Things that bother me

Ethnocentric English Classes: A Rant of Sorts

There’s a horrible stigma out there that all of us Indians are terrorists who eat curry all day and have poor hygiene. Obviously that’s not true. But there’s always that one brown kid (guy or girl) that really does smell like masala and never washes their hair and just ruins it for the rest of us. There’s a girl at my school who has her own stink cloud around her. Literally. You can’t get within a four foot radius of her without being attacked by the smell of coconut oil, day-old curry and achar. And she leaves a stink trail so you can always tell where she’s been. I mean really, have ya heard of perfume?!?… Or soap?

There’s also always that one Muslim kid whose really socially awkward and religious. They give me second-hand embarrassment. They’re as awkward in school as I am in the masjid. There’s a lot of awkward hijabis at my school. My phone just autocorrected hijabis to hijacks. Apple is racist. And so is ‘Merica.

Is this rude? You probably think I’m being really rude. But it’s really not because I’m Indian too. That makes it okay, right? …probably not. (But who cares? No one reads this blog thing anyway)

So why am I ranting about smelly Indians and awkward Muslims? Cuz people in my school smell bad. And they’re weird. And they really aren’t helping with the whole “Islamaphobia” thing. And I’m sick of being asked if I eat curry! I don’t eat da friggin curry! Nobody eats friggin curry! I don’t even know what curry is! And no, I am NOT being forced into a marriage to some random pakistanian dude after high school. Where are them white folks getting these ideas from? Oh yeah! I know. It’s the stupid books we read in English class! (This rant actually has a point, guys.)

In English we are reading the book God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting a sista and embraced the brownness and all that, but why is it that every time we try to get some diversity into the curriculum, it’s always at the expense of the students’ opinion about the culture in question?

This book reveals the hard truth about the caste system and emphasis on gender roles and traditions in India, which doesn’t make for a very positive first impression. Many of the kids in this class have no idea what’s going on half way around the world, and I feel like its unfair that THIS is the part of India they see. It doesn’t help that the teacher makes a point of emphasizing how different “their culture” is from ours and how strange it is. He focuses on the corruption, and not the emphasis on family values and tight knit communities and the thousands of years of history. Instead he choses to teach the class about the crazy Indian woman with the weird name who beats her children and tells them she doesn’t love them, and how the country’s corruption fueled their incestual love for each other.

I have nothing against this book. It is interesting and heartbreaking and well written, but it was definitely not a good choice for the class. There are plenty of other perfectly good books he could have chosen instead. It’s the same as how Slumdog Millionaire pissed off everyone in India. I mean, the book is great if you’re Indian or you can appreciate the culture, but if you hand it to an American who doesn’t understand the culture, it’s just not okay. Maybe I should write a book about how messed up I think American culture is just so they know how I feel…am I the only one who gets pissed off about these things?

Honestly I feel like we always read the bad things about other cultures, and we never hear what’s wrong with American culture. I just really wish they wouldn’t look at things from an outsider’s perspective. Sorry this rant wasn’t very funny. I’m just really pissed that people are stupid and don’t know anything. And guess what our next book is!?! The Kite Runner. Fml.

Moral of the story: Don’t be a smelly/awkward Indian. I WILL hold it against you. (And America is racist) Just kidding!

4 thoughts on “Ethnocentric English Classes: A Rant of Sorts

  1. Hey Kid(trying not to patronize)… as we say here in England “many a true word spoken in jest”, that book by the way God of small etc is an award winning novel and your teach believes it represents great literature, back in the day it was “To kill a Mocking Bird” but times change …. but ideas don’t really change that much, different stereotype but same suspicions…nothing changes that much… nice blog by the way!

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    1. Thanks for commenting! I’m not trying to bad mouth the novel. All I’m trying to say is that a bunch of ignorant, overprivilaged high school students wouldn’t appreciate the book for what it is because they don’t understand the culture in the first place. And with all due respect, you haven’t met my teacher. He’s a racist, insensitive pervert. I could write an entire post about all the disgusting and annoying things he does. But I agree, it is a good book. But thanks for taking the time to read my blog 🙂

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