people of south asia

passive aggressive reminder that more than two genders and transgender people have existed for millennia

reminder that colonialism forced native societies to revert back to their gender assigned at birth or be killed

reminder that there has been Mahu in Hawai’i until it was forcefully taken and colonized by white america

reminder that there were Hijra in South Asia until britain colonized it and forced every Hijra person into concentration camps the same time the german holocaust was happening

reminder that We’Wha was lhamana who served as an Ambassador to the Zuni people in 1886 to Grover Cleveland and was arrested for witch craft

reminder that in ancient Egypt there were people who were transgender and Egyptologists say that it was just people who were “buried wrong”

reminder that there are thousands of societies and cultures lost because of white colonization and we will never hear their stories

reminder that when this isnt taught in school it erases the history of people of color and queer people 

Tomorrow is International Rromani Day!

This is a reminder that-

  • Rromani are a diasporic people from south asia, mostly scattered across Europe.
  • Rromani are treated appallingly through out Europe- sterilizations, segregated education, mass evictions, attempted mass deportations of actual citizens, illegal registries made by governments to track peaceful Rromani citizens, and not surprisingly crime against Rroma often goes unpunished. Oh, and these are the current issues.
  • To Non-Rromani- Dont call us G*psies, its a racial slur stemming from the fact that people thought we came from Egypt. 
  • To Non-Rromani- Dont call yourselves G*psies. It ain’t your word to reclaim, and dressing up like a bellydancer doesn’t make you Rromani. I’m looking at you Rennfair people.


Other than that, if you have the time, show support for your Rromani friends. Whether its looking up current articles and educating yourself, deciding to eradicate G*psy from your vocabulary if you didnt know it was a slur, or just reblogging their April 8th selfie with a kind word. Showing support and spreading awareness will mean a lot.

This 23-year-old student of Mardan University in Pakistan was brutally beaten and murdered by his fellow college-mates who accused him of blasphemy. I’m still shaken by the video of him being dragged across the university while being constantly kicked and thrashed until his clothes became bloody and he lost consciousness.

RIP, Mashal.

And RIP, people who are delusional enough to believe they have the right to take another man’s life in the name of religion.

People act like Western fashion is the pinnacle of the fashion world and I’m just like???? Have you seen the luxury in South Asian fashion??? The elegance of a silk sari, the power of a big red bindi and a turban, the sleek, trim lines of a sherwani is unparalleled in the fashion world. The West knows nothing of the luxury that the people of South Asia have been creating for thousands of years

The people for Tony Stark?

Okay, I was talking with my sister about how awesome it would be if in the wake of Civil War, that the people/public in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, EVERYWHERE! Just showed a subtle but strong solidarity for Tony Stark/Iron Man using what Tony is super into. Technology.
Like, picture this:
Hashtags; Tony is trending for MONTHS.
“I stand for the man that stands with me👏🏽 #IStandWithTonyStark #CaptainAmericaWho?”
“#IronMan with a #ironwill for the people and what’s right!”

People view the footage of the airport battle from the grainy cameras posted all over like crazy because someone uploaded it to YouTube. It’s not the best but you can see how team cap just didn’t pull any punches and how Tony had tried to talk despite not hearing what he’s saying. He looks broke , trying to hold everything together.
People lose their minds when they see Cap’s team charge first and when Rhodes falls from the sky and Tony dives after him.
The comments light up and bbbuuuuurrrrrnnn team cap.
“lmao what a fucking joke. tony is trying to talk to him and do you see this guys body language? he’s not hearing anything. Dude wouldn’t even listen to a team member let alone 117 countries”
“LOOK AT THEM, THEY LET THE HYDRA WITCH BITCH ON THEIR TEAM IN NOTHING FLAT BUT GOD FORBID THEY LISTEN TO IRON MAN”
“Yooo, legit they just kept flying after seeing War Machine go down like that? I saw Falcon turn around but I don’t care man, you’ve LIVED and FOUGHT with this dude and he’s obviously seriously hurt and you just keep flying away in the jet you stole??? Cowards. Pathetic.”
“They really look like they’re trying to kill the real heroes. Fuck I’m glad we have Iron Man and Co. with us”

People organize a day online; through tumblr, twitter, insta, Facebook, any way to get the news out that you wear red on this day and you just subtly grab a pen and draw a circle in your palm for a repulsor just like Iron Man’s. And everything blows up that way. News networks talk about it and talk show hosts, the paper has articles on how the public is showing an unimaginable support for Iron Man and the rest of his team that stayed and fought for them and continue to fight for them during the revision of the Accords.

And I want it to be on the news so much that team cap has to watch it and has to know how much everyone loves Tony and what he’s doing and how he went about it. And how he is an actual hero who did his best and how much the public believe and appreciate him.

The Okinawan Language

Anybody who has studied Japanese and Linguistics will know that Japanese is a part of the Japonic language family. For many years it was thought that Japanese was a language isolate, unrelated to any other language (Although there is some debate as to whether or not Japanese and Korean are related).

Today, most linguists are in agreement that Japanese is not an isolate. The Japonic languages are split into two groups:

Japanese (日本語) and its dialects, which range from standard Eastern Japanese (東日本方言) to the various dialects found on Kyūshū (九州日本方言), which are, different, to say the least.

The Ryukyuan Languages (琉球語派). Which are further subdivided into Northern and Southern Ryukyuan languages. Okinawan is classified as a Northern Ryukyuan Languages. There are a total of 6 Ryukyuan languages, each with its own dialects. The Ryukyuan languages exist on a continuum, somebody who speaks Okinawan will have a more difficult time understanding the Yonaguni Language, which is spoken on Japan’s southernmost populated island.

Japanese and Okinawan (I am using the Naha dialect of Okinawan because it was the standard language of the Ryukyu Kingdom), are not intelligible. Calling Okinawan a dialect of Japanese is akin to calling Dutch a dialect of English. It is demonstrably false. Furthermore, there is an actual Okinawan dialect of Japanese, which borrows elements from the Okinawan language and infuses it with Japanese.

So, where did the Ryukyuan languages come from? This is a question that goes hand in hand with theories about where Ryukyuan people come from. George Kerr, author of Okinawan: The History of an Island People (An old book, but necessary read if you’re interested in Okinawa), theorised that Ryukyuans and Japanese split from the same population, with one group going east to Japan from Korea, whilst the other traveled south to the Ryukyu Islands.

“In the language of the Okinawan country people today the north is referred to as nishi, which Iha Fuyu (An Okinawn scholar) derives from inishi (’the past’ or ‘behind’), whereas the Japanese speak of the west as nishi. Iha suggests that in both instances there is preserved an immemorial sense of the direction from which migration took place into the sea islands.”
(For those curious, the Okinawan word for ‘west’ is いり [iri]).
But, it must be stated that there are multiple theories as to where Ryukyuan and Japanese people came from, some say South-East Asia, some say North Asia, via Korea, some say that it is a mixture of the two. However, this post is solely about language, and whilst the relation between nishi in both languages is intriguing, it is hardly conclusive.

With that said, the notion that Proto-Japonic was spoken by migrants from southern Korea is somewhat supported by a number of toponyms that may be of Gaya origin (Or of earlier, unattested origins). However, it also must be said, that such links were used to justify Japanese imperialism in Korea.

Yeah, when it comes to Japan and Korea, and their origins, it’s a minefield.

What we do know is that a Proto-Japonic language was spoken around Kyūshū, and that it gradually spread throughout Japan and the Ryukyu Islands. The question of when this happened is debatable. Some scholars say between the 2nd and 6th century, others say between the 8th and 9th centuries. The crucial issue here, is the period in which proto-Ryukyuan separated from mainland Japanese.

“The crucial issue here is that the period during which the proto-Ryukyuan separated(in terms of historical linguistics) from other Japonic languages do not necessarily coincide with the period during which the proto-Ryukyuan speakers actually settled on the Ryūkyū Islands.That is, it is possible that the proto-Ryukyuan was spoken on south Kyūshū for some time and the proto-Ryukyuan speakers then moved southward to arrive eventually in the Ryūkyū Islands.”

This is a theory supported by Iha Fuyu who claimed that the first settlers on Amami were fishermen from Kyūshū.

This opens up two possibilities, the first is that ‘Proto-Ryukyuan’ split from ‘Proto-Japonic’, the other is that it split from ‘Old-Japanese’. As we’ll see further, Okinawan actually shares many features with Old Japanese, although these features may have existed before Old-Japanese was spoken.

So, what does Okinawan look like?

Well, to speakers of Japanese it is recognisable in a few ways. The sentence structure is essentially the same, with a focus on particles, pitch accent, and a subject-object-verb word order. Like Old Japanese, there is a distinction between the terminal form ( 終止形 ) and the attributive form ( 連体形 ). Okinawan also maintains the nominative function of nu ぬ (Japanese: no の). It also retains the sounds ‘wi’ ‘we’ and ‘wo’, which don’t exist in Japanese anymore. Other sounds that don’t exist in Japanese include ‘fa’ ‘fe’ ‘fi’ ‘tu’ and ‘ti’.

Some very basic words include:

はいさい (Hello, still used in Okinawan Japanese)
にふぇーでーびる (Thank you)
うちなー (Okinawa) 沖縄口 (Uchinaa-guchi is the word for Okinawan)
めんそーれー (Welcome)
やまとぅ (Japan, a cognate of やまと, the poetic name for ‘Japan’)

Lots of Okinawan can be translated into Japanese word for word. For example, a simple sentence, “Let’s go by bus”
バス行こう (I know, I’m being a little informal haha!)
バスっし行ちゃびら (Basu sshi ichabira).
As you can see, both sentences are structured the same way. Both have the same loanword for ‘bus’, and both have a particle used to indicate the means by which something is achieved, ‘で’ in Japanese, is ‘っし’ in Okinawan.

Another example sentence, “My Japanese isn’t as good as his”
彼より日本語が上手ではない (Kare yori nihon-go ga jouzu dewanai).
彼やか大和口ぬ上手やあらん (Ari yaka yamatu-guchi nu jooji yaaran).
Again, they are structured the same way (One important thing to remember about Okinawan romanisation is that long vowels are represented with ‘oo’ ‘aa’ etc. ‘oo’ is pronounced the same as ‘ou’).

Of course, this doesn’t work all of the time, if you want to say, “I wrote the letter in Okinawan”
沖縄語手紙を書いた (Okinawa-go de tegami wo kaita).
沖縄口さーに手紙書ちゃん (Uchinaa-guchi saani tigami kachan).
For one, さーに is an alternate version of っし, but, that isn’t the only thing. Okinawan doesn’t have a direct object particle (を in Japanese). In older literary works it was ゆ, but it no longer used in casual speech.

Introducing yourself in Okinawan is interesting for a few reasons as well. Let’s say you were introducing yourself to a group.
In Japanese you’d say
みんなさこんにちは私はフィリクスです (Minna-san konnichiwa watashi ha Felixdesu)
ぐすよー我んねーフィリクスでぃいちょいびーん (Gusuyoo wan’nee Felix di ichoibiin).
Okinawan has a single word for saying ‘hello’ to a group. It also showcases the topic marker for names and other proper nouns. In Japanese there is only 1, は but Okinawan has 5! や, あー, えー, おー, のー! So, how do you know which to use? Well, there is a rule, typically the particle fuses with short vowels, a → aa, i → ee, u → oo, e → ee, o → oo, n → noo. Of course, the Okinawan pronoun 我ん, is a terrible example, because it is irregular, becoming 我んねー instead of  我んのー or 我んや. Yes. Like Japanese, there are numerous irregularities to pull your hair out over!

I hope that this has been interesting for those who have bothered to go through the entire thing. It is important to discuss these languages because most Ryukyuan languages are either ‘definitely’ or ‘critically’ endangered. Mostly due to Japanese assimilation policies from the Meiji period onward, and World War 2.
The people of Okinawa are a separate ethnic group, with their own culture, history, poems, songs, dances and languages. It would be a shame to lose something that helps to define a group of people like language does.

I may or may not look in the Kyūshū dialects of Japanese next time. I’unno, I just find them interesting.

I will tell you what it’s like, to be me, in my country
I am a 22 years old girl, in Vietnam, a third world country. Let’s not sugar coat it. Living here is not easy, let’s not sugar coat that either.

I have not been to all countries in the world, but i have been to a lot, always travel solo. I have two passports, one is full since i was 20. Yet, every single time i cross another border, I got stopped, and held at immigrations, sometimes up to 6 hours; asking why am I here alone, what do I want to do in their country, why am I dressing so little, do I want to be a whore or do I want to get married here? They told me :“Vietnamese girls usually go with their husband, family or tour groups. We find it unusual that you are alone”.

Living in Vietnam, doing what I do, is being under the spotlight, and being invisible at the same time. It is being congratulated for being one of the most influential people in South East Asia, and listening to my father tell everyone he has 2 kids instead of 3, it’s being hid away because of my mental health issues. It is being yell at by strangers walking along the street I was born at, loved by strangers on the other side of the earth; it’s when I went to casting in LA, they tell me to go home because they already got one asian. It’s being questioned every single day, am I truly a Vietnamese, even though I put my country flag on my bio.

“how are you a Vietnamese? you are way too weird”

It is despite the fact that I am sober &I tell everyone to stay the fuck away from drugs in my biography book, it got cut off so, so much, because no, in Vietnam we don’t swear, we don’t do drugs, we just look the other way and pretend your problem doesnt exist, let’s just pray it goes away

It sucks to not be on the “popular” side of Asia. So many people up here on the Internet pretending to be half Korean, half Japanese, the others that are truly Filipino, Vietnamese, Cambodian hide their nationality away. Why are you ashamed of the blood in your veins? I am a Vietnamese and I am proud, and I am angry for being mistreated by people who could not see me more than the color of my skin.

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World Indigenous Peoples Day is almost coming to a close and I’d like to share pictures of myself in my traditional attire.

I am an indigenous woman (or an adivasi as known in South Asia). Today has been fairly good. Since Mom and I couldn’t go outside due to our fear of a terrorist threat ever since July 1st happened, we both decided to go on our fairly adequate rooftop garden for a mini photo shoot.

Our attire is known as Pinon-Khadi. Pinon is the wrap around skirt I’m wearing and the khadi is much like a scarf but it is wrapped over the blouse and draped to the side like a traditional sari. Alas I do not own original Chakma jewellery so I had to make do with some baubles I bought from fairs.

This has been a small lesson on Chakma culture from a small blogger.

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CHEERY RED - photography by Tarun Chhabra, National Geographic Your Shot - text: Janna Dotschkal

‘Tarun Chhabra’s 15-year effort to capture Indian culture in a “self-initiated” photo project has yielded this “good and rare picture” of Holi celebrants in India. Holi is the Hindu festival of love in which participants splash each other with bright colors that represent “energy, life, and joy.” Chhabra writes of the experience, “I was kneeling down in the middle of a group of people who were singing bhajans (devotional songs). People were throwing lots of water and colors, and I was fully drenched … My eyes were filled with water-and-color paste, and this was very irritating and painful. With great difficulty I tried to slightly open my eye … and found the beautiful moment unfolding just in front of me. People … were singing devotional songs, and red color was flying like clouds. This amazing moment [gave] me inner strength, and I dared to open my eye slightly more to compose the picture.”

1) ©Tarun Chhabra 2) ©Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images 3) ©Kevin Frayer/AP Photo 4) ©Achal Mishra

When A Liberal Bad Mouths America, It’s Because They Haven’t Been Anywhere....

What gets me about liberals, is they probably have NO idea about the world in general. Yet, they wouldn’t sit down with me for five minutes to hear about the REAL world. I’ve been places people! Europe (England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Germany), Africa (Nigeria, Morocco), Asia (China, Japan, South Korea), Southeast Asia (Malaysia), South America (Venezuela), Mexico, Trinidad, Gibraltar, and the Bahamas (Freeport). I’ve been to all those places. And I’m not talking about ‘vacation’ spots. I’m talking about where the people of these countries REALLY live. I’ve been in Nigeria where I had to have armed guards around me 24 hours a day. You know why? Because there were over 120 million Nigerians who lived hand to mouth every day. They lived in corrugated tin and rotted wood shacks with dirt floors and would cut my throat for a dime if they could get to me. I was rolled by security for one thousand Naira in the Lagos airport. I was rolled by security for a bag of candied popcorn at the Port Harcourt airport. You do not resist. You give them what they want or you will have a whole new ‘welcome to Nigeria’ experience. I saw a naked woman outside our compound, bathing in an algae infested mud hole because she didn’t have a home or running water. You want to talk about how sorry THIS country is? I’ve seen the oppressed. With my own eyes. I bought my Nigerian bodyguards a beer ONE time, and then was told they would kill for me. For a beer!!!! I’ve seen squalor, disease, pestilence, danger, suffering and misery in my travels, Mr. and Ms. Liberal. What have YOU seen? I’ve seen people taxed to death in Europe. I’ve seen where women are nothing more than third class citizens and used as furniture in Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa. I’ve been in airports with pigs, goats and chickens running loose. I have had to go through military checkpoints, wondering if a trigger happy soldier might just mow us down with his automatic rifle. I have seen an AK put up against someone’s head and was praying the thing didn’t go off. I have seen people brutalized because they did not back their car up fast enough from an intersection to let us by. I was almost kidnapped in Malaysia. I had to fight my way out of two bars in China. I have been to places where twenty year old women would let me do anything I wanted to them for a chance to come to the U.S. I didn’t, but I could have. I have seen men work their asses off for pay that a hamburger flipper here would laugh at. And you know where I thank God I live? Do you know where I kiss the ground? It’s here, Mr. and Mrs. Liberal. For no matter how bad and ugly and repulsive you think the USA is, there is NO place in the world better to be. You need to thank whatever god you pray to that this is where you live, and then take your liberalistic crap and throw it away. Drop on your knees and be grateful for where you were born and live, people. Or else go out and see for yourself. Then come back and tell me how sorry this country is. Nuff said.

5 Misconceptions About India

1. Indians do not speak Indian. Sort of like how Chinese is not an actual language (shocker right?). There are many languages in India, with Hindi being the most popular.

2. Saying the word ‘desi’. Desi usually refers to Southern India but overtime it has grown to refer to India as a whole. It is easier than saying Indian because then people get confused with Native Americans. Desi is also associated with countries that share the same cultural values as India, like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.

3. Not everyone in India lives in poverty. Yes there is poverty in India, but there are also some filthy rich people.

4. Bindi’s are not tattoos. The amount of people who have come up to me and asked me if they are tattoos is somewhat insane. Why would you get a red dot tattooed on your forehead? They are actually sort of like a sticker that you put on your forehead. Also bindi’s are not only red dots, they come in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

5. Curry in general. What most western people think is curry is actually what is known as sabzi (sub-gee). Sabzi is a mixture of vegetables. It is usually known as curry when there is meat involved. ex. Chicken Curry, Fish Curry. The actual curry is the sort of gravy portion of the dish.