So much respect for that.
I wish somebody had told me this when I was raped.
So much respect for that.
I wish somebody had told me this when I was raped.
Kinshasa Symphony, The Congo
“The film shows how some people living there have managed to forge one of the most complex systems of human cooperation ever invented: a symphony orchestra performing composers like Handel, Verdi, Beethoven. “Kinshasa Symphony” shows Kinshasa in all its diversity, speed, colour, vitality and energy. It is a film about the Congo, about the people of Kinshasa and about music.” via
watch the trailer for the documentary here
for more info on the project click here
by Nandita Das
From the time I came into the public domain and have been written about, 9 out of 10 articles start by describing me as being dusky or earthy. A reference to the colour of my skin doesn’t escape the best of journalists.
The prerequisite for being an actress is to be fair. So I guess it is essential to qualify anything that is an aberration. Or, is it simply a manifestation of an inescapable conditioning? I can say from my own experiences that the colour of my skin definitely featured in most introductions and comments about me, right from my childhood. From people saying, “poor thing she is so dark” to “you have nice features despite being dark”. Had it not been for my parents, for whom this was not a topic of conversation, I would have grown up believing I was just not good enough. Thanks to them, I defined myself through nurturing many different interests. How I looked was unimportant. It was only in later years I realised how fortunate I was.
I have often wondered why are we supposed to feel proud or ashamed of attributes that we are born into. I have done nothing to be born as a woman, a Hindu, an Indian or dark. But then there are choices I have made through the years that have been mine and if I must be judged, let those be the ones. But this is easier said than done. I am shocked to see the rise in the number of fairness creams, dark actresses looking paler and paler with every film and magazines, hoardings, films and advertisements showing only fair women. You could ask what is there to be shocked, as all this has always existed. But with more women in the work force, voicing their desires and concerns, more debate about gender equality and sensitivity, one would imagine that racism of this sort would be on the decline.
Of course, now the insecurities of men are also surfacing with equal number of fairness products for them. Such pressures and so little public debate around it! Am I over-reacting here? Whenever I interact with college students, especially young girls, I invariably get a question to the effect, “How come you are so confident despite being dark?” It took me some time to understand its ramifications in its entirety, but when I went deeper I realised how inadequate so many young girls felt purely because they couldn’t live up to the societal standards of beauty. Every film and women’s magazine told them how ugly they were. It made their personalities shy, hesitant, insecure, not good enough. I grappled with how to make them understand the worthlessness of this pursuit as I took my confidence for granted.
Gradually I found myself championing the cause of colour! When a sales-girl tries to sell me a fairness cream or a salon woman insists on bleaching my skin, I find myself giving them a lecture against it. Perhaps, some of it is unwarranted as they, too, are victims of that same system. Strangely, how educated or affluent you are has no bearing on this prejudice.
Desire for a fair child makes some parents believe that drinking milk first thing in the morning will ensure a fair child. A friend of mine suffered his entire childhood as his brother was fair and he was asked how come he turned out to be so dark. There is no dearth of such stories that we all would have heard, experienced or perpetuated in some way or the other. What with fairytales like sleeping beauty talking about “who is the fairest of them all” and Snow White and Barbie dolls becoming role models for little girls. Right from our childhood the message is clear, and in later years it is only reinforced in many ways. Film songs call a girl gori (fair) or “pardon the dark because it has a good heart” in a song like kale hain to kya hua dilwale hain. Look anywhere and everywhere, there are blatant and subtle reinforcements that only fair is lovely.
Nandita Das is an award-winning Indian film actress and director. She is well-known for starring in the 1996 film “Fire.” Submitted by Minal Hajratwala (http://www.minalhajratwala.com) Click on Nandita’s picture to go to the original article. The second photo was submitted by Ami.
No words are enough to describe how much I love this woman.
Oh, there are quite a bit of languages spoken by my people! The ones I’ve shown here are just a part of my assortment of languages, with Farsi being the most widely spoken by a little more than half my population. All the languages spoken by my people are, of course, pleasant to the ear~
((I’m no linguist, so excuse me if I don’t have extensive information about Iran’s languages, since there is some discourse over the categorization of the languages spoken in Iran :’)
First off, yes, Persian or Farsi is what’s spoken by a majority of people in Iran, and itself has a variety of dialects and accents. The accent of a Persian speaking Isfahani is different than a Persian speaking Tehrani, which may be different than a Persian speaking Yazdi and so on. Persian has also been referred to as the ‘language of poetry’, and along with Farsi, Dari [spoken in Afghanistan], and Tajiki [spoken in Tajikistan] share similar traits as Persian.
Azeri is spoken most notably in the Ardabil province, and concentrated heavily in the city of Tabriz [located in another province near Ardabil]. Iranian Azeri may be different than what is spoken in Azerbaijan because Iranian Azeri has been influenced by Persian lexicon and other linguistic elements [and this is more apparent when discussions in Azeri turn more academic].
Kurdish is also spoken by Iranian Kurds [however, not all Kurds may identify as being ‘Iranian’ or ‘Syrian’ or ‘Iraqi’ Kurds, so be mindful] in Northern, Western, and Southern Iran and has a variety of dialects as well, as I’ve mentioned in the Kurdish panel.
Gilaki is a native language of Iran, spoken by the Gilaki people mostly concentrated in the Gilan province, and is considered to be similar to Mazandarani, a language spoken in the Mazandaran province.
Arabic is prevalent among Iranian Arabs living in Khuzestan and even further south near the Hormozgan province. Arabic is also taught in schools as the language of the Quran, though native Arabic speakers in Iran have their own dialect(s).
Balochi is spoken by the Balochi people, and Balochis exist in Iran, Pakistan, and even in Oman. They live in the area of what is now known as Balochi-Sistan, thought to Balochis, this is just referred to as Balochistan [and again, be mindful of Balochis’ identification, they have a distinct cultural identity and may not always adhere to nationalist labels like “Iranian” or “Pakistani” or “Omani”].
Other languages not listed: Bakhtiari [a native language of the nomadic Bakhtiari people, in the same language family as Persian], Lori [the language of the Lori people, also in the same language family as Persian], Mazandarani [mentioned above as the language of Mazandarani people, similar to Gilaki], Turkmeni [spoken by Turkomen], Qashqai [spoken by the nomadic Qashqai people of Iran], there are even small pockets of people speaking Pahsto, Hindi, and Somali as well!))
Oh my god, this is so cute.
So I was wandering through my dash and I came across this graphic that had been much reblogged and I thought: these are all really hot guys who are talented and awesome, but it would also be nice to have a graphic that celebrated the diversity of hot dudes that fandom loves. Vania of VLC_Photo made this for me — if I’ve left off the hot dude of your choice, and I am sure I have because I could only fit a few dudes, and I would really have liked to fit Elyas M’Barak
and Robbie Magasiva —
for instance…. anyway I encourage you to make .gifs of your own. I mean, tumblr is for posting pictures of hot dudes, right?
* the dudes, not in order: Tyler Posey, Idris Elba, Hrithik Roshan, Diego Boneta, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Godfrey Gao, Kiowa Gordon, Daniel Henney, Anthony Neely, Lenny Kravitz, Jesse Williams, Aldis Hodge, Michael Trevino, Dennis Oh, Dev Patel
Adding Firass Dirani because dude is hilarious and incredibly gorgeous.
As seen on Facebook. (posted by Homestead Survival)
A sweet lesson on patience.
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. “Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing,” I told her… “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued in a soft voice. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.” I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
“What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered.
“There are other passengers,” I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light… Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life…
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
Khaled Al-saai, uses Arabic calligraphy as the basis for expressing his emotions and thoughts; ultimately breaking down the formal relationship between the words and their meanings. The letters immediately explode onto the canvas and are intertwined in a variety of colours and shapes; largely inspired by the artist’s experiences of architecture, landscapes and the overall environment, evoking different sensations amongst the viewer. This ultimately allows the viewer to look ‘beyond the words’ in my opinion and see the calligraphy as a medium for expression.