vulture without culture

Thursday, January 27, 2005
Mr. Keerthy (bonda... we called him) used to say "If you have no culture, you're a vulture".
After all these years, that and "Don't be cold, be bold" are all i remember about his classes. Well, all he did for my classes was substitute and spend the whole period catching various kids and coming up with weird phrases to tell them. The culture vulture thing stuck. If anybody remembers more phrases, please post them.

my issue however, is not with the term "culture vulture". Even though i find it extremely upsetting to my stomach, I can deal with the fact that people use it


i have a problem with malayalee pentecostal culture. maybe i'm a mimic man. read v.s. naipaul...
or maybe i'm like moses trying to leave egypt and rediscover his jewish heritage. i wonder if moses ever felt like this around the israelites. Am I supposed to be the guardian of mallu culture? Shouldn't I be conforming to "godly culture". Does God have a culture?

music, art, writing, dance, drama. commonly used as outlets to express cultural heritage.

We have music. lots and lots of music. I love singing those old mallu songs from the song book. i have this "manglish" songbook to sing from, "Athmeeya geethavali" and its great. Especially when you dont know how to pronounce some of those words. And as part of our culture, we play these songs at weddings, and sing them when we gather and parody them and write new ones.

No, we dont have any art floating around. Somehow artists dont enjoy a prominent place in our society. I'll lump architecture in here too, because we usually just put up 4 walls and a ceiling and we're good to go. I like that tendency because it puts the emphasis on the people instead of the building. Maybe we will see artists in the future.

Our literary efforts seem limited to biographies, commentaries and theses. Maybe we need to get articles going in "good news" and "hallelujah" and "trumpet"(couldn't find any links)... short stories, and poetry. and not the sub par moralistic plagiarism that usually gets printed in lieu.

LOL about dance. I think almost all indians see dance as something for the gods. and we seem to have cut dance totally out of our lives... It should be said that malayalees have a lot of folk dances, and all of them are gender exclusive. Which is why you'll never see me doing the kathakali with my wife. And because I'm shy.

if you're a mallu pente and you're reading this, i'm only going to ask you if you've seen a skit on repentance or the second coming. This is not to say that people aren't coming up with other ideas, but a lot of our skits and plays are rehashed time and again. How important is drama to us? Is there a stigma attached to being actors? Oh. wait. yes.

the diaspora has circled the world, and we are here to stay. serve kappa and meen for hor'd ourves. rock those mallu beats. tha tharigada tha tharigada. and work those bharatnatyam moves to "this is the day"