty determined to have them any way they could. Apparently, it was then that
a couple of Lifeguards intervened and these lads set upon them. These events caused a reaction from certain sectors of the community fuelled by nationalism and alcohol. Perhaps we should ALL have a good hard look at the countries we are from
not just the ones we live in and the attitudes of those within instead of putting others down.