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dalits in india
hazara in afghan
Probably everywhere, people find some groups to discriminate again. And a lot of time the discriminated would just accept it that way. “The resigning eyes of a sacrificed sheep.”

You know what’s oft said by tourists/travelers, how children in developing countries still enjoy themselves despite all their daily (and very likely lifetime) hardship, unlike the spoilt kids in materially advanced countries like the U.S.? i wonder if that’s true, that the lack of material wealth, instead of not “corrupting” them, blunt them? just see all the street kids struggling with hunger… what does it mean for them to grow up? not having the joy that’s commonly associated with childhood: being free from all concerns, what’s the word, carefree? and another truth is that, poor people here can get by with so little. we don’t want to use the word “development,” ok, but poverty is still a reality.

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– hawaii, stop on the road to greet and talk with each other: they’re being friendly
– rural vietnam, cycle or walk in the middle of the road, they are being lawless, or at best oblivious to the notion of traffic roads

– new york, pedestrians jaywalk and disregard traffic lights, they’re being New Yorker
– hanoi, pedestrians jaywalk and disregard traffic lights, well, it’s just typical in a developing country.

people tend to be on the look out for you, to go out of their way to help you
you’re unlikely to get into a fight with a stranger
you can see married women who never show their faces to any men not directly related to them (father, brothers, children), except the husband.
It also means:
feticide
infanticide
In India, a conservative estimate claims 0.5 million missing girls a year.
In China, the sex ratio is 119.6 male : 100 female (CIA world factbook reports an 111:100), compared to the global 105:100. In the two southern provinces of Hainan and Guangdong, it’s 135.6 and 130.3, respectively. This skewed ratio has lead to a constant threat of cross-border kipnapping for Vietnamese women.

It doesn’t spare the “developed” South Korea and Taiwan either. No wonder about the overseas bride demand.

yay! everyone’s fav topic.

Vietnamese: small, mostly As and smaller. Seems to have been so forever and i haven’t seen much change in the past 10 years or so despite our diet heading into a new path. And for stupid reasons, we are still so embarrassed about it and can’t embrace it as part of our figure and feature.

French: have to say i’m not quite sure since i was there for only 6 months and it was cold most of the time so despite their fashionableness, people bundled up (in black or grey) so it was hard to judge. I’d say mostly As and Bs, look quite proportional to their shape.

American: huge. I’ve seen guys in Vietnam goggled their eyes out at Bs. In the U.S. Bs and Cs are such a common sight. Ds are fewer, but you still see them around.

Indian: have the most beautiful breasts that i’ve ever seen, no matter what size they are, from the skinniest to the chubbiest.

A side note: In the U.S, i wear an XS, sometimes an S, hate that feeling when i go shopping and find that every top and dress looks weird on me because of the bubble that my breast can’t fill in.
In France, I wear an S, clothes generally don’t have that breast “pocket” and plus, once i wear bras, my breasts have better shape so they fit better. However, my American friends had a lot of trouble finding something that gave their breasts enough space to breath.
In VN, I wear an M or an L (!?!?!) And sometimes, I ind things that would look like a binder on me, even when I’ve taken off my bras. Crazy. And have to keep in mind that my breasts are super small, like a typical Vietnamese.

– The second time that everyone around is staring straight into my eyes because of my physical difference. The first time was in Algeria. Except that this time the boys aren’t murmuring or screaming “Chinoise” to my face. And except that this time sellers and service workers of all types are trying to get more rupees out of me. Uhm, I’m probably biased. They try to do that to everyone inexperienced, Indians and non-Indians alike.

– Surprisingly low number of non South Asians on the street. First day, 2 East Asian looking persons. Second day, downton, some East Asians, some whites.

– Rickshaw, bus, tram, metro, auto, auto, rickshaw: that’s how i got around the first day. I think i’ve put my butt on every single kind of public transport here. And one reason why you shouldn’t expose too much of your flesh here is that it IS crowded, well except on the rickshaw.

In one of these auto-rickshaws, about 1.2 m in width, I once found myself with 1 high school boy plus 5 full-sized Indian adults, by which I mean people whose body girth is 1.5 to 2.5 times bigger than mine.

– Coming here after having retrained myself in Vietnam for + 2 months, I was still in total shock at the driving mentality. Autos dodge to the right, sway back to the left. The drivers here can certainly compete in Algeria and Vietnam; and I suspect that they’d win. Sometimes you find, only a few meters in front of your auto, hundreds of vehicles all rushing toward you. Another time, the back edge of a huge bus only half a span from your thigh.

Another scenario: inside a tunnel, cramped with cars and autos and buses, all within a few milimeters from each other, ALL HONKING, for no reasons, just like it was the most pleasurable thing to do on earth.

anecdote #1
The 2 granddaughters of my host mom came over for a few days during their school vacation. At the end of their stay, my host mom had to take them to their other grandmother’s. I asked her if it was far and she replied it wasn’t, it was in Grenoble.
Thought to myself: and they never pay visit to each other (or do they and I’m not aware?)

anecdote #2
asked Aurélie if she went home often. She wanted to clarify what I meant by often because from the point of view of a French, yes, but from that of an Italian, no.
I turned to Cristiano: so by Italian standard, do you go home often? – No, but for me that’s enough. From Milan it takes about 3 hours by car and I go home once every couple of months or so. But I have friends who come home every weekend, that’s the Italian way.

anecdote #3
if asked where’s my native place [quê], i’d say Nam Dinh because that’s where my grandfather was born and brought up, even though i don’t even go there every year, and i’ve stayed overnight there only ONCE my whole life, and because it was a trip with Hoa.

anecdote #4
A little bit more than a month ago, my parents went to Thanh Hoa for the death anniversary of Ngo Ro, the grandfather of the founding father of my dad’s village in Nam Dinh. It’s said that during the war, for fear that the bomb would destroy all the seals and tablets of Ngo Tu (son of Ngo Ro and father of the village founder), the people in Thanh Hoa had to borrow a car to carry everything to Nam Dinh. After seven, eight hundred years and tens of generations (each of them had probably at least ten children), they could still keep track of all the family annals and know for sure where everyone was. That takes a lot of talents.

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