Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Singapura Lah !

My first 10 impressions of Singapore:
  1. Singapore is an 'A mall gamation' of multiple cultures - Chinese, Malays, Indians, Australians, Europeans, Americans - all nationalities, religions and fashion styles refreshingly blended.
  2. The women are flawless (with the makeup at least). Perfect skin, hair, legs and weight ! Hard to compete with that - hopefully its balanced off with zero intelligence and a compulsive obsessive desire to shop :)
  3. Dis country Singlish language lah - Go where? So how ? what leh? You go ting ting a little bit, maybe den you will get answer. (In English: Go and think over it for a while and then you might understand it)
  4. Its an urban rainforest and there is constant demolition and renovation going on. There are as many giant cranes in the Singapore skyline as skyscrapers.
  5. Most construction workers are Indians or Bangladeshis or Srilankans.
  6. People speak sweetly; never heard a rude tone - not even in government offices!
  7. There is no significance given to race even in news reports. For example Strait Times reports 'A man was seen carrying his bicycle 40 stories down when a fire broke out in the building.' The news elsewhere would have read 'A man of Indian origin was foolishly carrying his bicycle 40 stories down without any consideration for others' safety'
  8. Chewing gum is not allowed into this nanny state even for personal consumption. Thumbs up to that !
  9. The vending machines have healthy drinks - green tea, soy drink; barley drink anyone ? Better than options available in the US or Japan - google that ;)
  10. Its green, spotlessly clean and the architecture is beautiful. A Singapore post card says it all - 'The old historical buildings were lovingly transformed into karaoke bars and malls'

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tom Dick n Harry

What would happen if the president had the vice-presidents first name? (Year: 2005, Place: USA) He would be called Dick Bush :-) It's kinda funny. But what can the Dicks of the world do? Some devious mind took a perfectly normal name and ruined it for good! Tom and Harry got spared but poor Dick ..

Interestingly enough, in India we love to name our kids - Dick.

One of my (Indian) friends was once asked by his American colleague what his name translated to. He mumbled something about it been another name for Lord Shiva. How would you expect him to translate - Jambulingam? He calls his daughter Kutti Jambulingam (Small BigDick) - spare the child please!

I see Mahalingams, Jambulingams, Chokkalingams ...all kinds... everywhere! Women with last names .. It might be a boost to the egos of the Mahalingams and Jambulingams but what about Chokkalingam - what does chokka mean anyways?

I was blissfully unaware of the meaning of lingam for a very long time ..I've even worshiped it. Research from the most trusted source on the net (wikipedia of course) gave me the following information:
The use of this symbol as an object of worship is a timeless tradition in India; mainstream scholars connect the origin of the lingam to the early Indus Valley civilization. Lingam is usually found with Yoni. It was natural for the tribes of Indus Valley to look at the togetherness of genital parts of the male and female (Lingam and Yoni) as the point of energy, point of creation, and point of enlightenment.

Ok it sounds convincing - but why would Shiva want his particular Lingam to be worshipped? Is it not an intrusion on his privacy? and what about the Yoni? The Shiv Lingam is usually placed in the Yoni but there are not many Yoni worshippers. The feminist in me cannot stand this differential treatment!

In the land of Lingam and Yoni worshippers - we are still a closed society when it comes to sex. We name our children after the lingam but we still shy away from educating them about the basics of reproduction. With a history of child marriages - we jail our young for sitting in parks with the opposite sex.. In the land of Kamasutra - we fear to admit that premarital sex is not so uncommon after all.

Mr and Mrs Lingams of the world - Rise (no pun intended) and defend the Indian tradition!